Mindset and match: recruiting millennials is about more than speed

Speeding up recruitment processes may appease applicants, but it won’t get to the heart of why some employers are failing to attract millennials. Tim Drake looks at assessing the mindset of candidates.

It was music to many graduates’ ears when KPMG announced on 1 August that, instead of conducting three separate assessments over several weeks, it will condense its graduate recruitment process into just one day.

The news came after a survey of their latest graduate applicants found they were frustrated by their lengthy recruitment processes.

It’s encouraging to see KPMG tailor its recruitment processes to suit prospective applicants, assuming the business is confident that a one-day interview process is rigorous enough.

But while shortening the process is a step in the right direction, KPMG and others should be doing much more to attract millennials.

This is hardly a groundbreaking idea – you could ask just about anyone, of any generation, whether they fancy going for three interviews or one, and they will all tell you they want it to be over and done with as soon as possible.

So while it’s great that KPMG is responding to the demands of potential talent, it shouldn’t stop there – there’s plenty more it can do to better recruit and assess the emerging millennial workforce.

Hudson’s Talent Trends research indicates that employers aren’t doing nearly enough to effectively assess or attract young talent.

Embracing digital recruitment

More than half of 16- to 24-year-olds have some kind of digital CV – an online portfolio, video or LinkedIn profile – yet 70% of millennials said they had been forced to submit a Word document CV for their last job application.

These audiences have grown up in a world of always-on communications and real-time decision making. But still, just 36% of millennial respondents claimed to have been interviewed via Skype. This is despite considerable enthusiasm for the format – 60% agreed video interviewing was more convenient for them.

Employers risk putting millennials and Gen Y off by sticking to traditional interview processes that just aren’t tailored to their world. These organisations will find it harder to engage and attract talent and thus lose stellar talent to more dynamic competitors.

The time is ripe for all employers, not just the likes of KPMG, to rethink their core processes and embrace the digital age more fully.

Condensing your recruitment procedure may be good for the sake of brevity, but it doesn’t quite get to the heart of these other more pressing issues.

Mindset isn’t about which university someone went to. It’s about a person’s desire to take on abstract ideas or to collaborate or respond quickly to failure.

On the whole, traditional CVs, personal statements and lengthy interview processes are all tools that are mismatched to millennials. In turn, the “softer skills”  that this generation has in abundance can be overlooked entirely, due to the absence of psychometric and aptitude testing during recruitment.


When it comes to tackling the flaws in traditional recruitment approaches, psychometrics are proving an effective way of mitigating that risk. After all, the most costly mistake an organisation is likely to make is not having enough evidence to suggest that the candidate in mind can perform to the level they say they will.

Psychometrics offer a way of validating a decision, providing additional data points to confirm that the candidate would be a good fit.

More broadly, employers also need to start thinking about ways to effectively measure a candidate’s mindset.

A mindset is the approach that someone adopts in response to, or in the face of, tasks, challenges and opportunities. It is the application of their experience, their learning agility and their ability to develop and deploy abilities.

It isn’t about which university someone went to. It’s about a person’s desire to take on abstract ideas or to collaborate or respond quickly to failure.

An individual’s mindset influences nearly every aspect of a person’s working life, and it’s becoming just as important as skillset.

Employers need to equip themselves with tools which can measure it so they can make better informed recruitment decisions, they can develop talent more effectively, and they can retain the top talent they already have.

Tim Drake

About Tim Drake

Tim Drake is UK head of talent management at Hudson, a provider of recruitment, talent management and RPO services.
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