Dude, Where’s My 401k? Millennial Talent Acquisition is Not One Size Fits All

Dude, Where’s My 401k? Millennial Talent Acquisition is Not One Size Fits All

You’ve read about them, seen their selfies, or maybe you’ve been called one: The Big M, Millennial. Not that long ago it was believed millennials’ sole motivation was beer and foosball, but evidence to the contrary has been popping up all over the internet.

It turns out it’s not all about fun work events, happy hours, or standing desks. Good benefits, solid compensation, and respectable time off policies are attractive to millennials. But to really attract quality millennial candidates, you need to drill down.

Millennials span in age 20 years. Though the exact years are debatable, millennials are largely classified by people born between 1980 and 2000. They range in age from 15-35 years old. Priorities change drastically from 15 to 25 to 35 and as your candidates grow, they look for different things in their next job. Applying the same recruitment marketing strategy to millennials as a whole doesn’t make sense.

Applying the same recruitment marketing strategy to millennials as a whole doesn’t make sense.

Millennials closer to the end of the spectrum are leaders in their field (think: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg). Many are married, have children, own a house, have paid off most student debt, and are go-getter professionals. On the other hand, millennials in their mid to late teen years or early twenties are still in high school or college, pursuing other educational endeavors or in the military, and they may not have a solid career focus.

Currently in 2015, there are 75.3 million millennials and they have now surpassed the 74.9 million baby boomer generation. That means about one-third of the labor force are millennials, which equals about 50 million people. The result: millions of young men and women are searching for jobs.

So how can recruiters attract the right millennial for them? Start by figuring out where in the millennial spectrum your target audience falls. Then you can find out what they want and what you can offer them.

Young Millennials (age 15-18)

What do they want?

A fun and social work environment.

Things you can offer them:

Young Millennials (YMs) are entering into the professional world for the first time. They are still living under their parent’s roof and are covered by their parent’s insurance. They are more interested in how they’ll pass the time at work then how their job can support them financially. To attract YMs you need to appeal to their need to socialize. If you are in the retail or service industry, talk about the opportunities employees have to interact with customers and make a difference. You can also highlight teamwork and the camaraderie that develops out of working closely together.

Mid Millennials (19-22)

What do they want?

Mentorship and tuition assistance.

Things you can offer them:

Whether they are in college and working part-time or they have already entered the workforce, Mid Millennials (MMs) are still very new to working a job. They may have an idea of what they are interested in, but they are definitely still looking for guidance from experienced professionals. To appeal to MMs, highlight any mentorship programs you have where MMs can learn from leaders in their field. Additionally, MMs put a high value on companies that can offer tuition assistance.

Professional Millennials (23-28)

What do they want?

Freedom to take risks and the resources to do so.

Things you can offer them:

Professional Millennials (PMs) are beginning to learn about their work preferences, what kind of worker they are and what tasks they do and do not excel at. They look for jobs where their ideas will not only be heard but will be encouraged and supported. Appeal to PMs by highlighting any innovative work development programs you offer, out-of-the-box projects employees have produced on work time, and employee testimonials to validate the progressive work culture.

Experienced Millennials (28-35)

What do they want?

Opportunities to share their professional experience and a solid benefits package.

Things you can offer them:

Entice Experienced Millennials (EMs) by highlighting any mentorship opportunities you have in which the EM can mentor a newer co-worker. Mentoring can provide them with a deeper connection to their job, which is a desirable quality EMs look for. In addition, many EMs are in a stage in their life that focuses on family; they are getting married and having children. Offering dependent care benefits and a solid retirement plan can sweeten the deal for EMs.

When it comes to millennials, there is not a one size fits all solution to talent acquisition. You need to build a strategy that speaks to your specific candidate. That means taking into account their age, wants and what you can offer them.

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Katherine Rupp
Written by Katherine Rupp

Katherine is an Operations Strategist (fancy words for saying she works with HTML) and Content Marketing Specialist at TMP Worldwide Chicago. She previously worked at a magazine in Des Moines, Iowa, before subsequently moving to Chicago. When she’s not strategizing operations at work, Katherine writes for a soccer website. Find Katherine on Twitter at @KatherineRupp or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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  1. Pingback: What Matters Most: Millennials Discuss Job Must-Haves

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