By 2020, Gen Y is on pace to outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. To stay competitive, it’s more important than ever for companies to employ strategies for attracting, managing, and retaining this rising talent pool.
1. Cultivate Engagement
First and foremost, companies, who hope to recruit and keep well-matched millennials must promote a culture of employee engagement.
Engaged employees come when:
Work is exciting and meaningful
The workplace is flexible
Management is effective in providing guidance and mentorship
The company has invested in training and developing its people
Leadership conveys its mission in a way that brings meaning and purpose to the organization
According to research by Bersin & Deloitte, more than 80 percent of today’s workforce feels disengaged. For a nimble organization, this presents an opportunity to create a competitive advantage and attract fresh young millennial talent through employee engagement.
2. Embrace a Flexible Work Culture
A mobile workforce is fast becoming the norm. It is estimated that in 2015 there will be 1.5 billion mobile workers. Millennials are notably the most tech-savvy demographic and are perfectly suited to embrace virtual employment.
Further, as a generation raised on tech, they value working for an organization that is innovative in terms of business practices, workplace environment, and corporate structure.
3. Continuous Learning and Personal Development
Across all industries, millennials are attracted to companies that offer personal development opportunities. A culture of learning is crucial to strong human capital, which, when properly managed, is the only asset that appreciates over time.
The common concern here is the tendency of millennials to be less loyal than any other demographic. The shrinking mid-level management pool is demanding organizational learning be reengineered. This shift calls for more unique/non-traditional opportunities for professional development. Companies with a diverse offering of opportunities for continuous learning, coaching, and mentorship are more likely to see loyalty from their millennial employees.
4. Give Voice and Guidance
Millennials want to be heard, almost as much as they want guidance and feedback. Not only should you provide forums for them to express their innovative ideas, but successful managers pair the forums with opportunities for continuous feedback. A recent survey of millennial professionals, conducted by Robert Half International and Yahoo! Hot Jobs, found that more than 60 percent of millennials want to hear from their managers at least once a day.
These young adults want to know you will provide them with plenty of career coaching and mentorship. If you don’t have a mentor program in place, create one and emphasize it during the interview process.
5. Be Authentic
One of the primary components of an attractive company is an authentic brand. Not only does authenticity resonate with your customers, it’s necessary if you wish to get noticed by top young talent.
Let’s face it, marketing and advertising firms with a history of innovative, ahead-of-the-curve actions will prove attractive to millennials. So will PR shops that leverage social assets effectively and capitalize on responsive Internet campaigns.
6. Practice Corporate Social Responsibility
More than 50 percent of millennials are influenced to accept a job based on that company's involvement with causes. Firms need to be good at displaying how they help the community and must lead by example.
The 21st century worker wants more. They don’t want a career--they want an experience. Be authentic with your vision and mission, and find ways to make the work meaningful. If your current employees don’t live your brand, or if your mission isn’t attached to a genuine and socially responsible story, you are likely to miss out on millennial talent.
Millennials can be high maintenance, but they are also high performing. And soon, they will be the dominant demographic in the workplace. To attract these entrepreneurial workers, you must focus on what you can do to make the work have soul, provide more coaching, improve flexibility, and drive meaning into the workplace.