Attracting and Maintaining Millennial Recruitment Professionals

I was recently asked to give a talk in Birmingham on the topic of Millennials. I have a good understanding of social media and modern communication tools, so I can fully understand why they considered me for the talk, little did I know that I was about to embark on a very steep learning curve!

My talk was in three weeks, so the research needed to commence sooner rather than later. The first place to start was to define what a Millennial was? I knew that I was a Gen X, born 1965–1979, and Gen Y was those born between 1980–1995, so I assumed a Millennial was those born after 1995 — I assumed wrong! For clarity, a Millennial is the same as Gen Y. Those born between 1980 and 1995.

Tomorrow’s workforce won’t just include Millennials… it will be dominated by them

In the last ten years, there has been a shift in the way that we parent our children. The way that Millennials communicate, their attitude towards their peers and technology has a significant role to play.

I found this video by Simon Sinek fascinating. If you employ Millennials, or you are looking to recruit Millennials, then this video is a must watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vudaAYx2IcE&feature=youtu.be

How to Attract Millennials?

I was astounded to read that 91% of Millennials would like rapid career growth. If Millennials do not find career progression within twelve months of starting a new position (sometimes quicker than that), then they will be seeking alternative employment.

Here are the top tips for attracting Millennials into your business.

  • Offer competitive salary and growth opportunities
  • Companies should remain transparent. Companies such as John Lewis are a prime example of having a transparent business culture. They declare profits to their “partners” (their terminology for staff), and if they are having issues or problems, then these are also communicated through the organisation.
  • Introduce reverse mentorship — Millennials like to have mutual respect. They have not been raised on “be seen and not heard” as those born before 1980 were! Us oldies can learn a lot from Millennials, as well as the other way round.
  • Make sure Millennials feel connected to the brand — millennials are storytellers, what are they saying, what do they feel about your brand?
  • Strengthen your company’s digital presence — if you want to attract Millennials, then having a strong digital presence is important.
  • Embrace technology and invest in the latest systems — are you using a dated CRM system? Perhaps your company still operates on Internet Explorer? If so, then Millennials will become frustrated with the lack of speed and flexibility of the technology and will not be attracted to your business. Investing in technology is a must nowadays. Below is a quick survey was taken showing the results when asked: “should companies invest in the latest technology.”

What matters most to Millennials when starting a new job?

Contrary to popular belief, the Millennials are not swayed by free beer and a ping pong table. (Or free food and bean bags as per the above video). Here are the top-rated reasons that matter to a Millennial when starting a new job.

According to a recent HR Business Review report:

  • Most important — Opportunity to learn and grow
  • 2nd most important — Quality of the manager
  • 3rd most important — Quality of management
  • 4th most important — Interest in the type of work
  • 5th most important — Opportunity for advancement
  • 6th most important — Overall compensation
     Money is still a big factor. Student loans need to be paid off, and we are now living in an era of anemic wage growth. 50% of Millennials will consider a change of job for a 20% or less increase in salary. This makes an employer very vulnerable, especially if we are employing brilliant and career minded individuals. Do we keep putting our hands in our pockets to keep them, or do we let them use us a stepping stone for their next step up the career ladder with another organisation?

What are the main differences between generations in the workplace?

Are there many differences between the generations in the workplace? Sure a good work ethic is the same across all generations? My research showed that there are four main differences between generations in the workplace.

#1 — Company Culture

Have a look around your office. Does the environment suit all generations? If you are not sure, then ask a visitor or a client when they next pop in for a coffee. Company culture does not stop at the office environment. What type of business activities do you provide for your staff? Do you simply have the annual Christmas party, or do you organise regular trips and team building days? Are you a secret Santa type of organisation, or do you prefer to have a commission structure where the top biller/sales person wins a holiday in the sun? Do you only reward your sales people, or do you include admin/accounts/ service staff as well? Have a think about your culture and consider a balance between the generations.

#2 — Communication Channels

Gen Y send Snaps, Instant Messages, and Tweets Baby Boomers prefer the phone and email

Different generations tend to value different communication styles, team structures, and job perks. Understanding what people value and what motivates them makes it much easier to communicate job expectations, offer the right type of support or even make adjustments that will better suit a team’s performance.

#3 — Negative stereotypes

It is a well-known fact that there is a stigma attached to people of a certain age.

Gen Y are lazy, entitled, technology obsessed, overeager, expect everything “yesterday.”
Baby Boomers are difficult to train, stubborn, set in their ways
People sometimes assume that someone younger knows less, has experienced less, is less worthy of the position. Some people experience a lot in a short amount of time, have learned skills that us older ones didn’t, have a pearl of wisdom that is beyond their years or have a perspective that no one else has. Us oldies can learn a lot from some youngsters, and we should never forget that.

#4 — Work Ethic

Baby Boomers have a culture of being measured by the time spent at your desk. I remember the days when I would be at work before the boss go there and I was often the last to leave. I was trying to impress my boss. This is NOT a modern culture.

For Gen Y/Millennials the time spent in the office is not as vital as the results that you produce. Gen Y expects a healthy work-life balance. They value their time with their friends and family much more than we did when we were on the first career ladder.

Conclusion

I have a 14-year-old daughter who lives on Snapchat. Her life is run by her phone and panic sets in when she can not find her good device. This research has made me realise that she still has a lot to learn before she ventures into the world of employment. I am one of the lucky ones; I still have a good few years to turn it around and prepare her for that journey. The first issue to combat for me is the technology. The best way of teaching this skill is to lead by example! So, goodbye notifications, hello aeroplane mode!


Originally published at www.green-umbrella.biz on April 11, 2017.

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