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All I Want for Christmas… Is To Know How To Communicate With Millennials

What do millennials look for in job ads? It’s probably not what you think. A key question for employers is how to communicate with and attract millennial talent. During Q4 of 2018, a research study was commissioned by TalVista and conducted by Liz Kofman, Ph.D. The study examined what attracts–and what discourages–millennials from job posts. Here’s what the research uncovered:

  • They have negative associations with start-up culture, even more than applicants from older generations.  
  • Applicants across generations, including millennials, prefer jobs that highlight a growth mindset compared to postings that are looking for innate talent.
  • They prefer diversity statements in postings that are unique and come from company leadership versus legalistic ones.
  • The top benefit millennials are looking for in an employer is stability.

Millennials are attracted to companies that will help them learn and grow

Millennials are 20% more likely to say they’ll enjoy a job when the job description includes a growth mindset (highlighting growth, learning, and development opportunities). They are 25% more likely to view a company as a great place to work when a growth mindset is used in the posting. The study found that it’s not only women who are looking for jobs that express a growth mindset, as reflected in other studies. In fact, both male and female millennials from diverse backgrounds also look for growth opportunities, rather than being exploited for the skills they already have (i.e. job ads that use terms like top talent, expert, ideal candidate, best of the best, etc.).

Millennials prefer a unique diversity statement over a compliance-driven one

It is quite common and is already seen as a positive step in the right direction for job descriptions to include a “diversity statement.” The study also focused on the impact of diversity statements within postings. It identified that when standard statements were taken directly from legal they were found to be dry and unappealing. Millennials want to hear from company leadership. They want to understand leadership’s unique approach and commitment to diversity. When a diversity statement is authored by the CEO or a VP, millennials are 10% more likely to see themselves in the role and say that the company would be a great place to work.  In a time of record-low unemployment, companies need every advantage they can to attract qualified talent. Improving the diversity statement will increase your pool of candidates by percentage points. 

Millennials have a negative association with start-up culture and jargon

Companies try to mimic the tech industry in job posts by using terms like disrupt, fast-paced, and scrappy in an attempt to attract millennials. The research indicates that these words actually turn off this group. In fact, this group has a more negative association with the term “Silicon Valley” than even older generations.

Millennials are drawn to stability above all other benefits

Of the 9 benefits included in the study, stability had the highest score among millennials. This is followed only by benefits associated with flexibility. Millennials are often stereotyped as jumping from job to job. The fact is, that may be more of a problem with the nature of the economy or company than an actual preference.

For more information, visit www.talvista.com