This article is part of our Essential Guide: It's a millennial workforce -- here's what HR pros need to know

Almost 60% of millennials search for jobs through company websites

Research by Monster finds the younger generation react strongly to what they find on an employer’s website when looking for work

Companies should ensure their brand values are presented through their online presence if they want to attract younger people to work for them, according to research.

A study by Monster and YouGov found 59% of millennials – people aged between 18 and 35 – will browse a firm’s website when looking for a new job.

“Your company website and how you portray yourself is really important to millennials because that is where they are looking,” said Sinead Bunting, European director for consumer marketing at Monster.

“Millennials will soon be the biggest part of the workforce, so we have to understand them and know what makes them tick.”

Millennials also said they would be more likely to work for an organisation whose values aligned with their own, and Bunting said the workplace would have to adapt to the “new era” of progressive younger workers both on and offline.

“We are living in the ‘selfie’ generation – we are our own star of our own online story,” she said.

Many young people are increasingly aware of how their online presence affects their career, and Monster thinks millennials may benefit from advice on “how to manage and enhance your online reputation”.

Freelance technology journalist Georgie Barrat described millennials as the “sharing generation” who are used to portraying their own brand online through social platforms, and therefore expect a business’s online brand to be clear and concise.

Barrat also said younger people want to feel “part of a community”, which is something that can be fuelled and solidified by company values and online presence.

“Whether it is conscious or not, people have their own online brand that they read and add to it every single day,” said Barrat.

“It is about having some very clear brand messages across all of your platforms.”

Tech-savvy business owners

The UK is suffering from a skills gap, with businesses claiming they cannot find the skilled workers they need to fill tech roles.

Monster’s research found 37% of young people wanted a job in IT and 40% wanted to be in coding.

Barrat added: “People, especially the HR world, are really keen to tap into that talent pool and retain that talent pool.”

But despite changes to the education curriculum that make it compulsory for children aged between five and 16 to be taught about computing, girls still think tech subjects are too hard and there is still a dropout of women in the sector.

This may be because millennials have greater expectations of businesses, with 30% expecting flexible hours and 35% thinking firms should help staff achieve a work-life balance, something women find important when seeking roles in and outside of technology.

The research also found that many young people want to start their own business – 14% wanted to start their own company and 3% wanted to work for a startup.

Bejay Mulenga, who founded Supa Academy after feeling that business lessons at school were not detailed enough, said a lot of people in the UK have the drive and passion for the workplace from a very young age.

“For every kid who is sitting at home gaming or talking to their friends on Twitter, there are two who are coding,” said Mulenga.

Digital disruption

It has been predicted that many of the jobs today’s young people will end up doing do not yet exist, and will be created through digital disruption.

Technology has been a huge catalyst for change, and so workplaces need to change too.

“Ten years ago, the iPhone had not been created, 20 years ago we barely had smartphones, and YouTube only turned 10 last year,” said Mulenga.

“A lot of these platforms changed the way people work, and they have become inspired.”

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To find and retain technology talent, firms should look to fill roles with people who have potential and can be taught specific skills on the job, said Mulenga.

“Test for emotional intelligence,” he added.

To boost the number of young people and women entering the tech industry, Monster has supported many Stemettes initiatives and has a partnership with Apps for Good.

It also took part in the launch of the Tech Talent Charter, which is designed to hold businesses responsible for hiring a more diverse tech workforce.

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