Any startup that hopes to survive for more than five years needs to both attract and retain talent. However, job seekers today have radically different priorities than they did just 15 years ago.
Millennials are drawn to startup company culture, “where people feel valued, which in turn fosters engagement and productivity. Similarly, the best cultures foster innovation, through collaboration and non-judgment,” suggests Peersight.
When it comes to formulating a hiring strategy, the traditional approach may not work for startups. Instead, revamp your strategy to attract millennials, who now make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.
Define your employee value proposition
The best companies have a mission statement that fits on a T-shirt. You need to be able to explain what your business does, and why its valuable, in one sentence.
“This matters because we’re living in a world where hiring is candidate driven—that means, they choose you, not the other way around,” suggests TalentLyft. “In order to make yourself their employer of choice, you have to be able to trigger your perfect candidates’ interest by differentiating your company from your competitors.”
Those main components of an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) include:
- Career advancement
- Work environment
How can you sum up how your company achieves all of those things in just one to two sentences? That’s your first task.
Bring personality to your social media
More and more startup companies are approaching their social presence in the same way they approach their individual social media presences: relatable and only slightly curated.
Here, as in the real world, the perfect online persona looks effortless. You ideally “show,” rather than “tell,” when making your value proposition clear and concise on social media.
For example, you might focus on sharing the following types of content:
- Celebrations of employee accomplishments
- Photos of key company events, especially those related to doing social good
- Blog posts about your company and culture
The end goal here is to create a sense of FOMO (or fear of missing out). While that might seem trite, the reality is that FOMO is one of the strongest psychological motivators humans know—especially millennials.
Engage with your social reviews
Whether you listen or not, your customers are talking about you online. Engage with these reviews, which are very visible to those researching your company. Engagement not only fosters relationships with your customers, but also shows that you care about your customers and employees. It also gives you an opportunity to re-frame otherwise negative sentiments.
In the same way that pushy ads perform poorly, company team pages that are overly polished tend to fall flat. They lack personality and uniqueness, which many millennials are looking for. Instead, inject some authenticity and ease into the places most candidates will look: your team page and your company culture page, which often doubles as a hiring page.
For your team page, check out this awesome collection of ideas. You’ll notice they’re all engaging, interactive and show more than just the “work side” of their employees. This is a great way to highlight diversity and pique the interest of potential candidates by showing that their future co-workers are just like them.
The second page, your hiring and company culture page, is critical for millennials. If you don’t have this page, build it. Show what life is like at your office, while also ensuring that anyone on your site can find job listings. Grab inspiration from these fun career pages.
You’ll notice that many of the examples shared in the links above used video. While developing content for this medium can be time consuming, the reality is that it’s more engaging.
It also naturally makes it easier to check the following boxes:
- It’s easy to be authentic on video, even shooting selfie-style with limited production equipment
- An EVP will often hit closer to home when it’s being communicated by a person rather than through copy on a website
- Managers will naturally avoid the sales-y jargon that often makes it in to social posts when prompted to post via camera
The best part is, you can continue repurposing and sharing that video. Put it on your website, share it on social, create infographics with quotes from the video—you can even pin it to the top of your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages for maximum exposure.
Start recruiting millennials
In order to find millennials to come onboard your startup, you must intentionally craft your employee value proposition, strive for relatable and authentic communication, and leverage video. This combination ensures that you’re showing your best side in the most personal and effective way.