What Millennials Want: How to Recruit Exceptional Young Talent

Millennials are individuals born from around 1980 to 2000, and they now make up the largest proportion of staff. If you want to bring the most talented people to your business you need to understand how to recruit millennials and how they differ from the generations that have come before them. Here are six useful tips to help you discover and recruit the best young talent out there.

Use industry-specific recruitment agencies

Many businesses looking for new staff will turn to a recruitment agency. This can be a smart move, opening up access to a huge pool of talent. But too many companies opt for a large, generic recruitment agency, assuming that they will have the broadest range of potential candidates. However, this is a mistake and it is much more valuable to stick to a recruitment company that really understands your industry.

We spoke to London recruitment agency Lime Talent, who have found that specialising in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has had transformative benefits for both the candidates and the businesses that they work with. Knowing an industry inside-out helps a recruiter match candidates to businesses – this is especially valuable for millennials who may have specific wishes on the kinds of companies they want to work for.

Push career development and learning opportunities

One of the key issues that millennials have had to deal with is a limited amount of opportunities in the workplace. Many were at the early stages of their careers or just entering the workforce when the financial crisis happened in 2007-2008. There have been many reports revealing the financial challenges facing the whole generation, with some suggesting that millennials will be the first generation to earn less than their parents.

Ultimately this means that one of that millennials crave more than anything from their workplace is the opportunity to broaden their skills and develop their career with a company. If your business can show millennials that they have the chance to advance, you will be able to attract talented people easily.

But don’t assume they want to be here for life

While millennial staff want the opportunity to advance themselves at a business, they might be turned off by the prospect of a position for life. Unlike previous generations, millennials do not typically seek a job that they are going to stay in for decades, preferring the option to expand their skills and potentially be open to different career paths.

This means you need to focus on the possibility of short-term advancement, rather than looking at a larger picture across many years.  

Offer flexibility

One thing that millennials value enormously – more so than any generation before them – is the chance for flexible working. The idea of having to work 9 to 5:30, Monday through Friday is enough to turn many millennials off a job entirely. Just having the flexibility to start earlier or later, or work from home a couple of times a week can display to a potential staff member that they would have control over their daily life.

If your business can still function while offering flexible working it can give employees the chance to avoid the drudgery of the rush hour commute or even save them petrol money if they don’t need to be in the office every day.

Don’t be stingy with holiday

Something else that can turn a millennial off a company is when there is a holiday scheme that is less than generous. Millennials who have typically struggled with the career prospects of generations before them have tended to fill this void with a spirit of adventure and a desire to get away. If your businesses offers additional days off beyond the legal minimum, it gives them extra time to pursue hobbies and have fun. There is actually good evidence to suggest that more time off will ensure that staff are happier and more efficient, so it’s a real win-win situation.

Use a variety of recruitment methods

It’s also worth noting that if you want to get millennial staff members with a range of different skillsets and backgrounds, you need to use a variety of recruitment methods. Yes, recruitment agencies can be invaluable – but don’t forget the prospects of social media recruitment which can uncover individuals who may not be signed up to agencies.


We use cookies to create the most secure and effective website possible for our customers. Full details can be found here