kathryn-minshew copyThe L2 Forum is a TED-style event featuring CEOs, industry experts, and thought leaders on innovation. One of the highlights of this year’s event – held at the Morgan Library on November 10th – is Co-Founder and CEO of The Muse, Kathryn Minshew. The Muse is a career development site for millennials, flush with tips on how to excel in their current job and find a new one. For companies, The Muse offers more than a platform for job listings. It’s a platform where brands can create profiles to showcase their company culture and communicate with users to find better candidates. We spoke with Minshew about what she had planned for her talk, and here are a few takeaways:


Career paths are more interconnected than they were before. Because of technology, new hires can get up to speed on any industry relatively fast, Minshew says. As a result, companies are hiring people for their skills rather than industry knowledge. (For example, an engineer could easily cross over from a fashion brand to working for the US government.) Millennials are looking for someone to help them navigate that interconnected path.


Typing into a search box is no longer a useful career search tool. Minshew’s inspiration for The Muse was realizing so many of millennials’ career search needs were not met. Rather than looking for a job, millennials are looking for the right job. “The old-school way to look for a job is to type into a search bar, but a lot of people don’t know even what to type in the search bar in the first place,” Minshew says.


A few brands are doing a great job in recruiting. NPR reaches potential candidates through a dedicated Twitter handle @NPRjobs, which tweets career advice and pictures from the NPR offices in addition to open positions. Social Tables and Prezi are other favorites.


Authenticity is key for brands looking to attract millennials, who detect and are turned off by “corporate speak.” Social media channels and all communication should sound like there is a human on the other end. Minshew advises companies to use visuals to make their point, and show in lieu of telling. For example, posting a photo of a nice office space on the careers page is more powerful than a sentence about how talent is valued. And video of experienced staff members speaking about mentorship would attract candidates who are looking for that.


The Muse findings can be applied to all areas of business. A common theme of millennials’ job search patterns is looking for a higher purpose, or wanting to belong to something bigger. Successful brands such as TOMS and Warby Parker have realized that. The effectiveness of user-generated content and microcelebrities in product promotion is a testament to how younger consumers value authenticity.


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