Laziness, entitlement etc. are a few of the most commonly attributed traits of millennials. Although they suffer an unfair reputation, the education, tech-savviness, and fresh vision can be key to a company’s success, and, this has been recognized by employers.
There are plenty of millennials out there: 80 million currently live in the US, making them the largest generation in US history. In 2015, millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the workforce, with one-in-three workers aged between eighteen and thirty-four.
The difficulty lies not with finding millennials, but, attracting them to and keeping them in your organization, given their reputation.
Of course, millennials are people too, and so a clear job-posting, competitive salary, inspiring mission statement, great culture, and so on, are all still needed to place the millennials you want.
But if you want the very top talent, you need to go beyond all the usual requirements. Here are a few suggestions:
As David Williams, serial entrepreneur and author, puts it, “the adage that ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is especially true of millennials when it comes to career recruitment.”
Millennials, like most people, are looking for a workplace where they feel they belong and they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging if they are around people like them. You can bet that a millennial invited to apply for a job by another millennial is more likely to start the application process.
Moreover, millennials are more likely to know what makes other millennials tick – what offers will pique their interest and what will keep them at bay.
Ron Piccolo, Cornell Professor of Management, explains that “Millennials expect digital relevancy.” The first thing a millennial will do before beginning an application is to google the company. If they find little information or an out-dated website with a poor lay-out they are going to be put-off immediately, afraid that the business is behind with the times.
As Piccolo says, it is vital to “invest not only in how you engage clients and consumers online but prospective employees as well.”
Flexible Work Hours
Nancy Altobello, Vice Chair of Talent at EY, argues that for young professionals, flexibility is almost as important as salary.
Flexibility here means the opportunity to work where they want and how they want – after all, no one likes to be micromanaged. Set them a target, a deadline, the essential constraints, and then leave them to it.
This might mean they work unconventional hours, out of the office, in jeans and a t-shirt, but so long as they are delivering a high-quality service there’s no reason for this to be an issue.
Understanding a company’s vision and the direction in which they are heading is very important to millennials. They want to feel like the work they are doing is worthwhile, often not only for the company but for society at large, and that they are able to meaningfully participate in the company’s decision-making procedures.
Explain clearly where your company aims to be in a year, five years, a decade, and the trade-offs you may need to make in order to achieve these goals. There’s little point hiring a millennial only to lose them shortly afterward because they can’t get on board with the company’s philosophy.
Feedback & Prmotions
It may be common practice to offer employees annual or biannual reviews, but millennials are interested in much faster feedback and opportunities to develop.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Millennials can often earn a higher salary, grow their career, get a change of scenery, and find a better cultural fit by job-hopping – if you want to retain the best, you have to show them regularly that there is a clear career path available for them within the company.
Major businesses have cottoned on. The American multinational technology company IBM, for instance, has abandoned the annual appraisal in favor of quarterly check-ins in which employees set and review their short-term goals.