I am a millennial, and I’ve discovered that makes me somewhat of an enigma to hiring managers across the globe. Companies need to hire people my age, but they seem to be struggling to figure us out.
Millennials are “the consumers of the job market,” according to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. In less than ten years, they will make up 75% of the workforce. If you are a company that wants the best Millennial talent now and in the coming years, you need to hire and hold onto millennial employees.
Hiring manages have reason to be concerned with the vast number of millennials surging into the workforce. The stereotypes about us are scary; a quick google search will reveal that millennials are lazy, entitled, and unwilling to stay at a single job for more than a year or two. In fact, much of the current obsession with millennials has to do with figuring out how and why millennials work the way they do.
But there’s no need to panic. As this recent study affirms, intergenerational tension isn’t anything new for the working world, and there’s no reason businesses can’t attract and accept millennials for what they are. The stereotypes are false (mostly), but there are some differences between Millennials and other generations that are important to keep in mind if your company wants to hire and win the loyalty of someone between the ages of 19 and 35.
According to the comprehensive 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, like all generations before, when deciding on whether or not to take a job, millennials prioritize making a good living over all else. However, behind that, when considering employment opportunities, and whether or not to jump ship from their current job, millennials put more emphasis than their predecessors on personal development and holistic wellbeing.
It’s true that millennials switch jobs more than other generations. That doesn’t have to be bad for employers. The best of the best young talent is constantly out there looking for fitting opportunities. Here are a few tips for your business if you’re looking to scoop up that eager talent.
Get a good web presence, in the right places.
Millennials are “tech natives,” and use the internet heavily in job searches. A poorly designed or misfunctional company website will quickly turn many young candidates away. A great site will build trust. Make sure your website is up to date and clean when reaching out to millennial candidates.
Don’t expect candidates to stop their research at your company site. Check out your company’s rating on Glass Door. Post the job description to online boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. Use Twitter and Facebook to advertise, but only if you know how to rock social media.
Old-fashioned networking is still one of the most common ways millennials find jobs, so don’t slack on your IRL presence.
And, if you’re having trouble getting in touch with young people, recruiting services like Scouted specialize in helping businesses hire great young talent.
Communicate. Let them know where they’re headed and where the business is headed.
Millennial employees want to be your business’s top priority. The Deloitte study strongly advocates businesses take an “employee first” approach, if they aren’t already.
Most importantly, Millennials want to know how their personal career development fits in with their employer’s vision. Be clear about what the path is to promotions and leadership positions. Let employees and candidates know how their work fits into the mission and success of the company.
On the same note, be sure to communicate the values and goals of the business to young candidates and employees. Millennials prefer to work collaboratively, and like to know how what they are doing is contributing to the greater good of their company and the world.
Offer candidates mentorship.
98% of millennials think they need good mentorship to advance in their careers. Providing great mentors in the workplace is a great way to win the hearts of young employees.
Mentorship doesn’t just come from pairing young employees with senior mentors in a formal program. You can bolster mentorship relationships by putting young workers on small teams with more experienced employees, converging responsibilities of senior and new staff, and by recognizing good mentors (yes, financially) for the work they do to keep newcomers engaged.
Have a solid mentorship program in place, and advertise it to candidates.
Adapt to their lifestyle and values.
Millennials take a different stance on the purpose of business. For us, profit doesn’t always come first. My generation expects business to put employees first and to make a positive impact on customers, as well as on society and the planet as a whole.
They like having flexible schedules. They want mental, physical, and financial wellbeing — that means good pay, manageable levels of stress, the ability to exercise and eat well, and the ability to work when and how they prefer.
So they expect their employers to support their lifestyles as they’ve chosen to live them.
Even if you’ve done everything right, don’t expect them to stay for more than 2–3 years.
44% of millennial employees think they might leave their current employer in the next two years, according to Deloitte. 25% would leave their job in the next year.
According to the study, a majority of these potential job-switchers feel like their employers aren’t paying attention to their personal development needs. Some of them want to make more money. The list goes on.
Millennials are job consumers right now, and they are shopping for their dream jobs. Chances are they’ll keep shopping even once you’ve hired them. You can raise your chances of keeping them engaged by being transparent about business goals and by offering them personalized personal development.
Put employees first, and the candidates will come.