The Why and How of Recruiting Millennials

July 24th, 2019 by Mitchell Sullivan

Millennials, also known as Generation Y (or Gen Y), are typically categorised as those who are born from the early 1980s up until the mid-1990s as ending birth years (although this can vary depending on the source). You’ve probably heard a lot about them in the media, and it’s not always positive.

They are frequently defined as the lazy, strange and narcissistic generation by those preceding them. But, regardless of what you or others may feel about them and their work ethic, they are not only here to stay, they are here to dominate the job market.

By the year 2025 Millennials will make up to 75% of the total global workforce. They are your future employees, your customers, your competitors and your company’s future. If you want to succeed in the long run, appealing to and recruiting millennials, may be the only survival option for businesses.

Despite their criticism, millennials have their positives. Millennials are open to change, they are upbeat, liberal, self-expressive and confident about their wants/needs. It is those wants/needs that differ from previous generations. The phrase “live to work” died when this generation came to age and with it their work preferences. Appealing to that preference is the key to attracting millennials.

How do you recruit millennials? 

  1. Tell Your Story.

    Millennials, unlike previous generations, are built on emotional intelligence. They are swayed more by the who, what and why you exist as a company – rather than simply the promise of a weekly paycheck.  According to a recent article in Forbes, “millennials will only interact with brands that are open and transparent, stand for more than their bottom line, and address environmental and socioeconomic issues in the community.” 

     While you don’t have to be the Mother Teresa of business, you do have to showcase who you are and unfortunately for businesses, the internet doesn’t always make that easy. 

     Every online review, photo upload and comment you’ve made on social media is all used to paint a wider picture of your company’s story. If you’re not actively involved in helping to paint that image, the only information about you millennials have to go by is online reviews. 

     Take control of your story, tell and show who you are – but most importantly, be authentic when you do. Respond to online reviews, be active on social media and document your workplace when you can. You will find millennials who connect with your ‘why’ will connect with you. 

    Young workers working together

  2. Improve Company Culture

    A great company culture isn’t about offering free lunches, having a pool table or hosting a bring your dog to work day (although all of these are pretty cool). Defining how a great company culture looks can be difficult, especially as it can be classified more as a feeling as opposed to tangible elements. There are however a few signs to look for. 

    First, analyse your company. Do you have high employee turnover? Are your mission and values clear? Do you provide ongoing professional development opportunities? Are you diverse? Do you place emphasis on employee wellbeing? 

    Company culture means something different to everyone with different elements holding a different weight of importance. One thing is clear, millennials expect companies to strive to be better towards their employees and will dismiss you if otherwise shown. Create a supportive, open and collaborative environment that promotes individualism.

  3. Offer Work-Life Balance

According to research from professional services firm, Towers Watson, “Employees suffering from high stress levels have lower engagement, are less productive and have higher absenteeism levels than those not working under excessive pressure”.

Society is constantly being bombarded with new stresses – with family commitments, working hours and money woes topping the list. And, these have only gotten more difficult as the decades pass. 

More than anything else listed, millennials desire to work to live – so provide them the opportunity to do so. Be modern with your working arrangements, allow for remote work opportunities and provide flexible hours to those who need/desire it. 

What are the benefits to an employer offering work-life balance? 

  • Enhanced employee morale, engagement, and loyalty to the organisation.
  • Lower absenteeism.
  • Ability to recruit and retain employees.
  • Reduced turnover of staff.
  • Allows people to work when they desire and most efficiently (e.g. morning person vs. night person).
  • Able to potentially extend the hours of operation for departments such as customer service.

(Source: The Balance Careers). 


Your future employees are not only likely to be millennials, but your customers as well. Consider adopting these modern approaches to your workplace to attract and recruit millennials. You may just find that your bottom-line improves along with it.  


In summary, recruiting Millenials is possible through these steps:

1) Tell your story


2) Improve Company Culture


3) Offer Work-Life Balance



If you enjoyed reading this then why not dive deeper into more tips for recruiters. 

- How Businesses Can Conduct Great Interviews 

- Why You Need Interns and How To Find Them 

- Why building Trust Is Important For Recruiters 

- Six Tips For Employers When Working With A Recruitment Agency