As embarrassing as the Microsoft email is, there are some great lessons to be learnt from it. Not least, how you can connect with Millennials without overcompensating, and how to maintain an authentic brand voice. This is our advice for great candidate communication:

Target your candidates where they already are

Connecting with Millennial candidates can be a daunting prospect. You want to communicate on the same level as them to build a rapport, but overcompensating with slang and ‘youthful language’ may just leave candidates cringing and your company embarrassed.

A good way to connect with a younger workforce is to utilise social platforms. Tweeting and posting on Facebook and LinkedIn can help you establish a conversation with a wider range of candidates. Keep the tone appropriate for the platform – Twitter can be chattier, whereas LinkedIn will require a more formal tone. Importantly, always keep in mind your branding and what kind of tone is appropriate for your company – this will aid in avoiding any ‘slang mishaps’.

Remaining authentic in candidate communication is vital

Trying to be something you’re not can end badly, as can be seen in the Microsoft email. Your communications should provide a true reflection of your company culture, as it gives your potential applicants a greater sense of who you are and what you’re about. After all, if a candidate is interested in working for your company and embraces your company culture, why hide it away?

Of course, keeping your candidate communication consistent can be difficult if you have several people sending emails and posting on social media. This is where it’s important to set up brand guidelines for communications, and to discuss and establish what tone you’re trying to achieve across each communications channel.

Simply, it’s essential to establish and maintain effective candidate communication

Although they can sometimes go awry, it’s important to keep communications frequent. An organisation that effectively and regularly communicates with candidates creates a great company perception, which helps to not only attract talent, but also keeps passive candidates engaged.

Whether it’s an email, a tweet or a LinkedIn post, maintaining the conversation will help your organisation connect with applicants and attract the most suitable candidates for your organisation.


At the end of the day, each candidate is unique. Trying to reach a whole generation, even one as documented and defined as Millennials, will come with challenges. Utilising other means of communication such as social media, remaining true to your brand, and maintaining frequent communication, will help you establish a connection between your organisation and your candidates, and attract great talent to apply for your roles.


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About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.