Apr 28

Building a Millennial-Approved Job Description in 2017

Millennials now form the largest generation in the workforce. At this point in history, this statement shouldn’t come as a surprise. And yet, we continue to hear feedback from clients and prospects regarding their difficulties in effectively reaching and resonating with millennials.

Bottom line: A depressing job description on a shiny new platform is still a depressing job description.

Bottom line: A depressing job description on a shiny new platform is still a depressing job description.

In this post, we focus entirely on the power of a well-written job description.

Millennial Values

Millennials want work that creates value and aligns with their passions. Although they are ambitious and keen for career progression, they aren’t driven by money and don’t like the idea of a lifetime spent in one company doing boring work to pay the bills. Instead, they seek meaningful work with opportunities for personal growth, and they’ll work hard in exchange for some freedom and the flexibility that lets them enjoy their lifestyle. Think less about work/life balance and more about work/life integration.

Think less about the perfect work/life balance and more about work/life integration. Millennials are acutely aware of the amount of hard work and dedication required to achieve success. And modern technology means that work now lives in our pockets. It’s a high-touch world. It’s also a world full of dreams to travel, to positively impact the community around us, and to spend time with friends and family. Successful work/life integration provides ample flexibility to be professionally productive while living life.

Job Titles

Millennials seek clear job titles and sets of responsibilities. As this group is most likely to search for jobs online or through social media, you need to make sure that your job descriptions are headed by job titles that are clear, concise and easy to find through online searches. Trendy but obscure terms, such as Graphic Ninja or Chief Happiness Officer, aren’t going to show up in job searches for designers or customer service managers. Your potential hires are most likely searching through hundreds of jobs each day, so you need to make your job titles easy to find.

Job Descriptions

Once you’ve piqued interest and candidates have hit on your posts, the next challenge is to keep them hooked so they read on and learn more. Excessive verbosity is an instant turnoff – keep it concise. As a general rule, keep your job description under 700 words, and don’t use more than six bullets to sum up each job’s main responsibilities.

Break up text with sub-headings and bold type to make it easy to skim through and take in the main points. Millennial job seekers are most likely to read your description on a mobile device, making it more tedious to engage in endless scrolling to get down to your main points.

Job Requirements and Skills

Be clear about what the main tasks involve and the type of person who’s most likely to succeed in this role. If the job requires someone who’s highly competitive and excels in a fast-moving environment, make this clear. Avoid overusing buzzwords that can come across as patronizing and do little to describe the actual work. Some of the [most overused buzzwords include “creative” and “organizational.”

Give some space to the soft skills that are important to millennials, such as being an excellent communicator and a great team player. Don’t overemphasize the need for experience; many highly suitable candidates may have collected a mass of easily transferable skills. A bright, motivated person can learn or develop many essential skills quickly.

One of the most effective way to communicate experience requirements is to think of the collective backgrounds of your current team members. Where did they come from? How did their background shape and mold them for a successful career within your company? What parallels can you draw between your open opportunities and positions in student-driven industries like retail, restaurant, or hospitality?

Workplace Culture for Millennials

Millennials are finding it increasingly important to get a sense of the workplace culture. They want to feel that they’re joining a vibrant, fun culture that encourages an entrepreneurial approach. Include links to social media postings of the people they might be working with.

Share your company’s story – how did you get there, the direction you’re heading in and how people can join you on this journey. Millennials are keen to feel they can contribute to a company’s overall mission and make a real difference.

Highlight social or ethical work your company performs in the community and opportunities for the employees to join in beyond their office roles. Many young people are keen to buy into a complete company lifestyle that matches their own values and are prepared to go the extra mile to gain a sense of fulfillment from their value to the wider community.

Benefits and Perks

Be up-front about the things that attract and retain employees, such as perks, benefits, stimulating colleagues, opportunities for training, growth and development, a clear career path. Other benefits can include opportunities to relocate to other branches nationally and internationally.

Next Step

Make it easy to take the next step and actually apply for the job. Make sure applicants can find relevant information on your company’s website. Be clear about application procedures and deadlines. Millennials have grown up with a world of information at their fingertips, but they’ll soon lose interest and move on if they can’t find relevant information quickly and easily.

Avoid demanding, pointless cutting and pasting of information from resumes into fields. Instead, make it easy to upload a resume. Add some screening questions, such as asking about the applicant’s reasons for applying for the job, can help you identify weaker candidates.

Millennials live a lot of their lives through social media. If they have a bad experience applying to work for your company, you won’t just lose their goodwill – they’re likely to share their feelings with their social networks, which could deter others from applying. Even if they’re unsuccessful in their applications, make sure they speak well of their interactions with your company.

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