Due to the rise of the millennials, businesses are starting to change tactics in order to recruit the best from the talent pool.

GE, for example, recently decided to relocate their corporate headquarters from the suburbs of Connecticut to the urban setting of Boston’s seaport district.

They did this in an effort to appeal to the millennials that prefer city living. And, they’re not alone. Businesses in various sectors are changing the way that they think about recruitment.

The old tactics may no longer apply to this generation.

The millennials make up the largest portion of the workforce. So, what can businesses do to hire Millennials – other than uprooting their corporate offices?

First, you’ll need to learn more about the Millennials, including what they’re looking for and how to appeal to their unique interests.

Who Are the Millennials?
The term, millennials, applies to people born after 1981. Though, the exact date is flexible. Basically, they are the generation that grew up with the conveniences of the internet.

They grew up connected and tend to see the world with a more open view than previous generations. This leads to goals and pursuits that differ from their elders.

Instead of seeking the security of a full-time job, they prefer flexibility. They want the opportunity to enjoy their lives to the fullest and are less concerned with materialism.

Basically, they prefer life lessons to job security.

Some accuse the millennials of not having loyalty. That’s not true. They just don’t think of loyalty to a business in the same way.

Millennials are willing to work for a single company for the long haul, as long as their needs are met. This is an area where many businesses are failing.

The Most Common Millennial Recruiting Mistakes
Instead of dealing with the expectations of a forward-thinking generation, businesses are continuing to rely on old recruitment strategies.

Many businesses try to attract job prospects by promoting the strengths of their business. Or, they make basic policy changes to show that they care about the needs of their younger workers. These efforts often fall short.

This doesn’t mean that businesses need to follow GE’s lead. But, it is a great example of a company making a bold move to gain better talent.

So, other than moving, what can a company do?

Providing a Better Work/Life Balance
A good place to start, to attract Millennials, is to consider the work/life balance being provided.

While a structured work schedule is easier for payroll calculations and other projections, it doesn’t help with recruitment. Millennials simply want a better work/life balance.

This is a hard concept for established businesses to adopt. They’re used to the 40 to 50-hour work weeks. They want their employees to arrive at the workplace at a set time and leave at a set time.

If a Millennial doesn’t have the time to enjoy their personal pursuits, they likely won’t stick around long. To address this, businesses must make better strides to offer flexible scheduling.

Embracing the Benefits of the Gig Economy
Businesses should understand the value of hiring workers on a part-time or consulting basis. The business doesn’t need to pay for insurance or deal with additional payroll taxes.

It can actually save a business money to hire out for key positions on a part-time basis compared to hiring a full-time employee. This is part of the “Gig Economy”.

The gig economy refers to the increase in freelance and consulting work across a wide span of industries and sectors.

While you may typically think of outsourcing as a temporary solution when you’re behind a deadline or for additional expertise, it can be applied to almost any position within a company.

For example, HourlyNerd is a website that helps millennial MBA’s find consulting work with businesses. This is a far cry from the freelance matchmaking sites that allow you to hire web designers and bloggers.

Almost any business could benefit by getting rid of a few positions and replacing them with a consultant or freelancer. This is especially true if it helps you find the right person for the job.

Also, when hiring a consultant, they don’t need to be considered a temporary employee. If they are satisfied with the work being offered, they’ll stick around. The temporary job could develop into a traditional employment opportunity.

So, by hiring out, businesses can address one of the biggest millennial preferences – flexible work. Businesses can use this strategy to fill difficult positions, instead of trying to promote the benefits of working with a company.

Creating a Beneficial Mentorship Program
Another area to explore is the creation of mentorship programs. After flexible scheduling, professional development is another major interest of Millennials.

They may be more willing to work with a business long-term if it has a beneficial mentorship program in place. This concept is already being used by numerous businesses.

Near college towns, you’ll find businesses partnering with schools to give students a clear path towards their job goals. While this benefits the students, it also benefits the business.

By working with colleges, training centers, and various institutions, businesses can directly work with the best young talent. They are making a connection with the next generation of the workforce before they even leave school.

A similar approach can be taken with employment. Through leadership programs, a business can give a new hire the opportunity to take on major responsibility. This form of quick advancement appeals to the Millennials seeking professional growth.

Millennials Care About Mission Statements
Earlier, it was mentioned that millennials don’t care as much about the strengths of a company. But, they do care about the mission of the company.

According to a Deloitte survey, about 90 percent of millennials make their employment decisions based on more than just the financial success of the business.

Instead of worrying about whether the business is successful, they care about the overall goals of the business. This requires a clearly defined mission statement that touches on some of the points made.

Boomers are starting to retire and the Gen X group is starting to age. Millennials are the largest group and businesses will need to adapt – just as they have for other generations.

As always, a gradual approach is needed to adjust to these changes. Businesses should look at their existing recruiting practices. They should try to make small changes before it’s too late – adapt or perish.