Almost half the workforce will be Millennials or Gen Y by 2020 and combined, this generation have the largest spending power. If you take a look at your current workforce, how many millennials are on the payroll?

There will be 60, 000 new jobs in Food Processing by 2020 in Ontario alone, which means that if you are not already putting some strategic thought into attracting millennials, you might want to have a re-think.

How to Target Millennials

It seems that right now everyone is talking about millennials–the good, the bad and the ugly–when it comes to how they think, what they want and how they spend their days. Some perspectives are extreme (border line insulting) and others make so much sense its scary. If you haven’t already please watch this interview on Millennials in the Workplace with Simon Sinek. Simply put, it’s awesome.

Chelsea Krost–a millennial marketing strategist–discussed 5 ways to target this group on MSNBC, here’s a summary of how to attract millennials to your products, services, and brand:

Debunking Stereotypes

80 Million people (in the US alone) should not be ‘tarred with the same brush’. While some of the negative connotations placed upon millennials may be true for some, these negative traits are just as lightly to be found in baby boomers and gen xer’s.

What about the passionate, curious, hardworking members of the millennial generation who are driven and looking for like minded people and companies? The same people who collectively are expected to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes*.

Social Media

Food GraduatesMillennials are spending the most time on social media, so it can either be your best friend or worst enemy. Are you present on social media? So many marketing tactics remain in the social media space. Perhaps now is a good time to consider your position in terms of marketing to this group via social media as consumers of your product/service as well as from a brand/cultural perspective to attract new employees.

Mobile

You may have the nicest, prettiest most functional website but if it is not mobile friendly, forget it. Think digital/mobile first because this is where millennials (and everyone else) are looking for information and spending the majority of their time. According to google research 72% of people demand mobile optimization.

If someone visits your site via their phone and it doesn’t load or its complicated to navigate–you’ve just lost the person. Not only has the chance to sell your product gone, but do you think they will be keen to join your organization? If the basic attention to technology is not evident, what about the other areas of the business?

The First Impression Is The Last Impression – Unknown (this saying stands the test of time, across generations!)

Influencer Marketing

Build relationships with influencers in your community. These influencers will spread the word, amplifying your message. This vehicle not only shares your brand and product but offers education about what is available out there. Are you part of the conversation?

It is so important to build your database of influencers. Have these people feel like brand ambassadors, like they are part of your business and social media is again, your best friend here.

User Generated Content (UGC)

This is any content that is created by the consumer. A great example of this would be Veronica’s blog–one of our FoodGrads Career Partners–when she wrote about her experience as an intern at Gaylea Foods. Millennials are 80% more influenced by what their peers are sharing than by branded content alone.

The most important thing is to build your community. Influencers that you are tapping are creating UGC for your business and then the smart move is to re-purpose that yourself through your own marketing activities. This is the key to building your community and brand awareness.

Millennials and the Food & Beverage Industry

Food CareersThere has never been a more exciting time for the Food & Beverage Industry. Technological advances as well as innovation have changed the playing field. Consumers are inundated with choice and information at their finger tips and this has had a direct influence on the employment opportunities available in the Food & Beverage industry.

Changes in agricultural practices, the restaurant industry, food processing, regulations/labelling, food policy, research etc. etc. means this industry is diverse, pioneering and perfect for curious millennials–its up to you to make sure they are aware of that.