How Job Seekers Today Differ From Past Generations

Gina Deveney
Posted by in Human Resources

Baby boomers may be doing much of the hiring these days, but they have quite a few adjustments to make when it comes to recruiting those born in the 1980s and 1990s. Millennial job seekers have different attitudes toward work and job searches than their parents and grandparents. Take a look at how the key differences job seekers face might impact your ability to hire and keep millenials on the job.

Millennials' Attitudes Toward Work

Millennial job seekers may be surprisingly optimistic when it comes to looking for work, especially given the statistics that show they are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than other generations. Many of them grew up hearing they could be anything they wanted, and they took those words to heart, often placing their happiness at a job above other criteria. Millennial job seekers tend to be choosy about all aspects of a potential job and are ready to jump to a new and exciting possibility much more quickly than their baby boomer elders. In addition, millennials have grown up expecting technology to change radically every few years, making their lives easier with each radical shift. As a result, they have a looser attitude about what it means to work, and they may see no reason to come to a desk every day if they can accomplish the same tasks out of the office.

Recruiting Millennial Job Seekers

While job seekers of all generations now use the Internet to search for jobs, one key difference between these job seekers and their parents is that millennials are far more likely than their elders to dive into social media networks as part of the job search. Recruiters hoping to hire these young and optimistic workers would do well to maintain an active social media presence and incorporate some of these networks into their recruiting plans.

Retaining Millennial Job Seekers

Because millennials feel less tethered to their desks thanks to technological advances, it's important for managers to consider how to open up the working environment, creating possibilities for remote work and time shifting. Millennials also want to feel that what they do is authentic and makes a difference. Companies that find ways to pour back into their communities or provide unique, growth-oriented experiences for their employees are likely to provide incentives for millennials to stay at one workplace.

Understanding the differences job seekers of varied generations is crucial to building a workplace that appeals to the workers of the future. As millennial job seekers continue to enter the workplace, companies and recruiters that appeal to their need for connection and their desire for authenticity are likely to succeed and plug these optimistic workers into the jobs where they can best shine.


(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /


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