When “Help Wanted” Ads Need Help

Recruiting new employees is never easy. The challenge lies with finding the best candidate to fill a position. They must meet the company’s expectations. To help weed out the “unlikelies,” employers post job advertisements specifying what they are looking for and the responsibilities that follow. Online job ads can be a wonderful tool if done correctly. Different demographics—like a specific generation—require different forms of communication. Each generation has its own mindset regarding the workplace, which means each will have a separate checklist for job offers.   

Baby Boomers are considered workaholics based on a 60-hour work week and their reluctance to take a vacation. They work as a collective. 

Millennials view work through a contrasting lens. Most millennials want to make a difference by joining a business on a mission. Also, this generation craves guidance through a mentor, not just someone to serve. 

With such distinct perspectives, it can be tricky for one age group to cater to another. The best way to start is with the recruitment phase. According to the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, around 75% of the workforce will be from Generation Y by the year 2025. 

Keeping that in mind, here are some tricks to market careers to this group.

Jennifer King, a Human Resources analyst, has six ways to market toward a millennial in her Entrepreneur’s Organization blog. Her advice works for a variety of positions, from a corporate job to a sales clerk.

  1. Why would they want to work for you? This generation wants to love what they do and where they work. Ask current employees why they like the company and use that to your advantage. 
  2. Why does the position matter? Potential candidates do not want to feel like part of a cog. Explain how the position impacts the organization.
  3. What does the job offer them? List the valuable skills the role offers. Maybe they will be able to make professional contacts or it provides an edge for future opportunities.
  4. Are there unique benefits? Write down benefits such as flexible hours, discounts, bonus vacation days.
  5. What is your vision for that position? Explain how the position allows them to grow either personally or professionally.
  6. What is your story? Summarize your company’s story and mission, and try to relate it back to the position (see our examples below).

sample job description

Let’s combine these steps for an effective ad.

Reynolds Consumer Products is in need of a new Research and Development Engineer. In the job description, Reynolds appeals to a millennial’s need to make a difference and develop a “teamwork attitude.” They capture your attention with enthusiasm.

While informing the applicant of his/her responsibilities, this section also addresses how much of an impact the position will have and its growth potential.

The next step is figuring out where to broadcast the opening. Many millennials rely on digital job boards such as Monster or Indeed. Both sites allow users to compare multiple jobs, send in resumes and review companies. 

A business’s website serves as a secondary source for job searches. Applicants learn more about the business and where positions are available. Professional social media sites like LinkedIn are also used. LinkedIn is seen as a more polished and reliable network.

Millennials search for jobs the same way one would shop on Amazon. They compare multiple options, research the seller, and analyze critical reviews. This applies to cheap or costly expenses.  

Employers in need of a summer intern or a general manager are marketing to the same group. In the end they always select what is right for them.  

sample job description