Think You Know What Millennials Want from a Job? Think Again.

April 26, 2017

Think You Know What Millennials Want from a Job? Think Again.

If you’ve read one article about hiring and engaging with Millennials, you’ve read them all. Most focus on Millennials who are hyper-focused on changing the world, who value work-life balance and feedback, above all else, and who, on the more negative side, are entitled, lazy, and uninspired.

While some of this may be true, it’s never a good idea to have a singular view of a diverse group of individuals, because it turns out, they are motivated by different things. While some may be altruistic and not worry much about a paycheck, another might be focused on climbing the corporate ladder as quickly as possible.

Rather than try to figure out what Millennials want, what they’re thinking, or their core personality traits, the real value in engaging authentically with this group is in understanding how they engage with the world around them, which includes your company.

Forty percent of Millennials say a brand’s market reputation is the biggest influence on their impression of a prospective employer.

One of the biggest eye-openers for companies is the realization that more likely than not, a Millennial will have not only heard about of their brand or company, but will also have engaged with it multiple times before they even consider applying for a job.

With the world at their fingertips, Millennials can easily connect and engage with your company with a quick few clicks. The question is, are you there when they’re looking?

Some of the most innovative companies are leveraging this information to connect with Millennials on an even deeper level, creating special website landing pages, social campaigns, and videos with current employees talking about what it’s like to work there. Brand awareness has shifted from a one-sided conversation where brands dominate the conversation with who and what they are to a conversation and a relationship with potential hires. While your customer base may not expect this, Millennial definitely do.

This type of connection, built before a recruitment or hiring process begins, ends up being a win-win. Candidates are more likely to self-select and identify companies that look, feel, and sound like a good cultural fit, and companies find themselves with more quality candidates from the start. Forty percent of Millennials say a brand’s market reputation is the biggest influence on their impression of a prospective employer.*

Consider the image you put out in the world about your company. What successes do you highlight? Do you put your employees first? What difference are you making for the world at large, or at the very least, for your clients? Does your company value youth, technology, and innovation?

This is where the “Millennials care about more than a paycheck” comes into play. Millennials want to be compensated, and are seeking out competitive pay. However, they want to work for companies that they view as having a purpose and investing in their employees.

According to a study done by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an estimated 3.6 millions executive leaders will be eligible for retirement this year as younger professionals transition into leadership roles. This means connecting with Millennials is more important now than ever before if you want to ensure you are attracting top-quality candidates who seek your company out.

How can you start?

  1. Take a real and honest inventory of your current employer brand. How are you engaging with Millennials, if at all? How could you do better?
  2. Focus on telling the story of how you are making the world a better place, or bettering the lives of your clients or customers.
  3. Consider creating campaigns and messages that speak directly to potential employees, specifically, Millennials. Make sure you are being genuine. If you try to be something you’re not, you’ll get found out instantly.
  4. Don’t stereotype Millennials. Remember, everyone is motivated by different factors for success. Offer competitive salaries, benefits, and be a great place to work that fosters growth and development.

*MRINetwork 2017 Millennial Hiring Study

The Authors: 

Joe O’Connor is founder and CEO of ViziRecruiter, a company that takes text-based job descriptions and transforms them into visual job posts that better engage candidates, strengthen employer branding and increase employee referrals.