Social Media, Recruiting & Millennials


I was tapped on the shoulder at a bar in Mission Valley, California, and asked what it takes to move a traditional manufacturing company—with a conservative approach to policies, politics and principles—into a more aggressive position so they can hire more Millennials through social media tools. The company blocks access to Twitter and Facebook—which is timely because so does China and Iran. That’s awesome company to keep.

Anyway, I hate answering a question with a question [or series of questions], but here’s where I want to start the discussion.

  1. Why does your company think it needs to hire millennials? I support succession planning & developing the next generation of talent, but we are in a recession and the labor pool is deep and wide with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. It’s great to hire a young and energetic employee; however, I think many companies make the mistake of trying to develop MBA programs and rotational programs without realizing that every job is temporary. I remember laughing when other ‘chump companies’ would invest in a new employee for a few years, train them, and I hired them away in their late 20s and early 30s when they were still cheap enough—but they had some great skills.
  2. Why do you think you need to use social media tools to hire millennials? Sure, job seekers under 30 are on social media sites—but so is my mother-in-law who is seventy-five years old. This is what I learned at the social recruiting summit: demonstrate a commitment to fresh ideas and new ways of thinking. Connect with existing consumers, future clients, and potential employees. Just don’t hop on the internet and expect young kids to apply for a job because your company has a Twitter account.
  3. Why would you want to hire someone who uses social media sites when your company blocks those sites? An authentic social media strategy should align with the mission, vision and values of your company. If you block Facebook and other sites at work, your ideal candidate may not even be on those sites. Furthermore, you might be punished in the marketplace for overstating your commitment to these emerging technologies.

Other thoughts? Advice? Dissenting ideas? What’s your perspective as a job seeker for this company?

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