Talent Acquisition leaders often ask me how to best attract the 80 million millennial candidates out there. I thought of this question the other day when I stumbled across the American Millennials report (4,259 millennials surveyed) by Barkley (the 100%-employee owned ad agency out of Kansas City), and the Boston Consulting Group. It’s a few years old now but it’s got some killer data

Instead of giving you BS tips like much of what I read, I combined my reading of their data along with know-how from working on this with major employers, and came up with 5 ideas a bit more unique than the usual tips post:

1) Millennials Want Travel & Adventure — Create a Microsite for Each Location

70% of millennials say that visiting every continent would be an “achievement” they’d like to accomplish (versus just 48% for non-millennials).

If you have offices overseas — you need to shout that from your rafters. I recommend you build a microsite/landing page for every location you have — a millennial candidate might apply to your job just because you’re in Shanghai or London.

Google, for example, has a custom video/picture for every one of its locations — and they’re Google…as in, almost everyone knows them. Yelp uses a different slideshare or video for each of their locations to attract sales reps.

I am shocked how many Fortune 1000 companies do not include a microsite/landing page for every one of their locations.

And if you only have offices in the U.S., you’re still in luck: 79% of millennials say they would like to visit every state in their lifetime!

2) Millennials are Content-Creators (So Let Them Create Something!)

More than 60% of millennials rate products and services on the Web as well as upload other content. So don’t just treat them like readers of your own content — give them opportunities to add their own content.

For example, millennials would find it quite welcoming to be able to write an email, or comment, directly to you the employer. This is one of the reasons Ongig offers a comment/chat feature on every job description we power for clients. You could also invite them to interact with you via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

See Bravo to Microsoft for Letting Students See and Email their Recruiter (Microsoft provides this to students graduating from a handful of different universities).

3) Millennials Skip Your Careers Page (But You Can Still Capture Them)

Millennials are more likely to research you through their friends and family (ranked #1), colleagues and classmates (#2) and ratings and reviews (#3), then through your company web sites (#4).

When a millennial Googles you, they are going to look for sources of information about you other than your careers home page. A search of “Fidelity Jobs” on Google, for example, sends them to places like Glassdoor and Indeed. If they visit those sites, they will then be on a path to see your job descriptions not your careers page (see The Top 5 Sites A Candidate Lands On When Searching Your Company).

Do your job description pages really give them what they need to make them take the call to action of apply or join your talent community?

4) Millennials Look to Peers for Affirmation

Millennials seek peer affirmation more than any other generation. How, when and where can you engage their peers?

Ideally, a Millennial hears about your job from a peer — such as in a social share of a job or in the real physical world — that’s good old-fashioned social proof. My best advice to get your jobs shared socially is to add pictures or video to every job so that the job looks amazingly content-rich in news feeds (Ongig does this automatically for job descriptions but you can do this on your own too if you have the resources).

If you can’t add media to your job descriptions, the next best thing is to show a millennial their future peers  — your team. For example, you can show pics and video of your team on your career/job pages (and include real-life millennials if you want to attract more of them). You can also embed your Glassdoor ratings on your job pages (see Make Your Job Descriptions More Sticky by Adding Glassdoor Content) so that millennials can look at what other people are saying about you.

5) Millennials Value New Technology

Millennials are 2.5x more likely to be an early adopter of technologies than older generations.

If your different teams are using some interesting new technologies, you should mention these in your job descriptions.

For example, Ongig is using Docker container technology right now to develop and we’ll be emphasizing that to our next dev hires.  If you’re trying to attract a sales rep, and you’re using new social-selling techniques, mention social-selling and the specific tools you use in your job description.

If you’re a low-tech company at a minimum consider utilizing video, pictures, slideshares, chat, embedded social media feeds, etc. to tell your story. At a minimum, make sure that you use a responsive design so that your job pages look good on mobile.


About the Author — Rob is the Co-founder & CEO of Ongig, the first-ever Employer Branding SaaS that allows employers to attract the best talent in the world faster. Yelp, Autodesk, GoDaddy, Auction.com and BMC Software are among the early customers of the Ongig SaaS.

by in Candidate Engagement