Staffing Firms: Millennials Are Now Your Biggest Client — Here’s What You Should Know About Them

Millennials are now the largest generation in the American workforce, and that means, as a staffing agency, they’re not only the largest pool of applicants you have to pull from, they also make up a significant portion of your current (and the majority of your future) clientele.

As Baby Boomers begin to age out of the labor force, more and more Millennials are poised to become hiring managers; and it’s important that staffing firms understand how this generation of leaders differs from their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts.

How do Millennials feel about staffing agencies and what (as buyers and clients) do they expect from them? What’s important when choosing a staffing firm and how to do they go about it? Most importantly, what drives loyalty with a staffing firm and what pushes them out the door? Our 2018 Staffing Buyer Study (a joint research project conducted in partnership with our friends at CareerBuilder and ASA) revealed some of these key Millennial takeaways and more.

How Millennials Feel About the Staffing Industry

From a demographic standpoint, Millennials differ greatly from the Boomer generation. They’re more than twice as likely to use social media, they’re more politically liberal, and they’re the most diverse generation our country has ever seen. But aside from these more general disparities, Millennials and Boomers also diverge on their attitudes toward staffing as a whole.

For one, nearly 60% of Millennials strongly believe recruiters will play a smaller role in their organization over the next five years — largely due to technology.



To this cohort, technology is a key differentiator among staffing firms. Over half say it’s “extremely important” that their staffing firm uses the most up-to-date technology — more than twice (or nearly three times) the proportion that say so among Gen X and Boomers. At the same time, 57% of Millennial’s say their firm is behind others in tech usage, compared to 6% of Gen X and 5% of Boomers – the nearly 10x difference further demonstrates the general perception of the industry from the millennial buyer.



Why the penchant for technology? Aside from Millennials’ digital native upbringing, it also comes down to overall ease of process. A full 50% of Millennials say they’d much rather place a job order online than talk to a recruiter by phone or in person.



Unfortunately, 57% of this group also say their current primary staffing firm is behind the times when it comes to tech. (Hello, room for improvement!)

How Millennials Make Staffing Decisions

The most shocking way Millennials differ from previous generations, though, comes out in the decision-making process.

Why is that exactly? Millennials have the uncanny ability to dig up relevant, helpful and quality-related brand information on the web. Thanks to the internet, Millennials have never had to make an uninformed decision when it comes to investing in a product or service. All of their purchases are heavily researched, weighed, and considered based on reviews and experiences shared by other buyers and customers.

This dynamic is evident in what Millennials say are the primary factors in their staffing firm hiring decisions. According to the 2018 Staffing Buyer Study, more Millennials pick based on firm reputation (including online reviews) than any other reason. Both components tie into a firm’s online presence — and they’re even more important than a firm’s specialized niche or their ability to find quality talent.



Millennials want to know how confident they should be about having a positive experience (and therefore outcome) with your team. They’re asking: How many bad reviews are on Yelp, the Better Business Bureau or Consumer Reports? Does your online reputation match the one you’re touting on your site, in marketing materials or on the phone?

Millennials put serious stock in these aspects of your brand — and its where having an NPS survey program in place can really help. NPS surveys help identify your firm’s best Promoters so you can leverage them in boosting firm reputation both online and off. They’re also great for finding those unsatisfied customers who might need a little extra attention to retain their business or, better yet, transform into your biggest fan.

Keeping Your Millennial Clients

The truth is Millennials aren’t the most loyal bunch — at least not if you fail to meet their expectations. Millennials are far more willing to switch primary staffing firms than other cohorts, with 66% reporting they’ve switched their primary firm in the past year.



That said, if you can match Millennials’ service expectations and keep them satisfied, they make the ideal long-haul client. Millennial clients spend an average of 72% of their total staffing budget with their primary firm — significantly more than any other generation before them.



Even better, most Millennial hiring managers are planning to increase their spend in the next five years. More than three-quarters say they’ll spend more on staffing in the near-term, while just 35% of Boomers say the same. It’s further proof that leveraging exceptional service to cultivate customer loyalty isn’t just a way to stop client churn — but a guarantee on your firm’s long-term financial future.

Want more info? Download our guide on How Millennial Buyers Will Influence Staffing Firm Growth in 2019 and Beyond, or contact ClearlyRated to learn how NPS can help your company capitalize on this generational buyer shift.


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