An Over 30’s Guide to Recruiting Millennials

Millennials are changing the way top companies are recruiting. Here are the top 3 questions to expect when recruiting Millennials.

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There’s a new, young generation infiltrating the workforce, and they’re changing the way top companies are recruiting. Though Millennials have a pervasive reputation of entitlement, they now comprise one-third of the US workforce, and that’s proving to be a good thing. Their ideas of a positive work environment go way beyond pescatarian lunch options and bean bag chairs. In a recent study conducted by Project: Time Off, over 40% of those who identified as “work martyrs” were Millennials, even though they only made up 29% of the participants surveyed. “Work martyrs” are defined as those who feel dedicated to their companies, proud of their work, and take less vacation time than the rest of the workforce. Appeasing this generation might just be worth your while. We got together with William Tincup, the president of, to talk about the future of hiring top talent — specifically recruiting Millennials.

What Millennials Want

The first thing to know about Millennials is this: they do not take chances on their careers. Before they even apply for the job you posted, they will conduct thorough research on your company. They want to know about the CEO, benefits, environment, and if room exists for professional growth. They want to know: will I be successful here? Will superiors listen to my ideas? Can I bring my pet dog/cat/lizard? They’re going to check reviews on Glassdoor and contact former employees to get the dish.

Recruiting Millennials: The Interview

If you pass their initial background check and receive an impressive application, be ready for the interview. Gone are the days when candidates passively try to appease the employer. These Millennials have hard objectives and they are thinly veiled. Tincup lets us in on the three main questions to expect from a Millennial candidate:

  1. “What’s next?” They are not satisfied with the security of a new position; what they want to know about is internal mobility. Is there room for them to grow or is this a dead end? Which brings us to…
  2. “How will you develop my skills?” We’re talking about top talent here. They know they’re good, and they also know where they need work. These recruits want training and the promise of growth. Nearly half (45%) of recent college grads will leave their jobs in under two years. They tend to move on when they feel they’ve stopped learning and their growth has plateaued. Give them a reason to stick around.
  3. “What’s your protocol for recognition/praise?” We all know that healthy competition and praise promotes productivity among employees. In fact, 23% of Millennials won’t even take time off because they want to impress their superiors and earn the title of competitive. Company-wide recognition is an easy and cheap way to boost productivity, give employees what they want, and part of the secret to recruiting Millennials.

Give Them Room to Grow

This generation has a very different relationship with work than, say, Baby Boomers. There are several reasons why this may be the case, but many believe it’s mainly due to recent trends in technology. Emails go directly to phones and apple watches, and 55% of Millennials report checking in on their work during vacation (compared to just 31% of the rest of the workforce).

Because of their work martyrdom, many in this generation look for more than just surface-level perks at their job. They want success, personal growth, recognition, and self-actualization. The promise of these things will go a long way to boost productivity, much further than free food. To appeal to these young and committed job-seekers, prepare your recruitment team to answer the aforementioned top three Millennial questions. Consider creating a system of fluid internal mobility. And finally, leave room for them to grow and your company will flourish with them.

This was originally published on January 18th, 2018 and has been updated.

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