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We’ve discussed in previous blog posts about how members of Generation Y, who are often called Millennials, make great contract candidates. But if you hope to attract the best talent from the upcoming crop of college graduates, you may run into trouble if you rely solely on traditional recruiting techniques.

According to a recent USA Today article, social media and the Internet in general may be a more useful tool to recruit recent college graduates. In fact, 28 percent of college students are planning to use LinkedIn® to find a job. They are also using Facebook, Twitter, and corporate Web sites to research potential employers.

The Internet has become such an integral part of the Millennial job search that Ron Alsop devoted an entire chapter to “Recruiting in Cyberspace” in his book The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace. It discusses how employers such as Ernst & Young and even the U.S. Army are using social media and adapting their own Web sites to better reach out to Generation Y.

While the book mainly addresses employers, it offers some helpful insights to the Millennial mind that you may find helpful as you seek younger workers for your contract job orders:

  • YouTube is the most visited and influential site with college students. They like to be entertained while being informed. Therefore, many employers are now using videos as a recruiting tool.
  • Millennials like to investigate companies online with anonymity. They don’t like recruiters “breathing down their necks trying to influence them.” A survey cited in the book found that 81 percent of graduating students visit company Web sites when looking for a job.
  • They want to be contacted via electronic messages and especially like instant messaging and texting because they like immediate feedback.
  • Avoid generic recruiting pitches because they will be dismissed as spam.
  • Recruting messages must address younger workers’ “hot buttons” such aswork-life balancetraining and developmentcorporate social and environmental responsibility, and diversity.

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