Attracting Millennial Applicants with Technology

Studies show that millennials (those aged between 18 and 35 in 2015) make up close to a quarter of the world’s travelers, and that they spend considerably more money than the average tourist. By 2020, millennials will represent the largest spending segment in tourism travel. Clearly, drawing more millennials to your properties is critical to your business success. Who better to help you identify, and cater to, their needs and desires than their fellow millennials? The key is to hiring millennials is identifying and attracting the most qualified applicants of a large (and still growing) pool. Fortunately, you may not have to re-invent the wheel.

You already are (or should be) taking steps to draw more millennial customers to your properties such as creating more personalized travel experiences and conveying a compelling narrative of these experiences that millennials can engage with and share. These same principles can also be applied to your strategy for hiring millennials by following three key steps.

First, craft the story that emphasizes your company’s values, and how they shape the on-the-job experience. Research by the Korn Ferry Institute finds that the majority of job seekers, millennials in particular, considering a prospective employer’s organizational culture a primary factor in their decision-making. The number one reason respondents said they would choose one job over another is company culture (23 percent). Career progression (22 percent) and benefits (19 percent) were the second and third most popular considerations. (Source: Society for Human Resource Management).

Don’t focus on your new kitchen or other physical amenities. Yes, those are important, but they’re just parts of the larger whole that makes up the employee experience.


Second, examine how you’re telling this story. Don’t write the traditional job description that simply lists responsibilities and required qualifications. You’re not recruiting robots. Too often I’ll see vibrant, creative pages on a hotel’s web site designed to attract potential guests, but the career page is just a collection of boring job descriptions and a link to a general email link to send resumes to.

Use high resolution images, videos and other tools to be more visually engaging and offers a glimpse into a day in the life of your employees. That requires multiple views, because what comprises an exciting day for your chefs is very different from your front-of-house managers. Tell stories for each position you’re hiring for. Remember that the smartphone has become the primary computer for millennials, and be sure to optimize these visual experiences for mobile devices.

Third, consider where you’re telling these stories. We’re well past the traditional “post-and-pray” approach of simply using job boards. This is where social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram can be so effective in engaging directly with potential applicants. But don’t just drive applicants to your general Facebook page. Create dedicated social media channels for hiring and recruitment. Also, encourage your employees to share their stories and experiences on their own social media channels, and reward them for doing so. Statistically, the “social-referral hire” is the most successful.

Millennials want to hear career and personal development stories. Put as much effort and creativity into packaging up and projecting your workplace culture as you do your guest experiences. That’s how you’ll attract qualified applicants and convert them into candidates you want to move through the hiring process.

About the Author
Luke Fryer is the founder and CEO of Harri, a platform built to help the hospitality and retail industries source, hire, and manage their employees more effectively and efficiently.

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