Recruit & Retain a Millennial Workforce

The generation commonly referred to as “millennials,” those born in the 80’s and 90’s, is dominating the American workforce.  Many companies have responded to this by going to great lengths to restructure themselves in an effort to be viewed as an attractive opportunity by this demographic.  While re-branding a business in a way to make it appear dynamic and relevant can be a great way to initially interest prospective employees, it’s probably not enough to keep them engaged long-term.  This theory is supported by the fact that The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported the average millennial to hold 7.8 jobs from age 18 to age 30.  There are, however, some things you can do to make your business stand out when it comes to appealing to this group.

Understand Their Needs

Millennials have been raised on technology.  They are smart, savvy, innovative and looking for an opportunity to showcase their ability to multitask in high-pressure environments.  In other words, they don’t want to be dumbed down.  They also want a certain level of flexibility within the structure of their position.

Know Where They Are Looking

Just as it wouldn’t make sense to look for a fish in a tree, it doesn’t make sense to search for your millennial talent in the newspaper.  Job boards, such as Career Builder and Indeed are among the best places to find your prospective employees.  Following closely behind are company websites, social media channels such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn and online search engines.  In order to find the right talent, meet them where they are already at.

Offer a Clear Path of Progression

Robert Walters reports that 91% of millennials are looking for a career that will offer them a clear path they can follow toward progression.  Properly outlining expectations and qualifications for promotions and bonuses is of the utmost importance if you want to make a job with your company appealing.  Understanding that opportunities for career progression exist is the number one motivator that will keep your millennial employee happy and engaged in the work they are doing.  Offering regular one-on-one check-ins where they can gauge their own level of progress based on supervisor feedback and providing constructive suggestions to point them in the right direction is also imperative, as it will give them clear goals to work toward.

Keep Up with Technology

Millennials are technology-driven and want to work in an environment that understands and utilizes the technology they are familiar with.  According to Robert Walters, 42% of millennials believe that companies should work diligently to keep up with the latest technological trends, even if it means spending some extra money to do so, compared with only 9% of business owners, who feel the same way.  That gap accounts for a large disconnect between what the millennial culture wants and what is being offered to them.  If an employee doesn’t feel understood they are far less likely to stay in the same position for long.

Offer Competitive Salary

Just like every generation before them, millennials are motivated by monetary incentives.  Offering a competitive starting salary and bonuses based on performance is a great way to keep your millennial employees focused.  Their desire to advance quickly can be tempered as well by a bonus/promotion program that feels attainable.

Flexible Work Options

Working from home is no longer for the select few.  The most intriguing jobs to millennials most often offer work-from-home options for at least a portion of the time.  Rather than requiring employees come into the office and work a set number of hours, this model offers employees an opportunity to be their own bosses and rely on their own innovation to get the things they need to get done completed in a timely and efficient manner.  Setting clear productivity expectations and project deadlines is typically enough to keep this demographic on track.

Create a Positive Company Culture

Millennials don’t just want to go to work for a paycheck.  They want to feel as though they are a part of something.  Creating an office environment where employees are encouraged to share ideas and collaborate on projects is a great way to build rapport and keep your millennial workforce happy long-term.  Employees want the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally with a company as well, so offering them space to showcase their talents and access to continuing education options will further fuel their alignment within the company.

Stop Calling Them Millennials

Lastly, a great way to keep a millennial employee happy is to stop referring to him/her as a millennial.  Due to the many negative connotations that have been associated with this term, it can be a very quick way to turn potential talent sour.  Treat your millennial employee with the same respect and trust that you would with any other.  Let them know they are a valued member of your team and they will be happy to stay with your company for the long haul.

Alex Jize | Associate Broker
Contact the author