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How to Recruit Digital Natives

Clare Hopping

Tony McNeill/flickr Tony McNeill/flickr

Recruitment technology evolves at a breathtaking pace, limited only by the development of its software and hardware and by the demands of the job candidates it serves.

Recruiting the ideal candidate never seems to get any easier, and only the methods used to engage them change. The next challenge for recruiters and businesses will be to satisfy all the demands of the tech-savvy Generation Y, the so-called Digital Natives, in which recruitment technology will play a crucial role.

Gone are the days of face-to-face interviews being the sole means of deciding whether a candidate should be hired: today, it’s all about being remembered by potential candidates by accommodating their tech-heavy lifestyles.

For the Millennials, or Generation Y (those born between 1979 and 1994), it has been difficult for recruiters to keep up with the increasing importance of technology in people's everyday lives compared to previous generations. In the last few decades, technology has been introduced to children at progressively younger ages, making it hard for recruiters to adapt their hiring and employment practices.

As the recruitment industry uses more and more sophisticated techniques, keeping the attention of potential job-seekers has become of paramount importance in today’s online sea of job portals, listings, and potential offers. So when all of your competitors are just a click of a button away, how can you convince a candidate to stay focused?

Recruitment Evolution

The constantly-evolving recruitment field needs to keep up with the times in order to recruit the brightest young talent. While some remain wary of the Millenial fascination with digital technology, believing it to be more like an addiction than a skill set, the fact remains that, for employers, attracting young applicants will require an increased proficiency in technology on the part of the recruiters.

At this point, the diversity of available technology is such that this could mean many things, including mobile devices, laptops, desktop PCs, and tablets. But no matter which device or platform is used, the need for transparency is high.

Millennials actively share their opinions, especially when they feel hard done-by, and it’s incredibly hard to forge a good online reputation if a business doesn’t live up to the promises it makes to new employees.

Changes in How Companies Cater to Employees

The changes heralding Generation Y’s arrival to the workplace will bring benefits for other generations as well. These new digital tools have the potential to increase all of your workers’ productivity, raising the potential value of your business as a whole.

According to Diginomica, Generation Y demands that employers cater to their needs almost as if they were customers and not employees. Consumer-oriented work experiences that help them feel and do better at their jobs are essential in keeping them interested and motivated to work.

One drawback of many Generation Y employees is their lack of soft skills, such as the social ease, consideration, and optimism that facilitate good office relationships. Many businesses complain that their newest graduate employees have poorer soft skills than they would like, blaming it on university educators for not putting enough emphasis on the importance of social abilities.

On the other hand, digital natives tend to value the importance of their work over their salary, suggesting a high moral standard and a desire to have a positive impact on society.

Getting in Touch With and Recruiting Digital Natives

Good talent is hard to find, and even harder to keep. Digital natives have made it more difficult for businesses to recruit and manage their talent. Finding this talent can be made easier by the creative use of technology, such as video interviewing on a platform like LaunchPad Recruits.

Saving time by allowing respondents to record their response to a recruiter at their leisure, this platform offers the kind of expediency that will help you keep up with the ever-increasing pace of the recruitment industry.

This save both parties a lot of unnecessary hassle by allowing the recruiter to filter candidates much more efficiently than with traditional, in-person interviews. The time-savings made possible by this technology will have an especial appeal to Gen Y candidates, as they often favour virtual communication over personal interactions in many circumstances.

Values of Digital Natives

The biggest values held by digital natives are freedom and equality (or at least equity), and not on stereotypical traits such as self-centredness and laziness (common traits for anyone in their early 20s and younger, regardless of the generation).

Millennials are destined to take over the world of business by virtue of the fact that, in terms of numbers, they constitute the biggest generation. Businesses need to be able to recognise the new kind of talent that they offer and redefine their hiring strategies to include the next generation.

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.