Recruitment Marketing to Millennials: How to Connect with a Connected Generation

Sheridan Gaenger
December 22 ․ 10 min read

recruitment-marketing-to-millennialsThe modern workplace belongs to millennials. The generation is expected to comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2020¹. Is your company ready for this demographic wave that is already in progress?

Much has been reported about the habits of millennials, individuals born roughly in the last two decades of the 20th century, and who were exposed to computers and cellphones from an early point in their lives. This unique group of people communicates and behaves in and outside of the workplace differently than previous generations.

To understand how to recruit millennials (as well as the oncoming Generation Z—loosely defined as anyone born this century), we must understand how this group approaches not only the workplace, but also their overall careers. We must also understand the technology millennials use and which channels they prefer to connect with potential employers. Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research, writing about how text messaging has become an important part of recruitment marketing, perhaps says it best: “This group craves a more direct, personal interaction with a real person. Anyone that has recruited someone from the millennial generation knows this to be true.”²

Hiring departments must solve the challenge of effectively recruiting millennials—a generation that is transforming and improving the workplace.

About Millennials

The exact definition of who a millennial is varies depending on the research organization interpreting the U.S. Census numbers. What isn’t in dispute is that millennials comprise the largest segment of the U.S. population:



75.4 million

Generation X


66 million

Baby Boomers


74.9 million

Silent Generation


28 million

Source: U.S. Census 2015 estimates, Pew Research³

Moreover, some researchers extend the millennial generation to 2000 or even 2005, thus flooding the demographic with even more people. And it goes without saying: Millennials now comprise the largest segment of the U.S. workforce.

Millennials and Recruitment Technology

One thing that defines millennials is their embrace of technology. Consider these realities:

  • Someone born in the early 1990s likely doesn’t remember a time without email or the Internet.
  • Someone born in the mid-1990s may have yet to fill out a paper job application or sent a physical resume through snail mail to a potential employer.
  • Someone born in the late 1990s has no experience with how people communicated without cell phones, texting, or social media.

Moreover, with technology still evolving, the preferred media and applications used by millennials not even a few years ago may have already been replaced. For example, a millennial job candidate today may:

  1. Read about an opening on his Notebook
  2. FaceTime with a recruiter
  3. Share a resume from Dropbox
  4. Set a calendar reminder for an in-person interview on his smart watch
  5. Take a Lyft to the interview
  6. Upload PDFs of key hiring documents to an online site
  7. Tweet what a great experience he had, and ...
  8. Instagram a selfie of himself at his desk on his first day

The average baby boomer—and possibly a good chunk of Gen Xers—may have little or no idea of what just transpired with every step of this example. But for a millennial, this series of events is simply par for the course.

Another takeaway from this scenario is that typical recruiting strategies may not be as relevant as they once were. Hiring departments must market to millennials in all the channels they most frequent—the omni-channel. Recruiters also must provide a seamless process, assisted by technology:

  • Sourcing solutions optimize job board postings and allow recruiters to post to dozens—even hundreds or thousands—of millennial-frequented boards at once.
  • Social recruiting and content platforms empower recruiting departments to post to social media and establish a presence with candidates.
  • Career sites offer a portal to learn more about a company and to apply.
  • Nurturing software facilitates candidate touch points at all phases of the hiring process.
  • Candidate relationship management (CRM) solutions give applicants a means to know exactly where they are in the process.
  • Online skill assessments test candidates skills before hire.
  • An applicant tracking system (ATS) moves candidates (and employers) seamlessly through each hiring stage and procedure, including onboarding.
  • Employee advocacy software encourages new hires to become evangelists for the employer brand.

Much of this technology was unthinkable a couple decades ago; now it is not only welcomed, but also expected and demanded by the millennial generation.

Learn more in our latest ebook, “Recruitment Marketing to Millennials: How to  Connect with a Connected Generation »


Recruitment marketing to millennials

1. “By the Year 2020, Almost Half of the Workforce Will Be Made Up of These People.” 

2. “Your Secret Weapon for Starting a Conversation with On-Demand Candidates.” Ben Eubanks, Employment Metrix blog; Nov. 10, 2016.

3. “Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation.” Washington Post, April 25, 2016.