Last year, millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015) made up a third of the workforce (according to Pew Research) and by 2020 will make up a majority. Baby boomers are continuing to retire, and this younger group is moving up and driving business strategies and growth. While some still view Millennials as babies, they are in reality some of the most savvy and adaptable people around, and have an abundance of education, skills, talent, and innovative ideas. They are now crucial to businesses seeking to grow, develop, and compete successfully. However, they are also among the most mobile of employees in the workforce, switching jobs more frequently than past generations. About 58% of Millennials expect to leave their job in the next 3 years to better their opportunities.
So what do companies need to do in order to attract and retain more of these young, bright minds?
Keep up with technology.
Most Millennials grew up with computers, internet, and cell phones, so it makes sense that they want to work for digitally mature companies. Make some upgrades and advance with technology, and then show it off when recruiting. It’s sure to impress.
Use a mobile recruiting process.
Related to keeping up with technology, Glassdoor reports that 90% of job seekers will use a mobile device to job hunt, so you need to go mobile! Improve your websites’s Career page, include applications with LinkedIn, present a video as part of your recruiting content, and make a digitally savvy impression on Millennials right off the bat on their phones and tablets.
Offer opportunities for growth.
Millennials are a generation of learners. The vast majority receive education beyond high school and strive to develop a wide variety of skills in order to compete in an age of economic uncertainty. They want to feel that their skill set is used well and that they are continually learning and making themselves more marketable and experienced. Providing growth opportunities for your employees is therefore seen as an extremely valuable perk to Millennials. If your company does not currently offer anything like this, start now! You could develop training programs, mentorship programs, and continuing education or training stipends. Once the programs are in place, let all potential hires know about them from the beginning.
Help them make the world a better place.
This age group is all about being green, getting involved in various causes, and feeling like they’re making a difference. Offer perks like PTO for volunteering, paid membership fees to service and activity clubs, and specific organized volunteering opportunities for your employees. Advertise the efforts your company puts forth to give back and show how your employees make a difference in the world.
Focus on purpose.
Money is no longer enough—employees now yearn to be a part of something bigger. Millennials want to feel purpose and fulfillment in their work. Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global, explained, “The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits. These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community.” Identify your company’s mission and message, and then convey this to job seekers through recruiters and on your website. Not only will a sense of purpose attract Millennials, but it will also help keep them around for longer if they feel that their work really matters.
Give more freedom and flexibility.
Stop following the “command and control model” and give your employees more autonomy. Being flexible and letting your employees make some decisions is the most popular model among Millennials. A work/life balance is extremely important to this generation, so try offering perks like flexible schedules, a casual dress code, a paid day off on your birthday, etc. This kind of freedom really makes employees feel appreciated.
Times change and people change, so don’t get left behind. Make these changes in your company and see how they will attract and retain more millennials.