Who Are They?
Roughly born between 1983 and 1995, millennials are always a hot topic of discussion in the human resources management community. How is this new generation of workers different from the last? How can we leverage the expertise of this hyper-connected group of workers to our company’s advantage? How do millennials survive off nothing but avocado toast and tall non-fat lattes with caramel drizzle?
According to a study from the Pew Research Center1 more than one-in-three (35%) labour force participants are millennials, making them the largest generation in the workforce. That number will grow to 60% by 2020, a fact corroborated by the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report2. The problem with such a shocking increase in millennial workers is that there is ample room for miscommunication between generations. Gallup reports that millennial turnover in the US alone costs organizations $30.5 billion annually3. It is therefore imperative that recruiters and managers understand the distinct needs of millennial workers, so as to avoid the consequences of an unsatisfied and unproductive employee base.
How Can We Work with them?
Stress the Importance of Their Work
A simple stroll into any gathering of young professionals will reveal that this younger generation places a high emphasis on leaving an impact. Millennials want to know that their work is valued and that it can generate tangible results. Beyond being fed a list of duties and responsibilities, millennials need to know why their work is important and how it fits into the grand scheme of things. When recruiting for younger candidates, ensure that they understand the significance of their role to the larger strategy of the company.
Avoid Corporate Jargon
From huge neon billboards to inconspicuous product placement, advertisements are everywhere nowadays. And nobody has experienced it more than the millennials. When searching for companies, millennial prospects tend to veer away from workplaces described in dated and superfluous language. Instead, they are attracted to companies that speak to them in a succinct, relatable way. Stay clear of buzzwords, corporate jargon, and anything else that can be deemed as divisive.
Be a Mentor, Not a Boss
44% of young professionals expect to leave their current employers in the next two years4 and 65% reported personal development as the most influential factor of their current job5. Many millennials choose their companies based on which business can fulfill their need for personal and professional development. Young workers want to know whether it is possible to advance their careers within the company and how they can continually build their skills for larger roles in the future. Ensure managers sit down with employees and plan a clear roadmap of where they see themselves in five or ten years. This will ensure greater success in retaining new hires.
Give Praise Where Praise is Due
Nobody likes working when they feel unappreciated. Recognize, share, and reward exceptional work whenever possible. One idea is to implement a milestone rewards program, allowing employees to work toward a goal, instead of aimlessly clocking in and out of the office.
Support Flexible Schedules (If Possible)
As employers and industries are becoming increasingly flexible, so are employee schedules. The traditional 9-to-5 is a corporate structure of the past. Work-life balance is an important criterion for millennials in the job search and professions that allow for flexible hours, telecommuting opportunities, and extra vacation time are likely to see higher employee retention.
It’s Not Just Money They’re After
Everybody and their mother can offer a competitive salary. Sometimes it is the employee perks and the company culture that can sway a potential job prospect one way or the other. Small benefits such as casual dress codes, family-friendly policies, and health club memberships can go a long way.
Be Open to New Communication Styles
50 years ago, nobody could have imagined that one of the most powerful computing devices of the last century would be able to fit in a pant pocket. A testimony to the progress of technology and connectivity, cell phones have opened a plethora of alternative communication styles. From face-to-face to over-the-phone to messaging apps, millennials communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Understanding how young employees prefer to communicate and trying to accommodate that preference can be beneficial in the long run.
More Feedback, Fewer Problems
In an ever competitive job market, employees are itching to stand out. One way they can do this is by honing and mastering their workplace skills. To help facilitate this need, managers can provide real-time feedback to employees, instead of the traditional and overly-formal performance review. Even a simple weekly meeting can foster an open and honest relationship between the manager and the employee.
Help Yourself by Helping the Community
Many millennials are passionate about global challenges and enjoy being involved with their local community. A recent survey of millennials from the Society for Human Resource Management6 revealed that 47% of young employees volunteered on their own for a cause or non-profit in the last month, 94% enjoyed using their skills to benefit a cause, and 57% want more company-wide service days. Holding regular fundraisers or community outreach events can boost employee morale and heighten their sense of purpose in the workplace.
Embrace their Tech Skills
Millennials grew up in the middle of a technological revolution, implying that their aptitude for technology is a cut above the rest. By embracing technology in the recruiting and employee development processes, managers can ensure their employee base will consist of the best and the brightest.
One way to incorporate cutting-edge technology into the recruitment process is to implement the Predictive Index System®. The Predictive Index System® administers behavioural and cognitive assessments that enable recruiters to accurately identify the candidates that are the best fit for the role. Eliminate the cost of a poor hire by choosing the right ones the first time around. Click here to find out more about Predictive Success’ hiring solutions.
 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/ https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/recruiting-tips/2018-global-recruiting-trends https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236474/millennials-job-hopping-generation.aspx https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html https://onlinemba.unc.edu/blog/geny-in-the-workplace/ https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/Pages/Millennial-Impact.aspx#sthash.Nz3kssWR.I9cn6ZXB.dpuf