Best Practices

Gen Y Hiring Part 2: Where to Recruit Gen Yers

Generation Y for Hire

Now that we’ve covered the why and how, let’s talk about where to recruit the 1.7 million Gen Y employees in the workplace today.

Obviously, the best ways would be to write a small indie film about a car dealer that premieres at the Sundance film festival, and/or have Obama visit your company.

But if that’s not an option, here is the place to start.

Craigslist – Craigslist is the Gen Y job hunting mothership. The average Gen Y’er spends hours a day on Craigslist as it is, and job seekers use it more addictively than any, refreshing the job listings like a recreational sport. The sheer volume, the real-time updates, and the cost-free nature make this site job-hunting catnip for my generation.

Additionally, while the “Sales/Bus Dev” job category might seem like the most natural place to post your listing, don’t be afraid to consider other categories. Many Gen Y’ers instinctively abhor the idea of sales or being a “salesman,” but we absolutely love “Marketing/PR” or “Business/Management.” Think carefully about the job duties and desired qualifications you’re looking to fill, and categorize based on those, not by industry. Note: If you do go after a less traditional job category, don’t be vague about what kind of business you are in. Be very upfront that it’s a car dealership and that you’re just looking for some diversity. You may find you’re rewarded for your honesty.

Facebook ads – Why wait for Gen Yer’s to find you? Message them where they live: on Facebook. While my generation is self-trained to tune out traditional advertising (thank you, Safari Adblocker), Facebook ads are the exception. With their highly-targeted capability, their clever and creative messaging, and their “lifestyle” feel, Facebook has really cracked the code for creating advertising that is relevant, interesting and appealing to Gen Y’ers.

For the same reasons, Facebook ads are a recruiter’s dream. You can target by education, geography, age, interests, and much more. Try targeting for some terms like “cars” or “automotive,” as well as terms like “entrepreneurship” “business opportunities” and “job.” Make sure to include an eye-catching image and an enticing call to action.

Linkedin – No matter how cool your ads are, chances are most Gen Y’ers just won’t ever stumble across them. Why wait for them to come to you when you can go to them? Gen Y’ers love getting recruited, and it allows you to handpick the cream of the crop, rather than weeding through a massive pile of applications. You can target by industry-specific keywords, software skills, or even employment status-terms like “Looking for” and “Seeking” are LinkedIn code for “unemployed.”

Referral Incentives – Gen Yer’s are all about connections, and this is especially true when it comes to our careers. Our post-grad cycle goes something like this: graduate, apply to every CEO position at the world’s best companies, accept defeat, become an Outback Steakhouse waitress, and then at last, alert every single person in your social circle that you are looking for a job-help!

Knowing this, exploit my generation’s beloved peer pressure for the positive by incentivizing your employees to refer their friends, their friend’s kids, etc. Monetary bonuses, gift cards, free lunches, or even extra days off are all great ways to get your employees excited about making referrals. If you can’t afford huge prizes, just make it fun by spotlighting referrers in company meetings or holding friendly competitions to see who can refer the most people.

Make yourself discoverable – Last but not least, it’s all about inbound marketing, and Gen Y recruiting is no exception. If you’ve got a competitive payment structure or a sweet company culture, expose those things on your website, your company Facebook profile and your Youtube channel. Encourage your employees to leave you good reviews on Glassdoor ( Then, sit back and watch the good job juju roll in. You get back what you put out, so create an attractive inbound space and I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

And if you need help writing that Sundance script, I know an awesome writer;)

Have you tried any of these Gen Y job hunting techniques? How did they go?

Jade Makana is the Senior Social Media Analyst at ADP Digital Marketing. Jade specializes in bringing corporate brands to life through emerging media....
  • J
  • January 30, 2012
They're easy to find... Living at home with Mom and Dad after spending the day at their local "Occupy" protest. Just Kidding Just Kidding!!!

Well written and thoughtful as usual, Jade! Thanks!!
  • W
  • January 31, 2012
Jade, As a Gen Yer, I liked your first two posts. However, though this one is well written, it makes us sound lazy. "Hours a day on craigslist, loved to be recruited (everyone does), and Facebook ad's." Not a good picture to paint for some in our industry. I think hiring youngER people, that haven't spent 20+ years doing the same thing, is a fresh way to bring the dealership up a level. However, I think the way to get them into a dealership is for the dealership to have a plan and process in place...or hire them to put it together. It seems like every dealership has a completely different pay plan/lead process/even sales method all while the product is the same...transportation. Just my $.02. All in all, I like your approach. Good work!
  • D
  • February 1, 2012
I agree with Will here on the phrasing of that first part. Also, I would ask anyone in a position to do hiring to stay away from Craigslist. It's become so rife with spam and crap that it's almost impossible to find good positions there. As someone who did hiring in this industry before, YES, C/L was free, but the leads were crap. We got much better response from people through the newspaper classifieds. They cost more money, BUT they were hitting a group of people who have jobs/apartments/newspaper delivery/etc., somewhat more stable.

A Craigslist job response was much more likely to include a poorly-filled out resume template, or be emailed general-delivery from a public computer or faxed from Staples, than a newspaper classified.
  • C
  • February 10, 2012
I find the following individuals provide better insight on how to properly deal with millennials than these posts do:

Dave Anderson

Adam Carolla re: Occupy Wall Street


Millennials are our version of Japan's lost generation. The only ones that will rise above this fate are the ones that heed advice like that provided by Dave Anderson and Adam Carolla.

Posts like the author's highlight how participation trophies, playing games with no score, and being told you're 'special' when you really aren't by 'helicopter parents' have arguably ruined a generation of Americans who have little comprehension for or appreciation of the dignity of work.
  • D
  • February 13, 2012
Thanks for the additional resources but at the same time why would you not have phrased it more like "I find the following individuals TO ALSO PROVIDE SOME insight on how to properly deal with millennials".

Seems to me like you have another agenda since you liinked out to other website while also posting as a guest/anonymous.

Jade has been very generous in writing a series of article around millennials / GenY. We appreciate her time and contribution. Of course there is nothing wrong with some debate and injecting of opinions but lets do it with some taste and consideration. Thanks!
  • M
  • August 16, 2012
Hi! Can my comment go live?
We are looking for talented writers to write articles for us.
We can pay $5-15 or more per 300-500+ words articles- well researched- engaging, enjoyable, most likely be shared, liked, tweeted- well structuredUpfront payments - Good writers needed!
* Topics are for 20-35 age audience.
* A Native grammar, vocabulary level required
You can apply by a emailing me : reportspls at gmail