No matter what dated memes and tired jokes try to tell you, the professional world has been actively seeking out Millennials for years now.
As far back as 2015, 28 percent of Millennial workers were working at the management level, and their generation had become the most-represented within the workplace. They bring unique skills, are better with technology and have become a key hire for workplaces looking to modernize.
As with any workplace problem, there’s a lot more to it than the same trite stereotypes. To break it down, creating a workplace that attracts and keeps millennials becomes much less about catering to a specific generation and much more about fostering a sense of community most businesses don’t realize they lack.
What do millennials want from their jobs?
When looking to hire more of a certain demographic, the best practice begins with knowing what they value and seek to gain from their careers. While each applicant still brings their own desires and goals to a job, research shows that millennial workers have very different career values than their predecessors.
Millennials don’t want to work for a company they don’t believe in.
This stark change in employee attitude has been one of the biggest issues keeping companies from holding down millennial workers. Rather than just showing up, doing their job, and going home, millennials want to be a part of something they believe in. They often won’t go for job opportunities at companies they feel little personal connection to and are much more likely to leave that company if they do not take the job.
Millennials want to be a part of a team. The age of cubicles is quickly becoming a bygone era, as Millennial’s workspaces prioritize open communication and bonding.
Teamwork also means transparency. If Millennials feel cut out of decision-making, such as a detachment between management and staff, they’re much more likely to pursue new opportunities.
The Millennial worker is busy and online. While everyone is still familiar with the 9-to-5 grind, Millennials often go for the jobs that provide both upward mobility and hours that work for them.
In fact, 69 percent of Millennials believe that regular office attendance is unnecessary, preferring remote work. Building up a strong remote work capacity, which is now critical to surviving today’s quarantine restrictions, will engage talent that might otherwise slip through the cracks.
4 tips to attract millennial workers
As the old saying goes, knowing is only half the battle. How can companies translate an understanding of the millennial worker into concrete actions that acquire and keep young talent?
To understand this, it’s best to break it into two parts, starting with how to market job opportunities to Millennials.
- Highlight opportunities for growth: 59 percent of Millennials say opportunities for growth are “extremely important” to them. Try going back to job descriptions and adding more about what the job offers them as professionals, and make sure to fulfill those promises once they’re hired.
- Be open to remote work: Millennials don’t want to be stuck in an office all week. And many don’t want to have to move to a new city for a job. Being more open to remote employees translates to more applications.
- Stay innovative: Millennials grew up with technology; their whole lives have been spent acclimating to an all-digital world that they want to see reflected in the office. In fact, 78 percent of Millennials say access to technology makes them more effective workers. Creating an all-digital hiring site, updating office technology, and getting caught up with current work innovations can go a long way to keep Millennials’ interest.
- Offer more holistic compensation: Competitive compensation packages are important for any demographic, but Millennials in particular are looking for more holistic benefits. Perks and opportunities go a long way to swaying potential hires; these include career development, company trips, loan assistance, and help with continuing their education.
4 (more) tips to keep millennial workers
Getting a Millennial hired is one thing, but companies have to be prepared to stick with their promises if they want to keep them. Here are tips on how to avoid the dreaded Millennial turn-over.
- Stay true to promises: This should go for all workers, but Millennial workers put more value on trust and expect their employers to follow up their words with action. Make an effort of showing and not telling.
- Make an effort to engage Millennials: Only 29 percent of Millennials report feeling engaged at work. Attributing this to “laziness” doesn’t solve any problems, instead focus on actively meeting millennials workers needs and finding new ways to get them interested in their work. Millennials don’t have the same, more material motivations of older generations, valuing travel and personal hobbies more. Engaging them with what actually motivates them can keep them satisfied on the job.
- Encourage collaboration: Putting another stereotype to rest, 76 percent of Millennials said they, “enjoy working with senior management.” Creating more opportunities for Millennials to collaborate and learn from others makes them more likely to stick around, while also improving the culture of the entire workplace.
- Stay transparent: Open communication is key when working with millennials. Millennial workers who feel left out of the decision-making process or like management doesn’t care for their employees are much more likely to find a new job. And being more transparent helps everyone, not just Millennials.