Recruiting Millennials With Purposeful Work

August 3, 2016 9:36 am

AT&T’s college recruiting leader offers tips on recruiting millennials and how to choose schools to recruit from.


By Eve Tahmincioglu

Nancy Dominguez

Nancy Dominguez, an AT&T intern

Successfully recruiting millennials, also known as members of Gen Y, is all about providing them with opportunities to do meaningful work. That’s what Kaley Gagnon, AT&T’s executive director of college recruiting, has found sets her company apart.

(AT&T is No. 4 on the 2016 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.)

One example of how AT&T does that is letting interns run with their own ideas to create products. A case in point, Gagnon explained, is an intern who wanted to create technology to sense if a child or a pet was in a hot car. “We said, ‘Go for it,’” she recalled.

The intern, Nancy Dominguez, created the prototype, and her story is now featured on the AT&T careers page under the headline, “AT&T Intern’s Invention Will Help Save Lives.”

“When the idea first popped into my head, I sent an email explaining the idea,” Dominguez said. “I didn’t expect them to say, ‘I like that. Let’s start working on it.'”


Kaley Gagnon, AT&T

AT&T is able to find bright young employees like Dominguez, Gagnon said, because they laser focus their college recruitment efforts. “You have to be strategic,” she explained about picking the right universities. “We can’t be at every single one of them.”

The two top reasons for picking a particular school, she said, are:

  • Geographic proximity to the jobs being offered
  • Degree programs that align with the skillsets needed

Gagnon said AT&T doesn’t recruit from a campus without doing thorough research, spending time on campus and talking to students. The key is “making sure there is a match,” she stressed.

Check out our Diversity in Minutes conversation with Gagnon, where she provides college recruiting best practices.