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Five Things You Might Not Know About Millennial Candidates

A new survey from CareerBuilder and Inavero sheds light on the perceptions and habits of that ever-elusive group of job candidates: Millennials.

Results from the 2012 Candidate Behavior Study indicate that Millennials (also commonly referred to as “Generation Y”) are always up for the next new challenge and wouldn’t say no to a change of scenery.

Learn more below about the findings from the survey of 1,078 workers nationwide:

  1. Millennials are almost always game for the next opportunity. According to the survey, 79 percent of Millennials are either actively searching for new jobs or are open to new opportunities, regardless of their current employment status.
    What this means for employers:
    Millennials’ ‘always on’ job search mentality highlights the need for employers to focus on engaging them on a continual basis, providing a compelling employee value proposition and defining their employment brands. That way, even those candidates who are just casually browsing opportunities keep you top of mind for consideration.
  2. Millennials’ job search process is long and complex.  Millennials report that their job search process takes 28 weeks, on average, throughout which time they may consult up to 15 resources to search for opportunities and research employers.
    What this means for employers: “Given the considerable amount of time Millennials take looking at them, employers need to begin building relationships with candidates far before they walk in their doors,” says Kassandra Barnes, Research and Content Manager at CareerBuilder. This finding further speaks to the importance of developing a strong employment brand, so that your reputation as an employer of choice precedes you.
  3. Millennials are very social – and very vocal about their job search experiences. Overall, 92 percent of Millennials discuss their job search experience with others, both in-person and through social media.
    What this means for employers: Millennials’ sharing nature can either be good for a company or bad – depending on their job search and application experience. Employers need to make sure they provide positive experiences for candidates (especially since a negative job search experience can adversely affect the bottom line), which is also all the more reason for employers to think about their CRM strategies.
  4. Millennials are open to relocation. According to the survey, 83 percent of Millennials are willing to relocate for the right position.
    What this means for employers: Employers are often quick to write off applicants who aren’t local, but this finding suggests that they should give these candidates a second glance. It also suggests that employers shouldn’t limit their recruitment marketing efforts to their local areas, (which will also increase the likelihood of finding qualified candidates for hard-to-fill positions).
  5. Millennials are still in search of their dream jobs. Only 23 percent of Millennial workers “strongly agree” that they are satisfied in their careers, and the average length of time they stay in one job is three years.
    What this means for employers: “Employers should be more forgiving of ‘job-hopping’ Millenials,” Barnes says. Job-hopping tends to have a negative connotation with employers, when in fact, the digital age shift has caused job-hopping to be the rule, rather than the exception, Barnes explains. Understanding that so few Millennials feel satisfied in their current positions, employers should consider engaging candidates by shaping their recruitment messaging to reflect desirable benefits like advancement opportunities, a great corporate culture and a flexible work environment.

Do any of these findings surprise you? Or are they consistent with your experience recruiting and working with Millennials?

All of these findings stem from the 2012 Candidate Behavior study, which you can learn more about at

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.

You nailed it! I'm a Millenial and I definitely share poor interviewing experiences with my network. And I can agree that many of my peers are thinking about their next job as they sign their offer.


Companies that stand out to my friends and I are the ones that have a brilliant hiring process. We like employers that are quick to reply to our applications and employers that allow us to interview in our preferred medium stand out. Some companies that have already switched to mobile and automated recruiting especially get good feedback. We spent high school and college laughing over YouTube videos--we're used to video. There's a major opportunity there. 


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