Six millennial traits that impress recruitment agencies

We’d like to say up front, we’re not fans of the word ‘millennial’ here at Sitka.  It’s not just that millennials have had a bad rap of late, but the term has become somewhat of a synonym with entitlement, laziness and technology addiction – and we really don’t like generalisations.  Also, we’d agree with Bill Murphy Jr who recently wrote in his article ‘Here’s the brutal truth about why everybody else resents millennials’ that it isn’t that people are different because of when they were born, but that the world is different.

From experience, we know that many of the things that drive millennials are the same that drive other ambitious job seekers; autonomy, stability, recognition and good compensation to name a few. Don’t get us wrong; we know there are plenty of complacent candidates out there, but they’re not limited to the generation of people born between 1980 and 2000 – which is just as well since millennials are expected to comprise half the workforce by 2020. But we’ve been privileged to meet many conscientious millennial candidates, as well as many conscientious candidates from other generations, and birth year aside they all have much in common.

At Sitka, we’re not easily impressed, but these are six traits that never fail to impress us:

They’re curious

The candidates we love to work with are less concerned with talking solely about their own achievements and more focused on asking about the role and business. They take the time to find out what the company’s goals are, what the culture is like, and the balance of skills the employer is looking for. This means they get a much more detailed picture of the job, can put together a more focused application, and are more likely to find a role that is compatible and worth staying in.

They’re transparent

We pride ourselves on being trustworthy and transparent, so we expect our candidates to be honest and open with us too. For example, exaggerating achievements on your CV will damage your credibility and will always come back to haunt you. On the other hand, if you’re honest about your limitations we can guide you on the steps you can take to minimise them and advise you on how to talk about them in a positive light. Likewise, don’t be afraid to admit you’re terrified of interviews; a good recruiter will help ease the stress around the process and prepare you so that you’re ready to perform to the best of your ability.

They make an effort

The candidates who impress us the most spend time preparing for interviews; they do their research, they practice answering questions, and they get organised well ahead of the day. Because professional candidates gain background knowledge on the company, they are better able to highlight relevant experience and prepare more insightful questions, which means the employers are impressed, both with them and us: everyone’s a winner! There’s more information on putting your best foot forward in interviews in one of our previous blog articles.

They’re reliable

The best candidates turn up to their interviews! You’d think this a given after the effort that goes into arranging it, but we have experienced incidents where candidates have done a no-show. Our clients rely on us to deliver the strongest, most employable candidates, so if a top candidate doesn’t show up, it’s not just embarrassing; it’s damaging to our reputation and theirs. Likewise, instructing an agency to search for roles on their behalf and then not returning calls or emails is a waste of our time and can hurt their job prospects down the line. Successful job seekers are more responsive and believe in the benefit of partnership working. They follow the golden rule: ‘treat others as you’d like to be treated.’

They have a good reason for moving on

The candidates that are easiest to place know they’re ready to leave their current job and they know why. Among other things, they’re focused, have already explored options for promotion in their current role, and aren’t driven solely by the prospect of a pay increase. Those who are unsure of whether now is the right time for the next step in their career or just want another job offer to leverage a higher salary from their existing employer are better off reassessing their options before approaching a recruitment agency. Our article on questions to ask before moving jobs can help with this.

They’re professional

The candidates who compel us to seek out exciting opportunities are consistently professional; they dress appropriately, they’ve laid out and spell-checked their CV properly, they communicate well and they’ve assessed their digital footprint. Neglecting to lock down privacy settings on personal social media accounts, or frequently using inappropriate language on public ones, can be detrimental when it comes to putting candidates forward for a job. An estimated 80% of employers will google prospects before interviewing them, so if job seekers want recruiters to go the extra mile for them, they need to convey a professional image.

Ok, so our title was a little misleading; the six traits we’ve outlined that impress recruiters are not exclusively ‘millennial’ traits; they’re traits of candidates from all generations and walks of life.

At Sitka, we help aspiring leaders, managers and experienced professionals achieve their career goals and believe the greatest placements are made when there is a reciprocal relationship based on trust, commitment and transparency. To find out more about how we can help, please see our candidate experience infographic.

To find out how we can work with you, please drop us a line