Yahoo’s 4 Questions

Yahoo asks itself four questions when sourcing candidates of different generations.

  • Where are they?
  • How do they want to receive information?
  • What makes them respond and engage?
  • What’s the same and what’s different about the generations?

Carol Mahoney, Yahoo’s VP of talent acquisition, talked about the questions today at an HCI event. For Gen-Xers, Yahoo is focusing more on career sites as well as recruiting events. For younger applicants, the emphasis is on social networking (Twitter is big among Yahoo hiring managers) and a long courting process. “They do not want to just drop in and get their info and go,” she says, of millennials. They want to be courted. It’s more than information. It’s a relationship.”

This courting includes friends and family. In India, Yahoo laid off what Mahoney says was a very small number of people, and many were placed in other roles. But it was “such a huge deal” in India that Yahoo had to explain the layoff to families of wary job candidates.

With generational differences in mind, Yahoo has redone its career site. On the upper left, for example, the quick job search is aimed at Gen X-ers who don’t want to beat around the social-networking bush. In contrast with most career sites, which could put a wild boar to sleep — Yahoo has done it right, actually using the career home page to excite people about working at the company. (Its older versions, Mahoney, who arrived at Yahoo five years ago says, were “appalling.”) You leave the site with the impression that a Yahoo job involves doing something important, something that has an effect on people.

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There’s more on generational recruiting from this webinar:

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