Attracting Millennial Candidates

Adverto Insights

By the year 2030, millenials are expected to make up 75% of the U.S. workforce. The reality is, employers simply can't afford to ignore this segment of talent. In this blog we explore the qualities that millennials look for in an employer, suggesting ways to leverage these themes in building EVP messaging for a millennial audience.

Brooke White, Senior Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Senior Employer Brand Specialist

Attracting Millennial Candidates

The term ‘Millennials’ has become somewhat of a buzz word in recruitment over the past few years. Employers are more actively seeking them out, and even building strategies specific to this generation of talent.

Where some of the older generations have stereotyped them as entitled, tough to manage, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused, and lazy – many are appreciating millennials as simply misunderstood. According to Morris Creative, millennials are master multi-taskers, thoughtful researchers, tech-savvy, ‘famously frank’, and creative problem-solvers - all qualities that position them as attractive and valuable candidates.

So, how do we attract them?


Along with their unique characteristic traits, millennials also share similar values when considering a new employer. Although your organization may not possess all of these qualities, it’s important to pick a few that you do well and use them to build your employee value proposition messaging.

They crave meaningful work.
Millennials are on a constant search for meaning, and they’re demanding it more than ever. The better you can educate employees about why your company exists and what it’s doing to help others, the better chance you have at retaining young talent. (Grovo)

According to UNC, millennials prioritize meaningful work over high pay. In a recent survey, 30% of millennial respondents noted meaningful work as the most important factor in searching for a new role. In this same study, 25% of respondents valued a sense of accomplishment on the kind of work they do.

They value trust and autonomy.
Millennials know success comes from putting in the effort to get outstanding results – regardless of where they’re working from, when they’re getting it done, and what they’re wearing. Millennials understand that there’s always a faster, smarter, better way to do things. They’re work-smart over work-hard employees, always on the lookout for workarounds and ways to improve efficiency. (Grovo)

The opportunity to learn, grow, and advance.
Millennials want to learn and grow with the company they work for. Often times, the reason they hop from employer to employer is because they aren’t provided with the opportunity they crave. Millennials are career-driven, and they need an employer that can match their ambition with opportunity.

In the same survey, UNC reported:

  • 52% of millennials said opportunities for career progression made an employer attractive.
  • 65% said the opportunity for personal development was the most influential factor in the current job.
  • 22% saw training and development as the most valued benefit from an employer.

Flexibility with the stability of full-time employment.
In line with autonomy, millennials value flexibility from their employer through full-time employment. According to Quantum Workplace, on average 74% of millennials wanted the option to work remote, which was almost 10% higher than baby boomers.

Not only is flexibility “nice to have,” but it significantly impacts employee engagement, performance and retention. In highly flexible working environments, the difference between those who see themselves leaving within two years (35%) is just two points above those anticipating staying beyond five years (33%) – among those in the least-flexible organizations, there is an 18-point gap (45% vs. 27%). (Deloitte)

An organization that is moral, responsible, and ethical.
The UNC study cited earlier, reported that 78% of millennials believe that companies have a responsibility to make the world a better place Where today, only 48% of millennials believe businesses both behave ethically, and possess leadership that is committed to improving society. This highlights a strong gap between what millennials believe responsible businesses should achieve and what they perceive businesses’ actual priorities to be. (Deloitte)

An organization that’s transparent, diverse, and inclusive.
Finally, millennials value workplaces that practice open, honest and simple communication, where new ideas are encouraged and respected. Where previous generations focused on religion or specific demographics to create a diverse workplace, millennials consider individual identities, unique experiences and viewpoints to define diversity and seek to do more than just fill workplace quotas. The generation is similarly reshaping views on inclusion. Where prior generations place emphasis on fairness, equity, tolerance and acceptance, millennials are moving towards a deeper connection. They value the exchange of ideas via cultural connections, are attracted to environments where true teamwork is embraced and are driven by their shared successes and overall business impact. (BizJournals)

Regardless of how you view them, millennials make up a huge part of our talent market. By the year 2030, they’re actually expected to make up 75% of the U.S. workforce. The reality is, employers simply can't afford to ignore this segment of talent.

By taking the time to articulate an employee value proposition that resonates with millennials, employers can begin to leverage this large and extremely valuable talent segment.

For support in building your millennial talent strategy, reach out to our team for a consult!