The generation that has changed the face of business several times over, and the one still baffling many a business owner with their preferences and goals, Millennials are indeed a puzzle and a challenge for many companies. Just like with any other generation, certain stigmas around them prevail, yet they continuously turn out to be brilliant innovators, and they constantly change how we perceive the professional realm.
They are trailblazers, digital nomads, explorers, and forward-thinking innovators. Unlike their predecessors, they are unlikely to stay at a single job from the start and until the end of their career. As such, they tend to follow their own path, not feeling obligated to stay loyal to a single company, or stay stuck in a nine-to-five career when they can move in a different direction.
But they are brilliant, well-educated, and they appreciate a work culture of equality and constant learning. It’s no wonder so many businesses are looking to hire more Millennials, and if you’re one of them, this little guide can help you recruit them with greater success and retain them as members of your team.
Focus on and Present Your Values
Millennials are indeed taking over the world by storm. If numbers are any indication (and they truly are), the US alone will be home to around 73 million of them this year, effectively overtaking Baby Boomers as the most populous generation in the country. As the majority of the workforce, they deserve your attention, and you need to make sure that your company values are in line with theirs, otherwise you won’t be looking at a match made in heaven. In fact, around 7 out of 10 US Millennials want value-driven companies, both from the customer standpoint and that of an employee.
Simply put, if you want their attention, and above all, respect, you need to make sure that your company is genuinely driven by higher goals and values and the collective wellbeing of your society. You can and should present those values as often as possible through your content, marketing campaigns, your services, how you devise your offers, and your mission and vision.
Provide Them with a Career Path
As we’ve mentioned earlier, a Millennial will not settle for a steady job with a steady salary to pay off their student loans and the mortgage. They need more, and they do create more for themselves every step of the way. In fast-growing markets such as Australia, the challenge to provide a workplace that epitomizes ongoing growth for every individual is getting more complex. Add to that, by 2025, three quarters of Australia’s workforce will be made of Millennials alone. We’re talking about millions of people who are purpose-driven and strive to advance and learn for as long as they work.
So, as an employer looking to hire locally in a fast-paced market, offering admin jobs in Sydney means you need to go beyond a competitive salary and show them how they will be able to advance in that particular post under your wing. If you only point out the advantages of your health program or vacation time, you risk alienating this particular generation. Show them your mentorship programs, send them to workshops in other cities, cover their expenses for additional courses to master new skills, and show them they have a future with your company in more ways than just those zeros on the paycheck.
Flexibility Does Matter
A hop back to the Northern Hemisphere and we learn that 70% of the UK Millennial workforce wants flexible work opportunities. This number may vary from one country to another, but it’s representative of this generation’s desire to not be stuck in a cubicle for eight hours straight every single day. That’s your cue: if you want to recruit more Millennials, you need to adapt your business model to embrace more flexibility.
Consider letting them work from home once per week, if not all the time. Let them work and travel and their position doesn’t require a physical presence in your office. Offer them flexible work hours whenever you can. Make room for ongoing changes for single parents, too. Let them attend classes and nurture their hobbies and healthy habits by accommodating their schedule. This will bring you more productivity, reduce burnout and increase motivation, and higher retention rates of your Millennial workforce.
Emphasize Work-Life Balance
Although you’ve already ensured better balance with a flexible approach, you’ll find that Millennials won’t settle with just that, either. They have a different mindset when it comes to work and life in general, as they understand that they do not exist to serve you, but you as a business exist to serve them. No matter how much they love earning money, traveling, flexible hours, or anything else on that list, they won’t stay with a business that only gives them an illusion of freedom and balance with seemingly optimal policies and flexible work hours. They want the real deal.
The goal of flexibility is to make sure they have enough time to spend with their families, nurture their relationships, continue educating themselves, and develop their hobbies. If your kind of flexibility still doesn’t leave room for such levels of personal development, they’ll leave sooner rather than later. Customize your approach in order to let your Millennial workers achieve their goals and truly lead a balanced life. For some, that means having time to attend dance lessons twice a week and get home in time for dinner every night. For others, it means leaving work early to see their kids’ play. Talk to them, let them help you define those balancing options, and use them to build a more appealing recruiting strategy.
To some, Millennials are still a mystery, while to others, they are a well of talent waiting to be recruited. Use these tips to adapt your business and to recruit them with greater ease, and most importantly, to inspire them to stay along your side and grow your brand with you.
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmarkblog.