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Top Job Search Channels for Millennials in 2021

A woman using several smart devices
There is a marked difference between how millennials search for job opportunities and how older generations did. For one thing, the former are more innovative and can adapt quickly to change. This attitude has a direct impact on the methods they utilize when looking for and applying for certain jobs. Therefore, what may seem normal to Baby Boomers, may seem irrelevant to professionals who are 20+ years of age and who got their first cell phone as children. Since this generation grew up with the internet, when they need a job, they usually search for options online. Needless to say, recruitment agencies or companies that fail to adjust to those habits and preferences can place themselves at a severe competitive disadvantage. This is important because millennials are not just the largest segment of the workforce, they are also the fastest growing one. In fact, by 2025, this generation is projected to make about 75% of all US workers!  However, unlike previous generations, which were dependent on the Classified sections of newspapers, this generation is spoiled for choice. In other words, the hiring process is no longer transactional. Today, job seekers, millennials, in particular, are searching for jobs based on their unique skill sets, and not what a company is looking for per se. They relish personal interaction that can get them targeted answers so they prefer recruiters who reach out to them rather than the other way around. This observation is based on fact. According to a LinkedIn survey that examined more than 13,000 millennials, 93% were interested in new job opportunities and 66% were interested in discussing their options with a recruiter. A Deloitte Millennial Survey also found that attracting and retaining this generation begins with financial rewards and workplace culture. However, those options will only bear fruit if they are presented on a platform that millennials use frequently to look for jobs and research companies.  According to a survey, this includes:

Job Boards (65%)

The survey found that a large number of millennials still look to job boards for career opportunities. However, boards that use language that appeals to their mindset attract them the most, particularly corporate buzzwords. According to a Deloitte survey, this generation is less impressed by the scale or the buzz surrounding an organization. Rather, they are interested in the ‘energy’ it exudes. Job boards that highlight this can increase their chances of attracting this generation.
Take Wavely, for instance: The job recruitment site uses terms that would appeal to this generation, particularly the word ‘personal’ and ‘people-driven’.

Company Website (44%)

The same is the case with company websites. A site that uses certain buzzwords on their recruitment pages is more likely to get candidates. Take Buzzfeed’s Jobs page for instance: Right on the job page, the company not only promises millennial job searchers a chance to network with experienced colleagues, but also perks that offer a relaxed work environment as opposed to a stringent corporate one. In other words, it offers the exact values that millennials would love to work for – an organization that values their contributions and their mental/physical health as well.

Social Media Channels (62%)

For young adults, such as millennials, social media is more than just a tool for chatting. It also gives them the opportunity to create, innovate and monetize. According to Digital Dealer, 62% of millennials visit company social media sites for job opportunities. As an online and mobile generation, they will look for opportunities wherever they can find them with this platform being a go-to option, particularly ones that are updated regularly and are engaging. It shows this involved generation if the company is worth investing in. Take Nike’s social media campaign, for instance. The brand is wel- known for the exciting stunts it pulls on social and each is connected to a higher purpose. Take its #Breaking2 campaign, for instance. Nike’s Zoom Superfly Elite shoes allowed Eliud Kipchoge to break the 2-hour marathon barrier. The attempt was beautiful to watch and a thrilling achievement not just for the athlete and brand, but for spectators/potential customers. Stunts like these that connect the buyer mindset to a higher purpose to elicit an emotional and sustainable connection is what millennials crave. This is backed by fact. According to Comparably, Nike is considered a great place to work for millennials since it offers mentorship programs and work/life balance.

Printed Media (24%)

Millennials grew up with almost every media channel at our disposal besides digital and this includes print media. The generation is adept at ignoring things that do not interest them as well. According to a customer focus study, half of them ignore digital advertising in favor of direct mail and print advertising. With the web saturated with content that seems as if it is on repeat, they are distrustful of online content. Personal ads that are printed are more valued because of their emotional and evocative nature. The physicality of print offers a reprieve from laptop and tablet screens. Take email, for example. Recruiters may think they are saving time by sending the same template to each candidate, but they are doing more harm than good. Since it is so inexpensive to deploy, it is overused as a recruiting and marketing tactic, which ultimately leads to message fatigue, especially for this generation. They already receive hundreds of unsolicited emails daily so it is little wonder why they ignore most of them. Print ads, on the other hand, offer a refreshing and tactile change, which can serve well for recruiters.

Millennials Prefer Professional Support

While millennials are independent by nature, compared to older generations, they are not averse to asking for help when it comes to their careers. Some of the people they ask for advice for include:

Family Members

When it comes to big decisions, such as changing jobs and finance management, millennials usually turn to people who have raised them for advice. According to a survey, 71% admit that they turn to family members to discuss money matters. Many more believe that these people are in much better positions to give them said advice because they know they have their best interests at heart.

Past and Experienced Colleagues

Even if Baby Boomers are not as tech-savvy as millennials, they have senior job experience that the younger generation lacks and appreciates. The former has had more years in the job market compared to the latter and with it comes a plethora of experiences that young adults may not have had in the job market as of yet. In particular, they gravitate towards co-workers who not only teach them the ropes, but who are also willing to learn from them. Take this remarkable account by Holly Mullen, a 61-year-old Baby Boomer and how she learned from her millennial team members and the things they taught her. As an experienced editor and writer who has worked for dozens of notable publications, Mullen used her experiences to teach a millennial co-worker and learned several tech skills from him as well. In her own words, “whatever creative and problem-solving skills I share as a mentor seem to come back to me ten-fold because I am growing too.” That entire blog is a smart recruitment ad for young candidates who share her vision of ensuring every woman gets equal pay and to encourage gender diversity in the workplace. It’s a call to arms and an anthem that the enterprising millennial mindset covets above all else. In other words, this generation also gravitates to fellow employees who have the experience, mindset and skillset to inspire them. Those are the individuals they seek before they make an important decision, and career choices are a priority.

Career Coaches

Most millennials do not seek out career coaching because they don’t realize they need it, are too confident in their own skills and most importantly, don’t trust coaches. They assume that if they needed it, they would have received it already. Additionally, employers don’t invest in career coaching for millennial candidates because they search for candidates who can hit the ground running. Unfortunately, this creates a dilemma. The job market is saturated with inexperienced millennial job seekers who are ill-equipped to handle corporate tasks. As such, many are ignored for promotions, which often go to older colleagues. Plus, several are also shown the door for behavior that employers think is lazy. It is little wonder why this generation is actively avoiding older advisors or refusing to work for managers who measure their skills with the same yard stick as employees who have years of experience in the workforce. Many also skip college career centers because of the same reason. According to the same resource, millennials look for career coaching resources that are:
  • Presided over by ‘hip’ or friendly industry experts who can treat them like adults.
  • Free or inexpensive.
  • Available online with 24/7 access.
  • In video form rather than a presentation.
In other words, as an allegedly self-sufficient and forward-thinking generation, millennials actively search for career platforms that can enhance their strengths according to their preferences and needs. This is understandable today when this tech-savvy generation knows that they can get more of their time and money’s worth with a simple Google search. The traditional form of coaching, which employed a face-to-face model is outdated and inefficient. Video career coaching is the new norm because it eliminates geographical and economic barriers without increasing the price. As such, this generation is hiring career coaches who are their own age. They want to have conversations with people who are willing to understand them from their personal perspective rather than what society expects them to conform to. For millennials, coaching is a form of leadership that has an impact on not only their career, but also how they perceive and shape their lives according to them. The best ones are those who can maintain an open dialogue with this generation, not by promising them exact answers, but giving them food for thought to inspire them to take the right action. In its essence, career coaches who can become ‘thought partners’ with them have more chances of influencing the millennial mindset than the rigid ones can.


According to studies, candidates who are referred by an employee are 8 times more likely to get hired by organizations. However, despite that, 40% of millennials say they avoid that when they are searching for jobs. Needless to say, employers will take issue with this because to them, candidates are a blank slate. A resume can tell them what you have achieved, but not if the one they are interviewing is motivated enough to be an asset to their organization. That is not to say that this generation is falling behind in the competitive job market. As an inherently independent, self-serving (in a good way) and data-savvy generation, millennials take their future into their own hands. That is why they prefer to search online on chat rooms and niche boards that list statewide jobs. They naturally gravitate towards positions they are interested in that display clear job descriptions, which they can scroll through quickly. They search for descriptions that can connect with them on a personal and professional level and relates to their interests. Companies that maintain active and creative job boards online will have a higher chance of attracting and retaining such candidates.

The Bottom Line – Accommodate Millennial Job Searchers To Acquire A Sustainable and Happier Workforce

Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that millennials switch jobs at the drop of a hat. The generation prior to this one stayed with employers for an average of 5 years and that figure has only dropped to 4.2 in recent years. So what has changed and how did it cause this drop in loyalty and what can employers/recruiters do to ensure millennials stay for equally longer periods of time? Join Wavely and make your interaction with them easier. Wavely is a mobile and online job portal that offers employers direct contact with potential employees and vice versa.
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