A Hire Report: The Creative-Minded Millennial

We have all read a plethora of articles about the millennial employee and the obstacles that come along with this new generation. Additionally, marketing agency leaders have been trying for years to accomplish long-term inspiration for the “creative brain” in a formal and operational office structure… Put these two personas together and you would assume these individuals are just out-of-luck from the job market. Right? …Wrong!

Creative millennial hiring talent is a talent within itself. There is a defined art to wooing the new creative spirit in the agency job market and there’s a lot more to this these days than the old-school recipe of top salaries + fancy titles. Contrary to the urban legends that swirl around HR networks and community chit-chat, the candidates that circle the creative career market are actually a breath of fresh air. There is an emerging group of fabulously unentitled and unspoiled millennials that want something so much deeper in their careers. They want to fulfill their inner commitment to put in the precious time, do innovative work, drive results, and please great clients.

Though obviously not the first time this basic comparison has been made, hiring this sort of convictive professional begins much like speed dating. Truly captivating a creative and aspiring millennial candidate requires quickly showcasing 4 key attributes within the interview “dating” process:

  • Brand authenticity
  • Perks in the works
  • Impact wooing
  • A-Team ambiance

A candidate and a recruiting professional have a few first impressions that hit from the very minute both paths cross. It’s no big secret that both parties are beginning to envision what this person/company would be like to work with each and every day, starting with that very first email or phone screen. Simple human attributes such as a cheerful voice, listening skills, and little bit of wit are all just performance cues of a solid first date. Though this date may only last from 4-8 minutes, it’s within these small human cues that both parties decide to mutually set up a “second date” (the formal interview).


Nichole and Lindsey celebrate a work anniversary

A creative organization or agency’s branding and those who support this brand are the most likely attributes pre-researched by your creative-minded millennial. There is a good chance this candidate is already following your company on most social media platforms, has researched your department leaders on LinkedIn, and has Googled the owner’s names prior to applying for an open position. They already know the “about us” section from your website. So, it’s time to show this candidate what they don’t already know. Maybe you have a new motto that is going to change the way you position the business for the next quarter, maybe you have a team mission that has become a company commitment for the next 30 days? These “top secret,” exclusive, yet authentic, brand attributes are what makes a candidate know that your business, your typical-week, your peeps, and your work are all living in real-time. Top-notch candidates want to work hard for a living and want to make a commitment with a company that pushes and challenges boundaries. Never be afraid to show off your internal guts.


Sara is the Chili Cook off champion

Yes, paying people for their talent, experience, and worth will always be a key to gaining (and keeping) top-notch employees. Yes, health care benefits, dental plans, and bonus structures also make for solid levers to push in the recruiting-dating field. However, this generation has helped spike a new trend that recruiter-daters cannot ignore…office perks! This can be your own unique way of expressing your team appreciation each and every week, and these are the benefits your candidate REALLY wants to hear about on the date. It’s the fancy office coffee machinery, flexible office hours, off-site team outings, special holiday comp days, or the office dogs that roam freely wearing company-colored sweaters. It’s your company work perks that can make someone fall madly for your business, even before a final interview. If you don’t have a series of office perks set up yet, don’t’ worry. You can ask any of your creative-minded millennials for suggestions. They already have their own “one-day” business plan written at home and page 2 most likely includes spiffs from start to finish.


Interoffice team building activities

After spending the last 7 years recruiting, training, and retaining employees that often fall in the “millennial” category of employment, I can literally count on one hand how many of these successful employees have asked for a raise, promotion, or a title change. However, if I had a dollar for every time I was presented with a way for this group of business professionals to have more of an impactful and key leadership role, I would be on my way to retirement with my dollar-full bank account. I believe in raises and I love facilitating promotions both internally and externally, but I had to redefine how I coach for success given this generation’s hunger for leadership experiences. The millennial individuals are not likely going to be 100% career satisfied until they get to the “top.” This is less about the security and safety of a career/company, and more about never wanting to feel like their role is complacent or a position is “stuck.” They actually aspire for career action plans, tough feedback, quarterly reviews, and ultimately the potential to lead their peers. It’s critical to facilitate internal plans that allow (and encourage) employee development and career advancement. There is no shot at a second date with this candidate without some impactful wooing that allows them to envision how hard work and an attitude devoid of entitlement can realistically move their career-ladder.


Millennial Office Fun
Showcasing the amazing folks that represent your brand on a daily basis can be key to winning love in this speed-date-for-hire. People work for people and with people. Humans working together, and all of our “humanly” requirements are truly the biggest part of networking for job placement. You can have all the individual talent and the fanciest book of clients, but without an A-Team of grateful, committed, collaborative, and caring individuals…you may actually lose love during your hiring date.

This creative, investigative, and millennial-type may not have the required years of work experience, but this group has been looking for every way to practice and showcase their career strengths from the very minute they stepped off that high school parking lot.

Trying to spot your dream date? The past careers listed on the Creative-Minded Millennial resume often include:

  1. The very creative boutique-style internship (sometimes without pay.)
  2. A customer service role during school (retail, restaurant, campus career) with the normal challenges of multi-tasking at a million miles an hour on a less-than-speedy POS system.
  3. The after graduation role, upholding a coordinator or admin title… however often promoted to the owner’s personal assistant, due to a committed, can-do attitude, drive for results, and those speedy task characteristics.

It’s critical for this generation to know that they will be given a chance to do more than just the role in your hiring description. This generation looks phenomenal while wearing a hat, and they are just fine wearing a multitude of them! Don’t be afraid to do an internal audit on your existing team before you hire this individual…the best way to move a boat with your team is when all oars are in the water, and you don’t want to have anything slowing the newbie down when you all set sail.

There will always be candidates from every experience level, every generation, and every network that will be a successful fit for any organization. But, instead of posting the most recent Buzz Feed article about millennial entitlement on our FB pages… let’s all take a step back, digest this extreme and overly anxious ambitious crew, and warrant all this energy to move some mountains in the business! You and your annual company results can thank me later; this is a pool of candidates that are well worth dating for…

Animals bring the office together