Techniques for Recruiting Millennials

March 2, 2014 at 10:00 PM by Kathleen de Lara

headshot01Jobcast CEO and co-founder Ryan St. Germaine gives us the scoop on how to effectively reach out to the group of young adult candidates also known as millennials. In his guest post, Ryan discusses why more employers should hire Gen-Y talent and how to get them to join your team.

I connect recruiters and employers to potential candidates for a living.

Well, kind of.

Actually, I provide tools that facilitate this process, including Jobcast, a Facebook recruiting app, and BC Jobs, Western Canada's largest job board. Through my line of work, I’m privy to a ridiculously large amount of data on the state of the labor market, experiencing first hand how it’s changing, and why those changes are happening.

This feedback has made me painfully aware that my generation is slowly, but surely, being replaced by a younger, hipper group of workers. Millennials are entering the workforce en masse and they bring with them a host of new expectations and demands.

From what I've seen so far, recruiters and employers are going to have to start implementing some major shifts in their strategies if they want to stay relevant to this emerging segment of the labor market. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, though!

In fact, focusing on the unique demands of attracting millennial candidates will do wonders for bringing recruiting into the 21st century. It's a pretty exciting challenge, come to think of it.

Here are three ways that recruiting has to change in order to reach millennials:

Recruiting needs to get on Facebook.

The average millennial spends 16 hours a month on Facebook and over 80% of them use social networks every day. It makes sense that if you want to reach these candidates, you should go where they are.

But that's just part of the social recruiting story.

Not only should you go where millennials are, but you have to go where they are looking for work. That's why Facebook is your best bet for recruiting Gen-Y candidates.

Did you know that millennials are twice as likely to use Facebook in their job search as LinkedIn? A recent Jobvite survey reported that 86% of job seekers use Facebook, while only 36% use LinkedIn.

In fact, millennials are more likely to hunt for work on Twitter, or even Google+, than on LinkedIn! Yet recruiters still make LinkedIn their number one choice for sourcing those millennials. I don't know about you, but that seems pretty ineffective to me.

Recruiters need to go mobile.

Fun fact: 65% of millennials say that losing their phone would have a greater negative impact on their daily routine than losing their car!

Millennials are looking for work on social networks and they are using mobile devices to do it. In fact, around 77% of candidates use mobile for this purpose. This is especially true of millennials who fall under the category of "passive candidate," as they are already employed and aren't exactly able to use their work computer for this purpose. In addition, it’s likely they’re always on the go, whether it be walking from one meeting to the next, or riding the bus to and from work.

I know, I know. The mobile thing is old news, but I see a lot of career sites and less than one in ten of them are optimized for mobile. This is highly illogical, considering 40% of candidates will abandon the application process if it isn't mobile-friendly, and that’s not just millennials — that's all candidates.

Recruiting needs to get real.

Millennials choose to prioritize ethical values like social justice, humanitarianism, and equal rights. A whopping 75% of millennials see themselves as authentic, meaning they’re not willing to compromise their family and personal values for their careers. Even more of them (84%) state that making a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.

This generation of candidates wants to work for companies that they can be proud to be a part of. Employers should do everything they can to reflect these values in their branding.

Instead of highlighting your vacation policy, or fancy offices, focus on what makes your company unique, and how your company is making a difference. Make millennials excited to be a part of your company culture.

Hopefully this information helps you in your efforts to source, recruit, and manage millennial talent. If you have any questions about using Facebook recruiting to engage Gen-Y, give me a shout.

Happy social recruiting!

Ryan St. Germaine is the CEO and co-founder of Jobcast, a social and mobile recruiting app that builds branded career sections within Facebook Pages and helps companies reach passive candidates using Facebook. He’s a recruiting industry expert with 13 years of experience in fields including recruitment technology, employer branding, social recruiting, online marketing, and human resources.

Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or contact him at

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