The Power of Youth – Putting the “Human” Back Into Human Resources

Brands have a hard time recruiting and retaining the elusive millennial employee. Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse, has a solution: Tell them everything. By Nancy Miller in / September 2017.


In 2009, Kathryn Minshew was sure of one thing. She did not want to work as a consultant at McKinsey anymore. But the next step was less certain. After typing “business strategy director” into a major job-hunting search engine, she stared in disbelief at more than 5,000 returns.

Worse, each listing was woefully incomplete. Not one job listing even hinted at what it would actually be like to work at a company on a day-to-day basis. Minshew, who was 23 at the time, knew this was no way to attract young talent. How was a millennial, still new to the job market, supposed to know the magic search terms to surface her dream job? “There wasn’t a product solving the most persistent pain points for people who either weren’t sure about what they wanted to do or who cared about culture,” Minshew says. “None of that was addressed.”

In 2011, Minshew cofounded The Muse, a recruiting site that connects Millennials with job opportunities via a search experience that focuses on corporate culture. The secret weapon? Content. Fortune 1000 companies and startups alike pay The Muse to bring a video crew to their offices to capture the vibe and talk frankly with execs, who dish on culture and the daily routines. Necessary details – job title, salary, skill requirements ­– are still present, but the rich content answers the questions job seekers really want to know, from how much the company values transparency to whether it favors office diplomacy or bare-knuckled criticism. “We wanted to make navigating your career more personal, visual, and human,” says Minshew, now 31.

To date, The Muse has raised $28.7 million in funding, a particular point of pride for the Young CEO, who had to pitch her idea 148 times before anyone invested. But now, with some 50 million users, more than 30 contributors to its career advice blog, and 75-plus coaches helping new professionals figure out what they want to be when they grow up, The Muse has granted Minshew what she’s working to give each member of her community: career fulfillment.

How to Hire Millennials

Minshew’s top three rules.

1/ Offer development opportunities.

A global survey of millennials found that 38 percent of them want to quit. Why? Many don’t feel invested in. Sponsor development opportunities and shout them loud and clear.

2/ Always be recruiting.

Top talent isn’t necessarily waiting until they need a job to look for one. They’re paying attention now. Be proactive, put content everywhere – on social platforms and through events – and offer thought leadership.

3/ Be authentic.

Millennials crave work that aligns with their values and personal brands, and they are unusually good at detecting B.S.



Photography by Ina Maria / September 2017

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