Attracting millennials is no easy feat. As a generation, they are extremely demanding and have an acute sense of their values, which means they are looking for companies that share their world view and allow them to be themselves.
Does your company have what it takes to win over this generation? Right now, they make up the majority of the workforce, so it is worth your while trying to understand how to attract them and get your recruitment and selection processes up to speed.
Who are millennials?
Identifying and establishing generational brackets to organise the population into groups with shared traits is a useful undertaking for sociologists and companies alike.
Millennials are one of the most well-known generations and include everyone born between 1981 and 1993 (although some demographers extend that to 2004). The common denominator is that they all arrived into the world just as the world wide web was making its climactic debut and grew up surrounded by new technology. As a result, they are hyperconnected and the digital realm is part of their everyday life.
They are also a highly qualified generation, which is why many have opted to run their own business. Those who work for other people value flexibility, teleworking and recognition for their achievements (according to Deloitte).
Key facts on millennials
The Manpower Group reports that millennials comprise 35% of the global workforce, ahead of Gen Z, their successors (24%), and baby boomers, who make up just 6% of the workforce. It’s therefore not surprising that countless studies have been carried out to find out just what makes this generation tick.
Findings from The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 brought up several interesting statistics about the labour market:
- 67% of survey participants feel supported and motivated in their work.
- 45% of working millennials say they had never worked from home before the pandemic.
- 60% of those surveyed admit that, once the health crisis is over, they would like to have the option to work from home.
- Two thirds of millennials believe that working from home allows them to balance their professional and personal life better.
10 tips for attracting and retaining millennial talent
So how do you attract millennials? Many companies rightly ask this question when they are at the stage of designing their recruitment processes. While this generation’s idiosyncrasies make them appealing professionals, they are also more difficult to entice.
Here are our tips for attracting and retaining millennial professionals:
1. Stress the importance of their role within the company
The key to connecting with a millennial is to help them understand and demonstrate the importance of their role within the company. Sharing a list of tasks and responsibilities will not be enough. Try to explain the relevance of their position in detail and how they fit within the business strategy.
2. Praise their work when you can
All generations, but particularly millennials, need to know they are doing a good job and are on the right track. Openly recognise and congratulate them on a job well done whenever possible.
You can even set up a reward or incentive scheme to motivate employees to work towards specific goals.
3. Commit to flexible working conditions
Most millennials are not keen on adhering to stringent norms. They prefer and will prioritise opportunities that offer flexible hours, the option of telecommuting and extra holidays. This provides motivation and in turn, boosts productivity.
The best option for employers is to let their millennial workers know that while they need to attend meetings and achieve their targets, the specific working hours are completely down to them (whenever possible).
4. Offer them more than just money
Interestingly, salary is not the most important draw for millennial talent. They want to be able to dress casually in the office, balance their personal and family life or feel like they are making a difference.
When it comes to marketing your offer to millennials it’s the smaller details that count, and these are often what influences them to choose one company over another. The narrative to draw them in must go beyond the financial offering and should incorporate their concerns and interests. In reality, you need to win over the professional as much as they do you.
5. Always provide feedback
Millennials are keen to receive feedback. They want to know if they are doing their job well or if there is something they need to work on. An internal assessment program is a must-have to give them the immediate feedback they crave.
Of course, this can also be done more informally with regular team meetings.
6. Nurture and encourage the company culture
Company culture is important to millennials. Hierarchies and old conventions simply won’t wash with them; they want to be sure that they share the same ideas as their employers. In other words, they want to feel comfortable in their workplace.
It’s increasingly common for companies to opt for horizontal models with welcoming and comfortable offices. This attracts and retains talent. So, during the interview, make sure you communicate to the candidate what working for the company is like, and the type of dynamics they will find.
7. Guarantee a career plan
In general, millennials are ambitious. For them, it is important to feel like they are making progress and are on a defined path looking towards the future. In fact, professional development is a deciding factor for accepting a job offer.
Therefore, once you’ve caught the attention of your millennial talent, don’t forget how important it is to present the company’s career plan. But, above all, make sure you can make good on your promises.
8. Simplify the hiring process
A protracted, complex selection process will dishearten millennial candidates. Try to find a way to get to know them better without resorting to tedious and boring formats. For example, take a walk with them around the office and then invite them to have a coffee with you while you ask your questions as you would have done in a traditional interview. They will be much more motivated and open to participating.
9. Promote teamworking
Millennials enjoy teamworking and establishing friendships with work colleagues. During the selection process explain what their role within the team would be, how many people are in the team and perhaps even ask a potential colleague to join the interview.
10. Be transparent
The millennial generation likes to feel that they have an open and honest relationship with their bosses and work colleagues. They want to feel comfortable and free to express their opinions. So, during the interview don’t hesitate, for example, to explain the less glamorous aspects of the post they are applying for. They will appreciate your honesty, and understanding that no job is perfect, they will feel more assured.