Top Millennial talent is flocking to West Coast tech hubs, hoping to land a coveted position at industry giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. These cash-rich companies have a natural leg up when it comes to recruiting millennials. They can offer generous perks and brand prestige that most companies can only dream about providing. And it’s not just the perks and prestige that make a difference. Challenging, meaningful work developing deep learning algorithms or Mars colonization technology is a lot easier to market than less “glamorous” endeavors, like online fraud prevention and content management systems.

Your company may not be on the cover of Wired or the latest unicorn list, but all is not lost. There are plenty of easy and affordable ways to make your company attractive to top candidates. If your line of work is in one of the less sexy areas of tech, here are three things you can do to better position your company to woo top employees:

Know your target audience

Treat recruitment like you would customer acquisition: define your target segment and learn what they want. Find out what motivates them and show them how your company can give them that. Usually it’s more than just money. If you’re looking for entrepreneurial types, share stories of how your employees pitched ideas and were then given free reign to turn them into reality. If you’re trying to hire growth-oriented people, let them interview with someone at your company who started in the mail room and rose to the C-suite.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what your target segment values most, attend a user group for the skill sets you’re looking for and listen to what people say about their jobs. Ask targeted questions and learn their preferences, then build that information into your pitch.

Connect your work to the end result

One of my clients provides a workflow management solution for the healthcare industry. When described literally, it can sound a bit staid. But this client’s HR department really brings their products to life by connecting their day-to-day work to the bigger picture. They talk about how the software helps to organize patient data, monitor health, and ultimately save lives. Millennial talent wants to make a difference. When you explain how your company’s work connects to something bigger, it instantly becomes more meaningful– and your workplace becomes a much more attractive option.

Create a great culture

Although you may draw the line at installing swings and a ball pit, you can still make your office a fun and engaging workplace. One of my clients is a classic “work hard, play hard” company. Sure, they pull long hours before a big deadline, but they also have a slide and table tennis in the office when they need to blow off some steam. Everyone from the director on down wears flip flops and jeans to work. By relaxing some of the traditional codes of office etiquette, you can help your team unlock their creativity and attract more Millennial talent to your organization.


What has your company done to be more competitive in recruitment? I invite you to share your success stories below.