Write the Perfect Job Ad: Understand Millennials Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Oh millennials, or as Time Magazine called us in their article titled Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation – “lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow”. Young people in general have often been a subject of criticism, and to some extent, I do admit that we are a weird bunch – indescribably ambitious, constantly unsatisfied, and are continuously seeking for self-fulfillment to compensate for the harsh realities of today’s modern life.

Some, however, still believe that something is wrong with this generation’s work ethic. Maybe you’re not so keen on hiring them at the moment, but come 2025, the job force will unavoidably be dominated by this delicate pool of youth whether you like it or not. And what I see now as a vast misconception that predecessors hold against millennials and younger generations, seem to be an issue that can be best explained by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The More More More Generation

Millennials are believed to be entitled and spoiled – because if you think about it, they were born at a time when their parents were more financially stable, and our society was increasingly more compassionate to people of all backgrounds. Considering how this generation already had the first two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy covered, their priorities when they decide to go work for an organization will likely have nothing to do with job security or the salaries they earn.

According to the 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, millennials are “more attracted to making a positive impact in their society than in starting a family,” – putting them at the top of the pyramid where personal development and meaningful endeavors are more valued. In other words, they are already two steps ahead of where many think they are.

An Appealing Job Ad

Though having the upper hand as an employer gives you the authority to choose who exactly to hire, applicants screen job postings the very same way you screen candidates. Today’s young talents look for Easter eggs when reviewing a job ad. So for companies that fail to reference key components they appreciate, it can be a disadvantageous factor when it comes to recruiting top players.

  • Basic needs: compensation, office amenities, employee benefits, wellness efforts
  • Psychological needs: company culture, diversity, mission and values
  • Self-fulfillment needs: personal development, career roadmap, meaningful projects

Millennials are interested in things more than just the job itself and the standard perks that come with it. An attractive job ad should include excerpts of your workplace culture, mission and values, examples of cool projects you’re working on, and if your company provides supplementary training to help employees master new skills – mention it! Remember, your goal is to write an ad that’ll make the reader go, “I want to work there.”

Keep in mind that what worked twenty years ago won’t have the same results today, so learning what appeals to today’s young workers may be the wisest act now to keep your business afloat. To mature professionals, give us a chance to prove our worth.

– Sincerely, a hardworking millennial.