#FlashbackFriday: 5 Tips for Recruiting Millennials
This week, we are reflecting back on when our Chief Operating Officer, Diane K. Danielson, sat down with Patrick Church, Talent Acquisition Manager for Corsica Partners to discuss recruiting Millennials and attracting them to a suburban location. Patrick works mainly with a company located in Waltham, MA called Care.com. Care.com has about 750 employees total with 250 employees at their headquarters and provides child, adult and senior, pet and home care for over 19 million members.
DKD: Care.com is HQ’d in a suburb outside of Boston. Is it hard to attract Millennials to the location?
PC: It’s not hard due to the quantity of people in the immediate area and the fact that there are a number of colleges nearby. While it’s difficult to get people from the city to come out, we’ve had success recruiting local college graduates, as they know the area and may still have friends there.
DKD: What workplace benefits do Millennials ask for that older generations do not?
PC: First, they want to know about the company culture and growth opportunities. Then they want to know about team structure. Work-like flexibility may also come up. Even though most of the jobs at Care.com are traditional 9 to 5 jobs, people want to know there’s some wiggle room when life gets in the way.
DKD: I completely agree. I’m much more efficient when I’m not stuck in traffic. We’ve heard all the stereotypes, what do you look for to find the Mellennnial who can succeed in business?
PC: I look for curiosity and their ability to communicate what they’ve done and want to do. So many great people aren’t able to fully convey that in a resume, which is why referrals work. Depending on the position, we might also look for a consistent trend or theme of interests. If it’s not consistent, I want to know the story behind the changes. I especially like candidates who have taken an interest in something and gone above and beyond to pursue it. Internships help. We give a lot of credit to someone who can explain the benefit in a job, even if it was mundane. The bottom line is that you want to hire the person who has the ability to communicate something of value.
DKD: That final point is especially true in commercial real estate! Do you see differences between the different generations in the workplace?
PC: Young people today don’t want to just put their head down to work for 40 years and collect a pension. They don’t value the mailroom to office career path. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to work hard. It means that they want a different experience. Today’s firms can offer that. It boils down to a different work style, not a different work ethic. They will still work hard, especially for something they believe in. It’s just a different expectation of how their career path will flow. Part of that expectation does include flexibility. Millennials are willing to sacrifice a little in the paycheck to do something they like or have that balance. For them, it’s about compromise and flexibility.
DKD: How prepared are college graduates for the marketplace?
PC: Not very. Our colleges are not preparing graduates for the types of jobs that are needed in an innovation economy. College students are coming out of school with 90s and 2000s era business and marketing practices. They’re missing what’s really going on in the culture and environment today. This is a gap in the structure. They are also not learning the interpersonal interactions. The better applicants are those who have the intangibles. They can see a deadline and work well with others. It’s crucial that they learn how to deal with people.
DKD: Sounds to me that internships and customer service jobs are becoming more meaningful!
Thank you again to Patrick Church for a recruiter’s viewpoint. It sounds like he has seen first hand a lot of what we’ve been researching and reading about the younger generations. In the commercial real estate industry, we need to look for:
- Curiosity and the ability to communicate that curiosity and/or something of value.
- Current insights and people skills that are not being taught in school (they will likely have had to pick this up during an internship).
Our companies are also going to also have to be able to lay out a clear career path and test out flexibility (not just for Millennials but for others, too). And, the bonus real estate tip: if you want to lease a suburban office campus and attract young people, make sure it’s in an area near colleges.
For more information about commercial real estate job opportunities, check out the SVN Careers page here.