Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Adapting to the Millennial Landscape in a bid to Attract Emerging Talent

The New Dynamics of Recruitment that Utilise Technology Before Face-to-Face Decision Making.

Recruiters must do more to connect with Emerging Talent if they are to fill the skills gaps being opened as the older generation leave the workplace, according to Charles Hipps, CEO at WCN. Although Millennials have been identified as the dominant workforce for 2016, a global skilled labour storage is still being envisaged by 2020.  

What is Emerging Talent?

Emerging Talent can be identified as people hired through university, college, school, MBA recruitment and internship programmes. As baby boomers start to leave the workforce a generational shift is occurring, causing Millennials to become the dominant worker. 10,000 baby boomers leave work every day in the US, affecting the way companies conduct future business. Baby boomers, who are a predominantly loyal workforce, holding the majority of formal and tacit organisational knowledge, are being replaced by a technologically savvy, highly creative and mobile generation, who are used to thinking with their feet.

According to research by McKinsey&Company, by 2020 we will begin to see a global shortage of skilled labour, particularly from college or university-educated workers. This ‘talent-crunch’ is set to reduce the number of university educated workers available in the global workforce by 40 million. It is therefore crucial to work out how to attract the next top talent and keep them engaged.

How do we Engage with the Emerging Talent?

Staff turnover costs British businesses at least £4.13bn every year, as new employees take up to eight months to reach optimum productivity levels, therefore it is increasingly important to improve how we engage, hire and retain top talent. We are now dealing with a very different generation, whose drivers and outlook on life vary considerably from that of Baby Boomers. Taking a virtual approach is now a crucial part of the recruitment process, whereas before face-to-face meetings were the industry-must. Millennials seem to prefer a cybernetic recruiting process, with pre-recorded interviews now a key part of recruitment for many employers.

Video Interviewing

Video interview technology permits recruiters to reach an unrestricted talent pool, allowing candidates to be analysed before deciding who should be put through for additional screenings and assessment centres. Participating in a video interview saves both time and money compared to face-to-face interviews, eliminating travel, logistics and scheduling. While interviews conducted via the telephone remain a fantastic method for pre-screening candidates, video interviewing really allows the calculation of the candidate’s reactions and responses under pressure, enabling questions to be tailored to evaluate body language, responsiveness and habits. It has become the custom to record video interviews, allowing the information to be shared with the other executives who are involved in the decision making process.

Talent Banking

The use of talent banking is an effective and efficient way of keeping in touch with future top talent, without physically seeing them. With the fight for top talent in some cases, starting as early as school, it is vital to have a ‘vault’ where you can interact with these future hires, keeping them interested in the organisation. Automated messages, blogs and social media are just some of the interactive engagement methods available. 


Automation has the ability to turn best practice into common practice, allowing companies to stay in constant contact with potential hires. It facilitates human interaction through CRM tools, giving recruiters more time, whilst also increasing candidate interaction. Automation can cover everything from early résumé scanning software to identifying people with targeted keywords within their social media profiles. Historically viewed as impersonal, generic and cold, today it is seen as an invaluable tool for recruiters, dealing with ever growing numbers of candidates, enabling them to focus their attention on qualified candidates. Automation improves consistency, efficiency, reduces costs and will align your organisation’s recruitment process in the long run.

Social Media

Millennials are the social generation and founders of social media, so they should be targeted where they know best - through social channels. Millennials are hyper-connected, and have changed the mind-set of what is possible. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn expanding at unparalleled rates, those that have been slow to adapt their recruitment system to encompass the social media surge are in danger of losing the best candidates to their more forward thinking rivals.

Work/Life Balance

Millennials are looking for a better work/life balance, so emphasising this is essential, and to make it a reality companies will need management buy-into this approach, otherwise retention rates will be a challenge. However, one-size does not fit all, what suits the UK market, might have no relevance to talent in India or the US. 

With more candidates thinking with their feet it is crucial to create a positive recruitment reputation for all potential and future hires. John Lewis Partnership stated that they would expect to lose up to £4.8 million per year without adopting a positive approach to candidate experience.


For many years, recruitment professionals have not had to vary the way they approached the acquisition of emerging talent, but now things are changing. Emerging Talent has developed a very different view on work, especially when compared to the previous generation, meaning the way in which talent is hired and retained must talent must be reformed. They have grown up with the internet at their fingertips, world politics defined by 9/11 and the events that followed, and perhaps the worst global recession in recent human history, all shaping the way the world is viewed and the role work plays within their lives. We now have a generation who are happy to think with their feet. These unchartered waters seem deep and scary, but if you implement the right technological and recruitment techniques you can filter out the top talent before actual physical meeting. This is a revolutionary thought, altering how we recruit now and move forward.