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How to Sell a Millennial With Your Job Description

How to Sell a Millennial With Your Job Description

It’s no secret that most job descriptions are awful. They make the hiring company sound boring and the work tedious.

This could be a real problem for employers when they try to hire Generation Y Millennials. While some managers and recruiters are fed up with the stereotypically whiny and self-entitled “Trophy Kids”, Generation Y is predicted to comprise nearly 75% of the world’s workforce by 2025, according to a study by the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. Companies will eventually be fighting for the best of them, so start using the job description to court talented millennials.

Here are six ways employers can tweak job descriptions to attract Gen Y:

1. Tell them why they should want to work for you. This is your company’s opportunity to make job seekers fall head over heels in love with you and the open position. Millennials don’t just want to crank out work and check off items on a to-do list. They want to love the company they work for, and hiring managers can use the job description to get them excited.

2. Tell them why the position matters. Understanding how my job contributes to the organization is one of the biggest motivators for me and my Gen Y colleagues. Make sure the job descriptions describes where the position falls within the company, how the candidate could make an impact, and where it fits in the grand scheme of things.

3.  Talk about what the job could do for them. Aside from a salary and benefits, how would they benefit from the position? What skills might they gain, what professional connections can they make, and why would this position make them more desirable candidates when they start looking for their next jobs?

4. Tell them about your creative benefits. Does your company offer any extra, exciting benefits, like flexible work hours or gym membership reimbursement? Be sure to mention those creative perks (no matter how small) in your job description.

5. Tell them about your vision for the position. While millennials may not envision working the same job for decades, it’s important that we work for a company where we could envision ourselves growing and contributing for several years. We want the job description to reflect that same sort of vision for the candidate who ultimately fills the position.

6. Tell your company story, quickly. Your company has a story. Tell a brief version of that story within your job description to quickly convey your company’s mission and how it came to be as it pertains to the kind of applicant you’re looking for.

What do you think Gen Y talent want in a job description?

Jennifer King is an HR Analyst for, a company that compares and reviews human resources software. Read her full post on her HR blog:

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  1. By job description, I assume you mean job ad? A job description in the UK at least is simply an organisation’s internal working document that acts as a checklist of duties and responsibilities. A job ad on the other hand should do all of the things you describe, but not just when trying to reach out to Gen Yers, but to everyone who might read it.

    Indeed, the article makes me laugh because you make it almost sound as if this is some kind of new and revolutionary notion – that job ads (not descriptions) have hitherto always been bland and boring. The fact is though, that the bland and boring job posts you can see so regularly online these days are in fact a relatively new phenomenon, borne out of the relentless march of technology that has made it easier and easier for anyone to post a boring, often grammatically appalling job ad online with little or no forethought. Cut & paste a few tired lines from the job description HR gave you, click send and hey presto! yet another dull job ad is born.

    With any advertising and with any audience, you have to have a message that appeals to the reader. Otherwise why would the car companies or retailers spend millions on doing so? What you have described above shouldn’t be the exception, it should be the rule. Humans are driven by their emotions. They need a job ad to reach out and talk to them in a tone that really makes them relate to the organisation and the job, just as they see a product ad and react accordingly. Too many people have made recruitment a transaction that involves no creativity of thought, but merely an exercise in posting any old copy to a few job boards and letting the aggregators do the rest. is it any wonder that your response is poor when your job ad (not description) has all the allure of a dead sheep?

  2. Great advice! Candidates are motived by many different factors, and including any information that may help someone make the decision to apply is a strategy that we agree with!

  3. Jennifer this is a great article. We are actually revamping our approach to our Gen-Y summer staff. We hire close to 600 staff each summer and about 90% of them are Gen-Y. Thank you for the 6 bullet points.

  4. Ah, an article from a fellow Gen Y who gets it. Great post Jen! I’m just in the works of doing something related (yet different, in that it dissects the traditional job description). Many times, the job description will determine whether or not I will apply to a company at all. I judge organizations based on their descriptions! A company whose writing is fresh and informal comes across as much more liberal, fun, and progressive than one whose writing is stuffy, boring, and uninspired.

  5. Derrick V. Joles

    Great post! It is always great to have more people dropping by your websites, and your post should come handy for getting more people to drop by.

  6. This is very important especially to those who are not familiar with the things about getting a job for themselves..Great help!

  7. There are some important points in this post, and not just for courting Millennials. Any company can benefit from the increased employee loyalty and reduced turnover that can result from a more employee-centric company culture.

  8. These are points hiring personnel should consider when writing up a job description for any type of person, not just gen Y people.

    I think too many companies think all they ned to do is state the title of the job and the best will automatically flock to them.

  9. With so many people looking for work it might sound strange to have an article about how to court employees. However, as the market turns around the companies who planned ahead for this will be the winners.
    Good points here.

  10. I hope employers read this blog article. I know this isn’t happening very much in the real world. I also think the competition for such few jobs is fierce, thus not making this a priority for many companies. Maybe generation Y needs to come prepared to ask these questions of the employer.

  11. This is the first time I’ve seen this information. I would love to see new ads by employers using these ideas.

  12. I think these are good words of advice for any person searching for a job. Matching the skills of the candidate with the potential or growth of the company means that the candidate and the company will benefit from such advice and knowledge. Maybe Generation Y would benefit from a few good classes to help them get a handle on the workplace and how it functions and serve their purposes.

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