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The jobs that millennials want the most (and here’s how to attract them)

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna


Despite their reputation, ‘millennials’ are fast becoming the most sought-after workers in today’s job market, and I’m really not surprised. The vast majority of Generation Y that I have encountered in the workplace have been hard working, likeable, frequently brilliant, multitasking technology ninjas. Oh, and they know how to work the coffee machine too. I still can’t persuade it to do me a flat white.    


I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t these the same self-entitled ‘moaning millennials’ who frequently appear at the top of polls entitled “Britain’s whiniest workers”? Maybe, but I think that’s a bit unfair. Put yourself in the shoes of your average twenty-something scraping by in the capital in 2017 - you’re living in a shoebox, struggling to pay the rent, your wages are stagnating, student loans are looming and your parents call you up every other weekend telling you “you’ve never had it so good”. Even if you want to go and drown your sorrows down the pub, you probably can’t because a pint of organic IPA will set you back £6.


No wonder some millennials are starting to moan. But the moaners are in a minority, and there’s no denying that they’re impacting the world of work in a way no business leaders or managers could have expected. They’re not perfect. Far from it. But as a boss of a young team of 50 people working on some really difficult problems, I can confidently say that the benefits brought to the table by this generation far outweigh the challenges. This is a smart, ambitious bunch who need to make a difference - let’s embrace that.


They’re sounding like a pretty appealing bunch of new hires so far, aren’t they?


There’s no concrete time scale of when the millennial generation began and ended, but the general consensus is that it includes those who were born from around 1980 to the mid 1990s, meaning your 35 year old employees and downwards are all considered millennials. Expect to see bands like Nirvana, Jay-Z & Rihanna on their Spotify playlist, and less David Bowie, Tom Petty and Marvin Gaye.  


Interestingly, it could be argued that the growth of the digital industry has developed in line with this generation and this will only continue as Generation Z - born around the late 1990s and early 2000s - begin to enter the workplace.


So, what jobs are millennials looking for?


Research from Adzuna has found that millennials’ comprehensive understanding of technology has led to a rise in the digital industry, and it is no happy accident that the generations with the highest number of people working in digital and tech are all millennials.


CVs containing

Baby Boomers

Gen x


Gen Z


6 (0.03%)  

273 (1.2%)

2919 (12.7%)

169 (0.7%)

Social Media

3 (0.01%)

133 (0.57%)

1297 (5.6%)

129 (0.56%)


1 (0.004%)

10 (0.04%)

205 (0.9%)

15 (0.6%)

Data from 22, 982 CVs using Adzuna’s ‘ValueMyCV’ tool


Using findings from the ‘ValueMyCV’ tool, Adzuna have found that one in 10 millennials, 2,919, have ‘digital’ in their CVs, in comparison to just 169 Generation Zers and only six Baby Boomers (those born from the end of World War II, up to the early 1960s). Similarly, whilst 133 Generation Xers (born in the 1960s and the early 1980s) currently have ‘social media’ in their CVs, 1,297 millennials have it listed in theirs.


However, that said, the tool also revealed that a selection of the top job titles for millennials include ‘Sales Assistant’, ‘Project Manager’ and ‘Warehouse Operative’, highlighting that millennials aren’t all IT boffins, and that the workforce spans every corner of the job market, albeit in smaller numbers.


How can businesses attract millennials to their companies?


If we do pay attention to the claims that, perhaps unlike previous generations, millennials are determined to get hands-on experience and won’t put up with doing menial tasks, it’s clear that companies will need to have a work ethic and values that will fit the bill.


Here are 6 top tips to attract top notch millennials to your business:


1) Create opportunities for millennials’ ambition to shine through


For many younger workers looking to join your company, they’ll be looking for a place to put the theoretical skills they’ve learned at university or college into action. Ensure that prospective employees will be taking a hands-on role, and won’t feel like they’re on work experience. They should feel confident that any suggestions or ideas they have for their role will be taken on board and listened to, so ensure that they don’t feel taken for granted or undermined.


2) Have attractive work perks


It’s no secret that, in today’s job market, more and more organisations are looking to hire graduates and young people. So, to make sure you’re standing out from your competitors, you need to have the resources and flexibility to do so. For millennials, salary isn’t the be all and end all; they want an environment where they enjoy working and have a clear balance between work life and social life. Consider flexible working hours, a quarterly team day out or even a pool table for Friday lunch times. If you’re looking for inspiration for your company, at The Body Shop, staff are entitled to five volunteering days a year and Swinton Insurance employees are given an extra day’s holiday dedicated to Christmas shopping.


3) Be digitally savvy


As we mentioned earlier on, millennials are digital natives. Unlike Generation Z, the generation who have never known a life without smartphones and WiFi, millennials grew up alongside the advance of technology making them extremely savvy when it comes to the digital world. An old computer or an ink-jet printer (or even a company that still uses printers on a daily basis) may put a millennial off of your organisation.


4)  Have a social media presence


When millennials are in the job-hunting stage, you can be sure that they’ll search for your business on social media. Make sure you don’t only have accounts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but that you also keep them updated - an empty Twitter feed is extremely unlikely to impress a millennial. Give an insight into what type of company you are, and also interact with people who interact with you as it’ll show that, as a business, you’re polite and a keen networker, too.


5) Make career progression clear


Some may describe millennials as impatient with their careers, but it’s more likely that they’re simply looking ahead at their career path and have a desire to succeed in their jobs. A survey found that 41% of employee respondents would leave their job for a company with better career prospects; in order to stand out to prospective millennial employees, it’s critical that your business has the space for staff to have their say about their role and how they want to progress in the future.


6) Provide opportunities to learn


Following on from the above tip, as millennials are constantly on the lookout for ways they can better themselves and their work skills, providing opportunities to support them with this will attract new hires. Look out for relevant conferences or networking events that could improve their skills that they could attend - these should be seen as an investment as the skills they learn are sure to benefit your company.


Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to employing a highly skilled millennial, who will be able to transform and improve your business. Whilst millennials may have somewhat of a negative reputation, focus on the positive elements they can bring to the workplace.


Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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