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Coming to Terms With the Job-hunting Traits of Millennials

Grabbing Millennials’ attention and offering a position intriguing enough for them to accept a job offer is one of the major challenges facing companies today. It takes time to get used this candidate-driven market and the intricacies of communication with the new generation of workforce.

The co-founders of Gen Y and Z undergraduate job-seeking site Zyntern, from left Attila Balogi, Mirtill Megyeri and Tamás Barathi.

Navigating social media platforms at work is no longer unacceptable – as long as you work for the HR-department and are searching for new recruits. Especially given that former recruitment channels, such as databases, or direct phone calls, are becoming less useful. “We have been switching to social media platforms to reach the new generation,” Tamás Kalmár, recruitment team leader at ThyssenKrupp Presta Hungary Kft. told the Budapest Business Journal. 

This is fairly new ground for many companies, including ThyssenKrupp. Kalmár says his team upload videos of employee testimonies that are by no means orchestrated: “We just film what our current employees have to say about the firm.” The language of the posts and their information content have also changed. Job advertisements have become short and succinct; firms no longer wish to add too many details in the job description. These ads sound more like a notice, with the aim of grabbing the attention of the potential workers

Raising their interest may be the most challenging thing of all, says Kalmár. Today’s candidates are far more focused on how they contribute to the company’s success than previous generations were. That does not mean that career prospects are overlooked: during interviews, they often ask about the company’s future strategy. “It is essential for both of us they can picture themselves working for the company in one, or three, or five years, that they can feel they are part of it.” To try and achieve that, ThyssenKrupp introduce the company during the first part of the job interview highlighting the uniqueness of the Budapest center, housing both hardware and software development. This is something that appeals to young engineers, as they have the opportunity for multidirectional career development, Kalmár noted.

Taking on Leadership 

Some are also keen on taking on some leadership responsibilities. As long as it is a project, there is nothing wrong with that, Kalmár said. The more able can become project leaders fairly soon. Team-leading ambitions, however, need to be handled with more care, but after spending a few months with the firm, many realize they have to learn a lot to get there.

Keeping it short and sweet also applies to the interviewing process – After screening CVs and making a phone call a maximum of two rounds will follow. During the interview, ThyssenKrupp pays special attention to asking questions, describing job-related problems that are intriguing. It is of equal importance that candidates feel relaxed and that the atmosphere is friendly, during the interview, or when talking with managers. They are also quick to give feedback once the interview is done – the members of Generation Y and Z are all about instant feedback. They also receive a written offer stating all necessary details, including salary.

Finding the right tone and format when targeting Generations Y and Z on social media platforms is fairly new ground for many companies. Classical corporate communication has little to do with the way young people communicate now. This niche was spotted by Zyntern (founded by members of Gyakornok.com and Colilbri HR Solutions), a job seeking site tailored to the needs of (under)graduates and jobseekers with no more than three years’ working experience.

Named by merging Z, Y and intern, Zyntern goes online this April, followed by the launch of an app in May. A winner of Telenor’s accelerator program last August, Zyntern has been financed by Telenor and mentored by Balázs Vinnai of Misys Digital Channels. “A unique talent matching platform to reach out and engage the next generation of employees, Zyntern has much in common with LinkedIn in content terms but the user experience is more like the one you get on Tinder,” Mirtill Megyeri, co-founder told the BBJ.

Extensive Experience 

Despite being under 30, Megyeri has extensive experience in advising large companies as an employer branding consultant at Colibri HR Solutions, a company known for, among other things, its Colibri Internship Awards, a contest between companies with the best internship and fresh graduate positions and programs. Colibri also created more than 150 videos for many of their 80+ clients. Job seeking today is candidate driven; a well-prepared applicant can indeed select from offers, Megyeri said. And Zyntern helps candidate to prep: from uploading their first summary it walks them through the whole process of creating a convincing account in 15 minutes.  

Similarly, companies can upload their adverts without having to rely on consultants, using hints and tips offered by the site. (Although a support line will be available for anyone needing advice).

The selection process is equally short. Just like on Tinder, seekers can pick or eliminate a post with a simple left-right swipe on the app (the mobile app lacks this option). Not only do they cut back on selection time, companies also look more authentic to prospective candidates reaching out to them on a platform they feel comfortable with. Authenticity is the number one criterion for Generation Z, who are a lot more assertive and self-conscious than Generation Y, Megyeri said.

They have very clear ideas on what they expect in a workplace, and money is not their top priority. Asked to rank job characteristics in order of importance, prospective hires put flexible work options and a good rapport with colleagues at the top of the list. Money is important, but prospective employees’ needs go beyond their salary: they only ranked it third among the top five priorities, reveals a survey conducted between November 2016 and March 2017 by PwC Hungary, who asked 13,000 high schoolers, college students and recent graduates about their job preferences. 

In light of the survey results, companies can examine whether they offer employee benefits or work arrangements that may be popular with tomorrow’s workforce, said Róbert Bencze, HR consulting director at PwC. “If they find something missing, they can align their offerings to better address future candidates’ needs.”