In 2014, Millennials made up 36% of the workforce. By 2025, their contribution is forecasted to grow up to 75%. This increase causes managers and directors from all around the world to ask the following question. How can we attract, recruit and retain young and talented Millennials?
In fact, Millennials’ employer and career expectations differ enormously from Generation X and Baby Boomers. We currently live in a century characterized by continuous technological and demographic changes – which are deeply rooted in Millennials’ minds. Most of them are fresh from college and have distinctive requirements on what they want from their future employer.
As an employer, you have to know these requirements because labour shortage is reaching a critical point and if your business wants to perform better than the competition, you need to attract the most talented Millennials.
Hence, how to draw Millennials’ interest in your company? Here are five steps that can help to transform your company into becoming an attractive employer for Millennials.
Create an employer brand for Millennials – sell a lifestyle
Meaningful work is a crucial factor for Millennials when accepting a job. Most Millennials choose their employer based on the alignment of their personal interests and passion with the company’s mission and vision. Yes, salary is important – but the lifestyle makes the difference. Consequently, emotional rewards become more effective than monetary incentives.
For many Millennials it is more important to chase their dreams and follow their passion instead of doing what others expect from them. A perfect example for that is the 23 years old Lauren Simmons, who originally studied genetics but then decided to follow her passion for numbers and become the first and youngest female full-time equity trader at the New York Stock Exchange. She is one of our inspiring speakers at the Global Female Leaders Summit 2019. If you are interested to hear her story, book your seat.
But how to make sure that your company’s mission and vision attract this new generation of talent? Well, as a first step to start with, you need to communicate them. By developing a convincing employer branding and choosing strong values for your brand, you already set the first stone to easily attract those Millennials that can identify themselves with your brand.
Once you hired Millennials, it is of high importance to integrate them into the team. They want to feel connected to their company and their team, which allows them to let work become a significant part of life and keep engaged. You can do so easily by planning company outings and team-building activities.
Provide opportunities for self-development for Millennials
For the millennial generation it is of high significance to develop personal skills and to grow. If they feel stuck in a position in the company, they will leave the firm sooner or later.
Employers are therefore forced to provide opportunities for self-development on several levels. Equally important is the way these chances are offered. Due to the technological development one could assume that Millennials prefer E-Learnings – this is not necessarily the case. Training types like E-Learnings and in-company-courses are too traditional for Millennials and do not accomplish the right effect. This generation wants to learn through experiences – which includes for example job rotation and mentoring.
Due to Millennials’ high ambitions in several facets of life, a lot of them will start moving into leadership positions. In fact, it is expected that until 2020 the majority of leadership and decision-making roles will be filled by Millennials. If you start offering efficient leadership and management trainings, you can make sure that the ambitious ones stay in your company and bring your revenues to a totally new level.
Be flexible for Millennials
Flexibility is probably the one that is not only demanded by the millennial generation, but by the whole workforce in our time. Nevertheless, Millennials do not only wish more flexibility at work, they rather claim it. If your company is not willing to provide flexibility in several ways, this is a strong criterion for exclusion.
But how should this flexibility look like? Millennials basically demand freedom to accomplish their tasks. Due to the fact that they are constantly connected to their work email or are available for business calls, they simply ask to manage their time and responsibilities according to their personal needs.
Work-life balance initiatives can be a strong advantage for your employer brand. By dealing with this important topic in the business world, Millennials directly get the feeling that your company actually cares about them. This will attract talented Millennials and by fulfilling this promise, you will preserve them too.
Flexibility leads us to the following point.
Let Millennials work from home (or wherever they want)
Millennials would like to be free in what they do and when they do it – even if they are employed. They want to be able to travel the world and set up their own schedules. Autonomy and flexibility at the workplace is often the most significant criterion when it comes to selecting a suitable employer.
If you want to attract the best talent, your company has to change its policies. The key is to focus on results and productivity instead of physical presence in an office. Of course, this working model is not realizable for every kind of task and position, but what counts is the willingness to support the need of autonomy.
By the way: This does not mean, that Millennials want to stay alone at home (or somewhere else) and totally quit teamwork. They are still highly interested in working at the office (at times) and being part of a good collaboration. Rotation and flexibility is key.
Adopt new ways of communication for Millennials
For Millennials, communication becomes more important. Especially when it comes to connecting with leaders and managers, they put high value on transparency. Employees want to know why they should perform certain tasks and be involved in the team’s strategy. Not surprisingly, when they become leaders themselves transparency will become a priority.
Moreover, feedback is highly appreciated by Millennials. Important here: Feedback should be provided on a regular basis or in real-time. They are not willing to wait until an annual review to improve, which will surely contribute to the overall efficiency of the company. Even more effective would be to provide clear instructions on what is expected from them at the very beginning.
The way of communicating those things is another critical point, which demands transformation. Whereas Baby Boomers grew up with face-to-face meetings and phone calls, Millennials are more inclined to technology – for example E-mail or Skype. If your company integrates these communication channels in addition to face-to-face meetings, it becomes attractive for Millennials.
Implementing these five steps can help your company attract the best talents of the millennial generation. If you are interested in a deeper discussion on how businesses need to transform their company culture for Millennials, book your seat at the Global Female Leaders Summit 2019. Claudine Adeyemi, founder & CEO of The Student Development Co., is highly passionate about the development of young people and will talk about this topic germane to the future of work.