If you stroll through the offices of your average corporate talent acquisition department today, you will note a change. The recruiters are younger. In fact, increasingly, they are the so-called “Millennials.”
Yes, that’s right. For you remaining Baby Boomers and Generate Xers in the job market, the people you have been criticizing for their misguided work-life expectations, their unrealistic sense of entitlement, or any number of other real or imagined sins, are rapidly taking over the candidate screening process. They now hold the keys to the kingdom. If you like irony, this is pretty good stuff.
In the world of recruiting, something will have to change and I am betting the farm it is not going to be the Millennials. (To be fair, they are not as guilty as charged by their seniors – primarily the Baby Boomers and, to a lesser extent, their parents’ generation.)
So, General Xers and Baby Boomers who are looking for a job, it is time for you to adjust to the fact that the way you have always conducted a job search is just not going to be as effective as it once was.
You need to learn to speak Millennial. That is to say you are the one who must do the adjusting, not the other way around.
In our career transition practice, we have already made major adjustments to meet the needs of this new way of recruiting, from the use of brief audio and video downloads to an increased reliance on InMail or text messaging. Longish, boring letters of introduction from outplacement firms will not get their candidates the attention they deserve. You have to be focused, brief and creative if you expect to get noticed.
Today, it is not just about a having a visible brand and a robust LinkedIn profile (93 percent of corporate recruiters report they use LinkedIn for candidate identification and initial contact). You must elevate your old-school professional networking approach to strategic, values-based networking to attract the attention of corporate recruiters and executives within a targeted corporation.
The other reality is that in the past, executives did not invest much time in career management, including professional networking, until they needed to look for a job. The old excuse, “I just don’t have time for that stuff” is already being replaced with “I have been looking for more than a year and I have not made any progress.” This is NOT scare-tactics selling. I have already run into several bright executives in the last year who one day, after many months of job searching their way found themselves in that category.
When you survey the changing job market there is one other reality you need to embrace. The pace of change in the aggressive use of Artificial Intelligence (machine screening) is accelerating. This will require candidates to master a new set of job search skills like mastering digital marketing strategies.
If you long for the good old days in career management, forget about it. It is time to learn and adapt because the consequences of not doing so are very real.
Did I mention that the Millennials have gotten a bump rap?