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Millennial Hiring Using Recruitment Marketing and AI – is it really possible?

| Ameya Deshmukh
Talent Acquisition, Future of Work
millenial hiring recruitment marketing strategy

Millennials are going to account for 75% of the workforce by 2025. Staffing companies and internal hiring teams are scrambling to adjust their strategy & tech stack to a new workforce. Something that’ll help you and your recruiting team to hire Millennials, is building a recruitment marketing strategy for millennial hiring that’s powered by AI. The topics I cover in this article include:

  1. The definition of recruitment marketing
  2. Where recruitment marketing began
  3. How recruitment marketing can help you
  4. How AI factors into recruitment marketing
  5. Why recruitment marketing is needed for Millennial hiring
  6. The elements of a recruitment marketing strategy
  7. What you need to know about the Millennial hiring persona
  8. Tips for creating an effective recruitment marketing strategy for Millennials
  9. How to build a Millennial hiring talent pipeline

What is recruitment marketing?

Recruitment marketing is a term that speaks to the increasing use by companies of marketing & advertising campaigns to reach candidates. Many of the Fortune 1000 are building recruitment marketing teams to support their talent acquisition efforts by building employer brand.

Where did recruitment marketing start? 

Recruitment marketing emerged in late 2018. Right around this time, the industry had started digitization of HR and recruiting. As recruiting continues to become more and more digitized, the lines between recruiting and marketing began to blur.

What can recruitment marketing do for me? 

As we’ll explain later in the article, effectively hiring a Millennial workforce requires significant changes to talent acquisition strategy. It’s become necessary for talent acquisition to market their company as an employer to the Millennial workforce.

Recruitment marketing will create a competitive advantage for your company by building employer brand. It helps attract talent and helps you fill positions faster.

How does AI factor into recruitment marketing? 

Conversational AI for recruiting can do 2 things for your recruitment marketing strategy. The first is that it’ll turn any tactic you use into an effective source of talent pipeline through something called text to apply. (More on that later.)

The second is that it makes no sense to invest heavily in content, social, and building employer brand equity to ruin it on the back end by sending candidates to a low-quality chatbot experience or even worse a recruiting black hole!

Using conversational AI to engage the talent pipeline you’re creating from recruitment marketing will protect and grow your employer brand investment by ensuring every candidate experiences a positive and engaging hiring experience.

Why do I need a recruitment marketing strategy for millennial hiring? 

Today, candidates make their employment decisions online. Companies even hire candidates through online platforms like Upwork without ever speaking to them on the phone or meeting them.

The digital world is driven by content and since hiring has become increasingly digital, companies who don’t create digital content, don’t exist in the minds of their candidates.

Executing a recruitment marketing strategy for millennial hiring will keep your company top of mind in the Millennial workforce as they fully enter the world of work.

What are the elements of a recruitment marketing strategy? 

There are 3 elements to consider when creating your strategy. Your target demographic, your content, and your media channels. If you’re worried about your team not having the skills to manage a recruitment marketing strategy don’t be!

Recruiting teams are in a great position to take on recruitment marketing activities because they interact with their target demographic every single day – candidates! Recruiting teams understand their candidates better than many marketers ever understand their customers.

1. Understand your Millennial hiring persona 

Any recruitment marketing strategy should start with understanding your target demographic. There are a few steps to doing this, but the most important is called creating your candidate persona. Understanding your candidate persona is crucial to getting the most out of following best practices for hiring millennials. 

A candidate persona is a representation of your ideal candidate that consists of the characteristics, skills, and traits that make for a qualified hire.

Here’s what you need to know about the Millennial hiring persona:

1. Millennials are wary of gender discrimination and ethnic discrimination.

They value diversity and inclusion. They are the most diverse generation in U.S. history.

2. Millennials are influenced by social networks.

They reach out to their friends, online communities, and content creators for advice and research on every major decision (like where to work!)

3. Millennials are driven by purpose.

This means at work they want to make an impact on their teams and on their company.

Many also want to make a positive impact on the world. They expect their work to provide them with opportunities for all 3 types of impact.

4. Millennials don’t feel confident about their understanding of how to find full-time work.

They also don’t feel confident about their ability to be successful at work.

This is due to growing up in a time of rapid technology disruption and having to constantly reskill to keep up with the labor market.

5. Millennials are technology-oriented and have wide personal networks.

They use social media applications, text messaging, email, phone calls, and video chats to communicate.

They don’t see any difference between the channels in terms of what is and isn’t work appropriate like previous generations.

They communicate with their friends, colleagues, and loved ones through a multimedia approach and expect hiring teams to do the same.


2. Tips to create an effective recruitment marketing strategy for your Millenial hiring persona 

In this section, we’ll show you how to address numbers 1 through 3 in your Millennial hiring strategy. You’ll learn how to adapt your content to meet new expectations around diversity.

You’ll learn how to distribute your content to areas where Millennials spend time to build employer brand. You’ll also learn how to tell stories in authentic and engaging ways that Millennials just can’t help but respond to.

Showcase your diversity initiatives on your careers page

Millennials are wary of discrimination and seek to work in diverse working environments. Make sure to demonstrate your commitment to diversity everywhere you are establishing an online presence.

That includes your career site, social media content, and employee stories.

Anywhere you’re using visual imagery make sure it is representational of your company and representational of different genders and ethnicities.

But before you expand into creating social media accounts, have you optimized your careers page for Millennial hiring?


If you’re looking for best practices on how to optimize your careers page for diversity hiring, global recruiting, and the generational workforce give 23 Careers Page Best Practices a read!

Distribute your content on social media

Millennials source information from social media networks, make sure you’re active on them.

Distribute the content you create across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Quora, Medium, Vimeo, TikTok, and Twitter. Millennials are active on most of these social media platforms.

However, if you’re looking to reach a younger audience, perhaps for retail or food service positions platforms like Snapchat & TikTok will be the most effective.

In any case, when it comes to Millennial Hiring, if you aren’t producing content on these social media platforms you don’t exist.

For more information on best practices for producing recruitment marketing, social media content read How to Create a Retail Recruitment Marketing Plan.

Make sure your content is authentic

Millennials are driven by purpose and respond to authenticity. Create content highlighting the positive impacts your company has on society.

Also, make content showing the positive impacts your employees have on your company. Finally, make sure to share the positive impacts your company has on employees.

Ideas for authentic purpose content could be as simple as photos of a quarterly volunteer event one of your teams does at a local food bank.

You don’t need professional photographers to make it either, the content can even be shot on a smartphone.

Millennials have been exposed to more advertising than any previous generation by a significant degree. After years of being exposed to advertising, they crave authenticity in content from their peers and from companies.

What this means for you is that you should use photos and videos of your actual employees when possible instead of opting for stock videos and photography.

Follow best practices by creating more video content

Videos receive 10x more engagement than text-only formats.  Make video content as much as possible to tell your employee stories. You don’t need to create content at a high production value either.

Eric Clemons, Sr. Manager of Employer Brand at U.S. Cellular discovered that there was no difference in engagement between video content his team created with smartphones and video content he used an agency to create.

Because Millennials crave authenticity, they respond just as well to videos shot on smartphones that aren’t highly produced which is great news for hiring teams.

For a few examples of video content and how you can use it in your recruitment marketing strategy for Millennial hiring check out these 5 Career Page Examples. Make sure to pay close attention to #3, Netflix! They’ve got some incredible authentic employee story video content.

For more information on the power of employee storytelling listen to our interview of Lauryn Sargent on our new podcast The Conversation “Employee Storytelling Secrets Behind the World’s Largest Employer Brands.

3. Build a Millennial hiring talent pipeline through recruitment marketing

In this section, we’ll show you how to enhance your recruitment marketing strategy to support Millennials that are unsure about the hiring process. I also cover how to ensure your recruitment marketing strategy will create a pipeline of Millennial talent. Finally, you’ll learn how to create a great candidate experience and why it’s so important to do so with a highly networked Millennial workforce.

Create content explaining the hiring process

About half of all Millennials are not confident in their knowledge of how the process for finding full-time jobs works.

Things that have contributed to this are confusing ATS based resume parsing tools which have created terrible candidate experience for many Millennials. By going beyond parsing in your AI resume screening process, you can mitigate this downfall. Another thing that’s contributed to Millennials’ lack of confidence in their ability to find full-time work is the recruiting black hole.

What your team can do to alleviate this is to create content explaining how your hiring process works. This content should show the different stages of the hiring process for your positions and explain what’s happening at each one. A few other helpful pieces of content you could create would be explanations on how to structure resumes and what to expect during the interview process.

If you’re looking for inspiration, PepsiCo’s careers page is a great example. Check out the applicant help section they created to support global hiring.

Enhance your recruitment marketing content with text-to-apply

Use a text-to-apply code, instead of directing all of your advertising viewers to go to your careers page to apply and get more information. Millennial candidates will most likely be viewing your digital content on their phones. If your content is in the physical world, people who view it will also have to navigate to your careers website, find the position they are interested in, and apply.

The trouble with using a careers page as your only call to action is that many people will forget your careers page URL. Of the ones who remember many will abandon their application halfway through once they realize they don’t have their resume on their phone or once they get frustrated with filling out forms on a mobile device.

Text to apply is a much simpler and more elegant solution. You simply place a cell phone number on your advertisements and write “Text ###-###-####” to apply!” Candidates can text into the phone number and here’s what happens next. A conversational AI, like Mya for example, opens up a dialogue with the candidate. Screens them for eligibility for the position, and schedules qualified candidates for an interview.

Candidates can also ask Mya questions, which Millennial candidates are sure to have plenty of. Another benefit is that through an ATS integration, Mya is able to create and update candidate profile data directly in the ATS based on what it learns in real-time. Placing a text to apply code on your recruitment marketing material in conjunction with a conversational AI is a winning combination for candidate experience, recruitment marketing effectiveness, and time to hire!

Why a good candidate experience is critical for Millenial Hiring

Millennials are highly networked, active on social media, and turn to their social networks for advice. When the workforce becomes 75% Millennial in 2025, any time a candidate has a bad experience their entire network is going to hear about it.

For an example of what can happen, just look to Yelp. Yelp reviews about bad experiences have put plenty of restaurants and other types of businesses out of business!

When you execute a recruitment marketing strategy to engage and build employer brand equity with the Millennial workforce, don’t drop the ball on candidate experience on the back end.

Don’t build a strong positive presence on social media channels, invest in content, and create a recruitment marketing function only to direct most of your candidates to a low quality recruiting chatbot or even worse a recruiting black hole.

While recruitment marketing is important, let’s make sure not to forget that candidate experience is first and foremost the best way to build a strong employer brand.

Creating strong positive hiring experience at scale is the fastest way to build employer brand equity in the Millennial workforce and that’s exactly what conversational AI for recruiting is designed to do.

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