Writing Job Ads For Millennials

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Twenty years ago, writing an attractive job ad may have meant referencing things like being a Fortune 500 organization, a “global leader with 10,000 employees worldwide” or a financial perk such as an employee stock purchase program when writing job ads.

Those are all impressive to an extent, but not necessarily to today’s millennial job seeker.

That’s because they look through the corporate buzz words. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, “millennials are less impressed by the sheer scale of a business, its age, or the general buzz that surrounds it. Based on a stereotypical view of millennials, the profile or ‘positive energy’ around a business might be thought of as being highly important to them.”

Millennials are not just interested in a job, the culture of the company is very important to them, says Juli Smith, President of Smith Consulting Group, an executive search firm specializing in finding opportunities for professionals in engineering, architecture and IT, and a member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices.

“If your firm volunteers and donates to charitable causes, highlight that in your advertisement,” says Smith. “If your firm gets together outside the office for social events such as club soccer or softball teams, those are all great things to showcase about your company in your ad.”

One of Smith’s civil engineering clients gives their employees the option of a treadmill desk – that’s important to the Millennial seeking to maintain a healthy style, and it shows them a company is dedicated to the health and well-being of an employee.

That’s attractive perk to reference in a job ad to the millennial job seeker.

Writing a job ad that attracts Millennials is important – but it doesn’t matter how good the ad is if they can’t find the ad.

“Most Millennials are hiding behind their mobile phones,” says Christy Hopkins, PHR, President of 4 Points Consulting, an HR consulting and recruiting firm. “If you want to find millennials, your job should be posted on a job board that has an app.”

Like ZipRecruiter, for example.

Having a section such as “Why you should work for us” in your ad (or a link to that section of your web site if ad space is tight), that highlights charitable/social involvement, cool perks the company offers (perhaps the opportunity to work from home, company-paid fitness classes, half-day Fridays, casual dress environment, and so on) can tell the job seeker more and entice that Millennial to apply for the job at your company.

The hard part though, is being sure the job ad provides enough information about the skills needed in the job, so be sure the job ad includes the key components needed to succeed in the job. Highlight the type of experience, certain skills/technologies expected, and then, describe that in the job ad.

HR consultant, management trainer and speaker Arlene Vernon commented on that in the Zip Recruiter article How to Write a Job Ad: Best Practices and Tips

“While we hope that writing an employment ad will magically attract only perfect candidates, that isn’t typically the case,” says Vernon. “I agree with writing an ad that matches your branding, is engaging and sells the company. But most important is that you write an ad that honestly and clearly describes the opportunity to prospective candidates. The ad needs to attract them to you but if there’s no substance to the posting, if they can’t understand the responsibilities after reading the ad, and if it’s too broadly written you won’t attract the right people. The objective is to write an ad where the reader says ‘this is exactly what I’m looking for and qualified to do.’”

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