Engaging and Retaining Millennial Talent

Engaging and Retaining Millennial Talent

22 June 2017

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Millennial (noun) – (also known as Generation Y) are the generational demographic cohort following Generation X. Characteristics vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, the generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies.

Extensive research has shown that the average Millennial will have six jobs by the time they have reached the age of 30. This current generation of workers are keen to move onwards and upwards with their careers, seeking out personal and professional fulfillment when given the opportunity. It is not seen as ‘job hopping’ or ‘disloyal’ to have an array of roles on your CV in a short space of time. It is very much the ‘norm’.

Millennials have something of a bad reputation for being social media obsessed and over-sensitive when it comes to dealing with tough decisions in the world of work. So, how does the senior end of the market relate to this generation of workers in order to attract and retain fresh talent? How do you keep in touch with these employees after they have left your workforce? Is there ever the chance that they will return to your organisation?

This generation is very much switched on; almost every element of their working and personal lives are documented on a social media platform. Therefore, if you want to catch their eye, your business should be properly represented on these platforms too (53% of employees are more likely to accept a job offer their potential employer uses the same tech as them).

Have a think about what type of content would engage a Millennial using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. What is your company culture or brand? What kind of Corporate Social Responsibility activities do you undertake? Millennials are very much engaged with charitable causes and a strong work/life balance. Does this come across in your marketing?

If you are then in the position of interviewing a Millennial for a position within your company, what type of approach would you take? Studies have shown that this generation find Competency Based Interviews outdated and irrelevant – they want the opportunity to tell stories about themselves and their career journey.

But what is it they want? Once they have their foot in the door of an organisation, what will keep a Millennial there longer than the average of two years? Perhaps it can be summed up in five key points:

  1. Opportunity to learn and grow - This opportunity means both in their line of work and out with it. Some larger corporations are funding extra-curricular activities of their workforce in order to retain them.
  2. Quality of the manager – Millennials are looking for a manager to lead by example, work hard and show respect for differing opinion. This comes from a generation who want to work for people who are not just telling, but doing themselves.
  3. Type of work – Is it interesting and varied? If not, millennials become bored, disengaged and ultimately leave. Research has shown that 21% of millennials have no hesitation in leaving employment quickly if they do not feel that they are making a difference, being challenged or adding value.
  4. Opportunity for advancement – They want to know that there is a clear progression plan for their development. 69% of millennials rate this as being important.
  5. Work/life balance – Having grown up in a tech environment, millennials don’t understand the need for the traditional 9-5 working environment as they can work from anywhere. Companies offering flexible working are more attractive to this generation.

Millennials are coming into the corporate world of work with huge expectations. They see things very differently and it is time for employers to embrace this change. Therefore, we need start embracing their differing skill sets and support Millennials to learn and engage with colleagues in their own comfortable way.

If you would like to source fresh talent for your business, and would welcome some guidance on how best to position with and engage Millennials, I would love to help you out. Click here to get in touch.




Written By Barry Lee


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