How To Attract (And Keep) The Best Millennial Talent

by Tanya November 14, 2018

Millennials are already the world’s most populous generation. Now, they’re also changing the workforce for the better.

(Or at least trying their best).

This generation is bringing a whole new set of ideals and expectations about the roles they hope to take on.

Currently, Millennials make up around 35% of the workforce in the UK and the US, and they’re expected to comprise three-quarters of the global workforce by 2025.

This demographic represents a huge talent pool that has the advantage of being incredibly tech-savvy.

In fact, one of the key characteristics of Millennials is their natural literacy in new technology.

Having grown up with constant connectivity, it’s unsurprising that the Millennial generation has a knack for picking up new digital technologies quickly and easily.

Millennials have a good grasp of the changing world and because of that, they’re the driving force for the development of new tech that makes life easier, faster, and on-demand.

But attracting and retaining Millennials at work isn’t just about technology, nor is it all about financial rewards.

Let’s look at it more closely …

The job-hopping problem: when expectations don’t match the reality

Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey found that “those who are less than satisfied with their pay and work flexibility are increasingly attracted to the gig economy, especially in emerging markets” – which partly explains the massive rise in new startups and the ongoing growth in self-employment in the UK.

Deloitte survey aslso found that 43% of Millennials envision leaving their jobs within two years and only 28% seek to stay beyond five years.

The problem?

A mismatch between what Millennials believe responsible businesses should achieve, and what they perceive businesses’ actual priorities to be. Where matches exist, those companies are believed to be more successful, have more stimulating work environments, and do a better job of developing talent.

In short: Millennials aren’t prepared to stick around in a job or a work environment that doesn’t match their expectations.

What can employers do to attract, and keep, the best Millennial talent?

Below are some areas of improvement that you can apply to your business to adapt to the new needs in the workforce.

1. Clear career development & training plan

According to a survey of working Millennials by Udemy, 42% say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work.

It’s important to invest in your staff and take steps to ensure they have the skills they need to do their current job, and possibly other prospects in your company, too.

We live in an unstable economy and job market. Millennials know this and have accepted their career paths won’t be as secure and straightforward as their parents’.

This has seen a rise in job-hopping, where young workers are trying to navigate their way through dead-end jobs to find a worthwhile opportunity.

If you can provide a role with new jobs & assignments every 1-2 years, then you will be far more likely to attract the best of the best, who want to grow and progress.

Millennials hate stagnation. When that happens, they get bored and move on.

2. Bottom-up culture: collaboration & belonging

Millennials want to be part of a team and know their voice is heard.

The best way to convince them to consider your company as a long-term investment is to ensure their voices are heard. This can be assured in a number of ways:

• Create and agree objectives together
• Develop incentive plans that matter to each individual’s needs
• Regular feed-back loop and recognition
• Embrace new tools for internal collaboration & management
• Use front-line staff to create the training packs
• Peer-to-peer on the job coaching

3. Purpose: Business isn’t just about money

Another effect of growing up with the internet means most Millennials are significantly more conscious to the world and the international community.

They acknowledge the planet is bigger than their single existence and expect others to feel that way too.

Millennials rank “being in a role I’m passionate about” above salary and other benefits, according to this report.

Transparency is crucial, and Millennials value having a clear vision for the future.

This isn’t just their future, but your company’s too – they want to know where they’re going, what they’re buying into, and their place in the big picture.

Ingraining a bigger picture in your company mentality will not only attract more of these highly coveted workers, but it will also improve your overall office environment.

4. Introduce flexibility: get rid of rigidity

Another key element that has changed the face of today’s workforce is the move toward prioritising the work-life balance over money.

Wellness, not money, is the most important pursuit in life for many Millennial employees.

We want to enjoy life just as much as we want to succeed in it.

We don’t want to pass up those long weekends at festivals and put off having a family because our job is getting in the way.

A recent study found that 45 percent of millennial workers would opt for flexibility in work hours over good pay, which is the reason that flexible working and remote working has increased in popularity so rapidly over the past 5 years.

Millennials are pushing back against outdated 9-5 work schedules.

Thanks to mobile technology and the slow-but-steady acceptance of working remotely, employees and entrepreneurs alike can cut down on the commute and enjoy a more flexible lifestyle.

Whether that means working from home, a co-working space, or hot-desking through a virtual office agreement, having the freedom to work flexibly and achieve greater work/life balance is a valuable benefit for the Gen Y workforce.

5. Inspire with colourful & fun office interior

Millennials, more than any other generation seek meaning fulfilment both in the workplace and at home – coming into an office that looks and feels inspiring and engaging is something that Millennials are increasingly not just seeking, but expecting.

Whatever your industry, taking even just a few small steps to show you both understand and care about what your Millennial staff want from their workplace, can make a world of difference.

We don’t want to feel like a cog in a wheel of a soulless machine, we want to feel part of a unique organisation with its own identity and character.

The design of your office can make all the difference.

Last words

Millennials are hard workers and will happily put in 110% to get the job done… providing it’s for a company they believe in.

My advice?

Look after your people, and they will look after you. Give them the training, emotional investment, a sense of belonging and freedom they are calling for, and they will reward you with dedication, hard work and ultimately – loyalty.

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First millennial generation blogger & spokesperson in the UK. Instagram - @luckyattitudeblog

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