4 Things To Consider When Hiring Millennials


There’s a wide range of views on the pros and cons of the millennial generation and their contribution to society. Some see millennials as the demise of western civilization as we know it, and other people find them to be innovators ushering in much needed change and connectivity to the world.

Like it or not, millennials aren’t going anywhere. Hundreds are entering the workforce everyday and developing as leaders in their fields. If you handle the hiring for your church or organization, you’ve either already hired a millennial or you’re going to in the near future. Those are the only two options.

That being said, what can you expect when looking to make them a successful part of your team? In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a millennial (though on the oldest end of the generation range) and have been a part of the workforce for nearly ten years. So, much of this article is written through my own personal lens with gathered input from peers.

Here are four things to consider when hiring millennials, especially when your goal is to recruit them.

1. They’re social-conscious and often socially-motivated.

This may be the most well-known and accepted trait of this generation. Millennials are very aware of social injustices, quandaries, and tensions in our current society. This is also one of the characteristics for which they are most admired. They want to do work that truly matters and make a difference.

Millennials are looking for an organization or church that feels a calling to social issues and is acting on that call. As the church, we’re commanded to take care of orphans, widows and the poor. Millennials want to see this being lived out in a big way. They want to know how much of the budget is given to these causes and how well you are at mobilizing your congregation to action. They want to be given the freedom to run with new social initiatives. You can be assured that they will spur this on if given the chance, and they’re looking for a place that will provide those kinds of opportunities.

2. They’re not interested in staying stagnant in their station.

Contrary to some popular beliefs out there, this is an ambitious bunch. Yes, statistically this generation is living under their parent’s roof longer than generations in the past, but they have big dreams. They’re working their hardest to be able to live out these dreams. Often weighed down by a bigger burden of educational debt than generations prior, many millennials see living at home longer as a strategic move in order to have the freedom to do what they love and are passionate about.

In our experience here at Vanderbloemen Search Group working with thousands of candidates daily, the candidates in this age bracket almost always ask about chances for future advancement when discussing any given role. Whether it’s an opportunity for Sunday preaching, or a shot to earn a seat on the organization’s leadership team, we hear this more from millennials than any other group.  They aredriven and eager to take on more responsibility.

3. They lean into leadership they believe in and spread that inspiration.

This one is a high priority for millennials. I’ve seen this scenario play out time and time again with peers and colleagues of mine. They’re in a decent paying job with good benefits, but they leave this positionbecause:

      • “I was really hoping for a mentor, but I’m not getting any face time with them.”
      • “I didn’t respect their vision and leadership.”
      • “They’re not interested in investing in my development long-term.”

Millennials long for leadership that challenges them and motivates them to work harder and make a difference (see point #1). They want a mentor and a teacher.  They want leaders they respect to invest in them. And in turn, once they believe in a leader, millennials are natural promoters and recruiters. They share what inspires them and inspire others with it as well.

4. Team culture is everything.

This topic of a church or company’s culture is very en vogue right now, and I believe for good reason. Gone are the days when your job is just punching a clock in order to get the full pension pay off when it’s time to retire. We’re living longer and working longer, so where we spend our 9 to 5 hours is vitally important to us. This thought isn’t lost on millennials.

great staff culture is one of the top priorities for millennial candidates looking for a new role; and you can see this everywhere. Websites like glassdoor.com, vault.com, and careerbliss.com are places where you can find reviews about any company and what it’s like to work there. These sites give you rankings on the environment, company culture, support system, and even the people you work with. Millennials want to work where they not only feel valued and challenged, but where they feel it’s safe to innovate, grow, and have fun!

How churches should engage millennials webinar recording