by Ericka Gordon | 2/15/16
I’m actually shocked by the notion that employers can’t find enough millennials looking for work. At 24 years old I fall right in the middle of my generation in terms of the age range. Most of the millennials I know landed their first job this past year or have actively been looking for their first job. So, the idea that employers can’t find younger job seekers is hard for me to comprehend. However, I’ve heard this complaint a number of times and by now you guys should know I’m a big advocate for communication, so let’s talk about it. Where do millennials go to look for jobs?
In 2016, I think it’s a safe bet to start with the Internet; the good ole’ World Wide Web. The first thing we do is Google and that mostly leads to the land of recruiters. In my personal experience that quickly became overwhelming, so I switched to what I know best — social media.
I made a LinkedIn account while I was still in college and found that most upperclassmen were doing the same thing in preparation for our quickly approaching graduation dates. I currently have 275 connections on LinkedIn, but some of my connections have more than 500. There are tons of young millennials searching for job opportunities on that site. We follow companies we’re interested in working for to stay in the know about what they have going on, but let’s be real — mostly we’re just waiting for them to post about new job openings.
A good platform for job seekers that surprised me is Facebook. I am a member of several different job-posting groups on Facebook. They all cater to my industry and each one is posting jobs from a different city. Some of the groups have thousands of members while some have hundreds. True story: I saw a job posting in my hometown’s group from a company I was very much interested in working at. The guy posted several open positions and said to either apply on their site or message him directly and he’d refer you to the correct hiring manager. Naturally, I opted to contact him directly and he responded, which was great. I decided to look on their website to see if he was anyone of any real importance and, I kid you not, it turned out he is the CEO of that company. I was literally talking to the CEO of one of the biggest advertising agencies in my area on that little Facebook pop-up chat thing. It was wild, but that’s the kind of access social media offers.
In another group, a company posted a job opening and within a few weeks came back to explain the position had been filled. Because of the high influx of qualified applicants, the company put out an open letter to other employers looking to fill a similar position saying to contact them and they’d send over resumes. They wanted to try and help out the qualified applicants who weren’t selected. Joining groups like this is like fishing in a pond FULL of millennials. I’m only in groups for my industry, but I’d imagine there are groups like this for all kinds of fields.
Another place you can find millennials is professional organizations. After I graduated college and moved back to my hometown I joined a professional organization that caters to people in my industry. We have various events and happy hours that make for great networking opportunities with other people from my community in the same line of work. I’d recommend getting involved in your local professional organizations for several reason, but for the purpose of this column I’ll say this: the young people involved have already shown determination by coming out to those types of events. You automatically know that they are actively pursuing job opportunities, they’ve probably got pretty decent people skills (especially if they came alone: #brave) and they’re passionate about what they do. Participating in extracurricular activities like these takes valuable time away from your everyday life. People make time for what they want to make time for. So, when you see millennials at these professional events mingling with industry veterans acknowledge their effort and recognize a great candidate for that open position you’ve been looking to fill. You may not find the largest amount of millennials taking this route, but the term quality over quantity applies to this one for sure.
I hope this puts an end to your unsuccessful searches for millennial job seekers. We are here and we are ready to work!