How to Recruit Millennials and Gen Y – 3 Groundbreaking Mindset Shifts

how to recruit millennials

Read an article or two on recruiting Millennials (born 1981-1996) and you will find a lot of the same advice: build relationships, provide career growth opportunities, focusing on a mission, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of this advice applies to many generations. Ask a generation that wouldn’t prefer an authentic hiring manager, or a recruiter that can really capture another companies stories. Who wouldn’t want these benefits?

A lot of the advice is a hodge-podge, recycled advice, aimed for a couple of page views. As a Millennial, someone who researches my generation, and has been in over 500 interviews, I can tell you a lot of advice out there is not helpful.

In this article, I want to focus on a few key areas to help with recruiting the youngest demographic in the workplace today- Millennials. Some might argue Generation Z would be more appropriate to talk about. At this time (2019) they are just started to graduate college and are not the primary focus recruiting demographic for most businesses. However, I will write about how to attract them in another article, for this one, the sole focus will be Millennials.

There are three mindset shifts that hiring manager’s need to make when considering hiring Millennials. By leveraging these three mindset shifts, you will be able to find an infinite amount of opportunities to better recruitment for younger demographics. Don’t let their simplicity deceive you.


Mindset #1: Treat Recruiting as like Sales Pipeline, Not As a Matchmaker Process

True, this advice can apply to previous generations, but it’s more important now than ever before. Many times when I would apply for a job, I would be one of 500 applicants they were looking at for a single position.

Why so many applicants? Answers: it’s gotten easier than ever before to apply for jobs. That means each employer will receive increasingly more applications for each job opening. The days are over where you could sit down with each candidate that passes the first round interview. You need systems in place to effectively weed out less qualified candidates before you get the one you want.

On the other hand, if you want quality talent, you need to look at how you are selling your company and industry. You can’t imagine how many industries I have worked with that consistently say they lack talent, but fail to approach recruiting as though it was a sales operation. They just assume that doing the same old thing, will produce the same results in a different world.

Why is this more important than ever to understand:

  • People can apply internationally making a much larger candidate pool
  • Average candidates for a job – 118
  • Numbers improve but their is the same amount of candidate quality in the job market.

What companies need to do:

  • how to recruit millennialsDesign structured interviews and general mental ability tests to weed out unqualified candidates
  • Analyze each part of their recruitment funnel to see where they are lagging.
    • Not enough top of the funnel? You need to market more and look at KPIs that will influence applying decisions.
    • Not enough second round quality candidates? See how you are screening in round one.


Mindset #2: People Do More Research Online Than Ever Before

how to recruit millennialsThere was a tie where people would get in their car on the weekend and go to the mall to shop at different stores to see which ones had the best price. If they were smart they would look in the newspapers, magazines and decide which store had the best price. Well, it turns out now, we are doing more research online about making certain decisions more than ever before.

Now, if you are recruiting for Millennials for a particular position and your digital presence is nil, how do you think they will respond?

Poorly of course. It might not be a deal breaker, but it definitely does that help with their decision. By researching online, people try to minimize risk in decision making.

Now, is this applicable to just Millennials? No, each generation does significantly more research online before making important decisions, but Millennials are faster adopters of this technology than their older counterparts. Hence, if you want to hire them, make sure to do extensive Google searches on your company.

Why is this more important than ever to understand:

  • People can now research insider information on companies from crowdsourced data. You can’t hide this information, but you can address it.
  • People will increase the amount of research they do online as technology becomes more efficient. Platforms will continue to reveal more information about companies, as a result, people will expect this information from companies.
  • If you don’t have a digital presence, job candidates will think you are trying to hide something.

What Companies Need to Do:

  • Have someone to monitor the company’s online reviews platforms.
  • Put up social media platforms on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at the minimum. You don’t need any fancy posts or a large following, just a few pictures of the team and some inspirational quotes should suffice.

Mindset #3: People Value Authenticity Over Professionalism

You might have noticed this on the mainstream media already, but all over the corporate world, companies are trying to appear more real to convey authenticity which leads to trust. Have you noticed that television anchors now have personalities and personal opinions on topical events more than twenty years ago? What about that younger people tune into social media platforms like Youtube, than large media outlets like Fox News or CNN? Or that Millennials trust Youtube influences more than celebrities? Regardless, there is a common thread happening where platforms are battling through who can convey the most trust through media.

How to recruit Millennials is just like sales, boils down on how to build trust.

Why is this more important than ever to understand:

  • As the social media world, the gap of trust between corporate increases.
  • A massive opportunity is arising for less progressive industrious to make decisions to tap the Millennial job market

What Companies Need to Do:

  • Provide content in the way that Millennials digest it – video
  • Avoiding high production in videos.
  • Demonstrate their realness by talking about the people in the company and their experience working there.

Jeff Butler

Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.


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