How to Make Your Company Stand Out to Millennials in an Entry-Level Job Search

You’ve heard all about how large tech companies pay their interns upwards of $6,000 a month and now you are(understandably) worried about how you are possibly going to compete with them to hire top talent. How can you word your job descriptions to make them appealing to students and recent grads? What will stand out to millennials, and what perks are largely unnecessary? Is it the ability to access social media on the clock? Or having pets in the office? A high paycheck? Or the ability to work closely with the founder and CEO? We’re here to tell you what millennials care about in the workplace, and how to grab their attention in an entry-level job search.

  1. Give Them Variety. If you’re a startup, you probably have employees working on a variety of different projects at any given time. This is actually a huge selling point for students. Increased responsibility and the ability to try different things are great things to put in the job description to stand out in an entry-level job search.

  2. Get Creative With Financial Compensation. Students care less about financial compensation than you think. In the 2013 State of the Internship report 58.9% of students ranked experience and portfolio building as the most important parts of their internships. Of course, for recent grads financial compensation is extremely important in their entry-level job search. But if you can offer equity or stock options in addition to the other perks your company provides they might very well be won over.

  3. Bring in Pets. In the 2013 State of the Internship report we also found that for 24.3% of students, having pets in the office would dramatically increase their likelihood of applying. If this doesn’t add unwanted strain on your company, why not let pets in the office?

  4. Consider Other Perks You’d be Willing to Throw in. Zillow, a Seattle real estate startup, has been enormously successful at using creative job descriptions to out-hire larger companies. The following excerpt from their “jobs” page aptly demonstrates this ability: “No office is complete without a heavy-duty espresso machine, market fresh fruit, and lunch delivered from local chefs. We like to play and have an awesome game room and memorable parties to prove it. We are always looking for inventive and passionate people with strong ideas, voice, and ambitions. Leave your egos at the door and peek inside to learn more about how you can be part of our team!”

  5. Have Them Work with Higher Ups. If their role in the company involves working closely with the founder or CEO, say so! Having a mentor is very valuable  to people fresh out of college and they will likely find this an inspiring bonus to working for your company.

Photo credit: Robert Fornal via Compfight

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Zoe Schiffer

Zoe is a Community and Content Manager at Looksharp. Graduating in 2014 from UC Berkeley and having done internships ranging from policy work at Congresswoman Pelosi's office to marketing at a tech startup, Zoe understands millennials and what they are looking for as they launch their career. Outside of work she loves running, yoga and exploring San Francisco.

  • Sophie

    Whilst I agree with a lot that is said in this post, I can’t help but think that it is missing a trick. There really is a ‘war for talent’ now as companies struggle to attract the brightest candidates around in order to push their business forward.
    Its resulting in companies looking further than the domestic employment market and dipping their toe into the international marketplace in order to find the right people for the job.
    Its with this in mind that company’s need to adopt different approaches (aside from those mentioned in the post) e.g. a company’s brand may be unfamiliar to potential recruits, cultural barriers may exist, and appropriate reward systems will need to be developed.
    These are all ideas that will only accelerate in the coming years – reinforcing the need for hyper-personalisation when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff.

  • Sarah M. Manley

    Another thing that needs to be mentioned in job descriptions is the opportunities for advancement within the organization. An applicant needs to know that the position will grow and if they outgrow the position there is a job #2 at the same organization that can fit their new skill set.

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