Writing Job Descriptions for Millennials and Generation Z

There’s a new crowd in the workforce with an even newer set entering. The standard job description just doesn’t cut it if you’re looking to attract these younger employees. These two generations are looking for something much different in their jobs than previous age groups. So how do you attract these up-and-coming employees? Read on.

Let’s start with the job title. Many companies in an effort to attract the younger crowd use zany terms like “wizard” or “guru”. This often backfires for the simple reason that no one will use those terms in their job search. They are much more likely to search for “marketing assistant” than they would “marketing protégé”. So keep those job titles straightforward and future employees will find your job ad.

Next keep your ad concise, a couple paragraphs max. Use bullet points to break up the text so it doesn’t look like they have to read a lot. Remember that job seekers in general read a lot of ads; don’t add to their job seekers fatigue by making yours excessively long.

When drafting your job description, watch carefully for bias. These generations, especially Gen Z, are much more gender fluid and/or neutral. Terms like salesman will be an automatic turn off. These generations are also very much about diversity and inclusion so ensure your business is taking these issues seriously.

Now we’ll talk about what to include in the ad itself.

These generations really care about the world around them as well as having a life with purpose. In fact, Millennials and Gen Z have a history of volunteerism that far exceeds previous generations. As a result, they are looking to work with companies that share their views. You can bet that they will look into the corporate social responsibility section of your website when researching you. Therefore, it can’t hurt to touch on your CSR in the ad. They are also interested in culture, core values, and why people love to work there so highlight these items as well.

They also care about work with purpose. They want to know not just what their responsibilities are but how they contribute to the company. If they think the work has no meaning then they are likely to overlook you. So focus on their contribution, and you’ll get their attention.

Millennials and Generation Z are also very interested in growth so if your company offers anything in particular as far as future learning and professional development be sure to mention it. Whether it be tuition assistance or a mentorship program, these opportunities will surely make their eyes light up.

So you’ve written the majority of your ad. Now you’re about to talk experience. You looking for “X” number of years’ experience. Whoa! Back up. We’re talking about generations that have focused more on education and volunteering than jobs before entering the workforce. Wanting years of experience is something they are not going to have and, let’s face it, is an outdated mode of verifying competence. Asking for that kind of experience is not going to gain you the employees you’re looking to attract. Focus instead on transferrable skills and you will get top people vying for a job with your company. Remember that many transferrable skills cannot be taught as readily as hard skills. You can easily train them on the hard skills you want, but you need transferrable skills, like communications, creativity, and adaptability. Through their education, volunteering, and other life experiences, they will have an abundance of transferable skills.

Do you belong to one of these generations? What do you look for in a job? Let us know in the comments.

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