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As of 2015, research has shown that millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest living generation, thus making up a large segment of the workforce in the United States. Because of this, companies are altering their approaches on how they conduct background screening for applicants.

Millennials are influenced and motivated by factors much different than those that affect older generations. Employers must understand this change when hiring applicants currently between the ages of 18 and 34 in order to not only satisfy their career needs, but yours as a company as well. An important consideration is the rise in mobile technology and social media, and the convenience that comes with such components. If an application for a specific position within your company involves software that conducts screening, user experience is crucial. Many employers have found that inadequate or difficult-to-use platforms can turn away potential employees.

Another factor to account for is that with a rise in the millennial workforce, less information about applicants may be available, simply by virtue of being younger. This limited information may include job history or credit history, seeing as many of those newly joining the workforce are recent college graduates. Unlike the baby boomer generation, millennials also have access to a different kind of career field known as the “Gig Economy;” a surge of entrepreneurs that could eventually make up 50% of the United States workforce. These jobs can include transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, web developers, and independent construction or carpentry positions.

Transparency in background checks among millennials is another important thing to consider. Explain what will be performed in the screening process beforehand, and allow for questions or explanations should a negative piece of information arise when the background check is conducted.

Understand that using the internet to screen applicants through social media has legal risks. While social media accounts provide a large amount of information, that which is listed may not always be true, and deciding on whether or not to hire applicants based on this could fall under the category of discrimination. That isn’t to say that millennials who utilize social media all have potentially damaging information shown, but rather, an applicant’s personal information is not always a defining factor in his or her work ethic.


This change in workforce, and the continued changes to come, has forced companies to rethink how they go about screening applicants that fall under the category of the millennial generation. With the obvious determinant being a rise in technology and social media, employers must adapt in order to provide efficient experiences for applicants, which, in turn, can have a lasting effect on your company’s reputation in an ever changing world.