Millennials are the biggest part of the workforce across the Western world, not only should this not be a major surprise to anyone who has analysed their workforce of late, but Millennials have arguably had one of the hardest times to build a professional career with global recessions, a pandemic and a lack of traditional career opportunities.
In fact, Millennials are unfairly known as the “job hopping” generation so being able to understand what their motivations are for a career and how to keep them motivated is going to be a massive challenge for organisations all over the world.
In this guide you will learn who Millennials are whilst also looking at the differences between them and Gen Z and finally looking at the different recruitment methods to attract top talent into your organisation.
Who are Millennials?
Millennials and Gen Z are both technologically inclined and generally sceptical about the world around them. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1995 whilst the next generation, Gen Z were born between 1996 and 2012.
One major difference between the two generations is that Millennials grew up during an economic boom but graduated (or spent their early working life) in an economic recession whilst Gen Z grew up in an economic recession watching family and friends struggle. This has shaped how they both view the world and the labour market.
The development of the Gig-Economy and the lack of career development for Millennials because organisations grossly shifted how to do business and meet global demands has made Millennials very sceptical about modern business today.
Some of the more widely noted characteristics of a Millennial are:
- Millennials have an inherent optimism
- Millennials tend to be more collaborative
- Millennials were immersed in the rise of social media and are more forthcoming with personal information
- Millennials don’t just work for a paycheque – they want a purpose
- Millennials are not pursuing job satisfaction – they are pursuing development
- Millennials don’t want annual reviews – they want ongoing conversations
- Millennials don’t want to fix their weaknesses – they want to develop their strengths
- Millennials will challenge hierarchies and the status quo
- Millennials value relationships with their superiors - more than any other generation
- Millennials value flexibility and work life balance
- Millennials are good creative problem solvers
Strategies to attract and recruit Millennials
As previously mentioned, Millennials are somewhat unfairly called the job-hopping generation - as they are generally known to move around to find their career progression and growth opportunities. However, with most millennials in their 30s and 40s, there are societal factors that have allowed this to happen.
With the financial crash of 2008, a slow recovery then an acceleration into poorly paid jobs and the inception of a gig economy, this has grossly impacted the world view Millennials have about the job market and the opportunities available.
If you’re looking to attract what is the largest part of your workforce today, you need to have the right kind of strategies that will do so. This includes:
Develop your employer brand
Millennials are tech savvy and have grown up with both the analogue world and the transformation into digital. In fact they were the first generation exposed to social media and have seen, and have been impacted by its influence - especially when it comes to learning more about people and brands.
Developing your employer brand is essential. Employer branding describes an employer's reputation as a place to work and their employee value proposition.
You want to be able to attract the best talent and one of the ways of doing this is by showing potential employees what the values and the culture of the organisation are and how staff appear to feel about working there.
Use your website to provide information that appeals to millennials and build a careers page that really highlights the benefits of working for your organisation as well as being a showcase for the best place to work.
Prioritise the company culture
Emphasising the company culture and making it a priority is only going to strengthen your position when attracting millennials into your company.
It fits into the scope of what an employer brand is - and how it should always be clearly communicated throughout your literature.
Company culture will outweigh perks and benefits for many millennials as a mismatch between cultures and the people working there will be noticeable. Millennials are sensitive about injustices and the company culture needs to reflect that there is an understanding of this and equally address any issues quickly.
Ensure that your messaging throughout the business, comms and marketing remain consistent.
Provide opportunities for growth
Getting paid well is going to be a benefit - no matter what the generation is - however, Millennials are more interested in long term opportunities and relationships so that they can develop and grow rather than be in the same position 18 to 24 months after recruitment.
Millennials have spent the majority of their working lives in low paid, career stagnant jobs where the thought or possibility of a good workplace pension are simply not even considered.
Being able to offer long term training opportunities, mentorship programs and possibly case studies demonstrating how others have progressed will be a positive strategy that you can impose into your recruitment efforts.
If you can offer job security, upward mobility, a defined career path, and the promise of retirement, you can become very attractive to members of these generations. It means more than just promises; if a candidate works for you for a year with no sign of potential improvement, they’ll be highly likely to start looking for alternatives. They’re not called “job-hoppers” for no reason.
Use appropriate technology
Millennials are the first generation (of the internet era) to have experienced analogue in the workplace and then the sudden shift to digital in a matter of a decade. This means that whilst they have grown with the technology, they have also been responsible for building great things with them as well. They are tech savvy and understand how to use different technologies and applications very easily and effectively.
It’s important that your organisation uses the most up to date tools and software so as for the employee to be able to fully demonstrate their capabilities and add value to your organisation.
Working with antiquated systems and out of date software tools will be to the detriment of their work and won’t tolerate for a long period of time this lack of upgrade.
Enable them to make a difference
Part of the Millennial make up is that they want to feel like they are making a difference somehow to the world and the environment around them. Millennials are purpose-minded and aware and would prefer roles that give a sense of purpose or have a positive social impact where possible.
Obviously not all roles are going to be able to cater for this want in their lives, but there are ways to show how they are making a difference. Start by demonstrating how their work is having a positive financial impact on the business. Build outreach and community schemes which will have a greater social impact and keep them interested in the role and the organisation.
Think of ways which the organisation is making the world better, its climate-change initiatives, community involvement and more and showcase this throughout your organisation’s literature and so on.
Make the recruitment process efficient
Anyone can appreciate this but Millennials even more so.
Making the recruitment process efficient, easy to use and quick is essential. They are considered to like things to happen quickly and are likely to drop out if a recruitment process takes too long.
You need to not only establish a quick relationship through communications, but make it very efficient and streamlined. Ensure recruitment efficiency and keep the ‘time to hire’ as short as possible.
Offer desirable perks
Millennials like many other generations enjoy perks however, you need to drive certain perks as part of the offer more than others. For example, think about developing improved work/life balance, wellness related perks and possibly socially responsible benefits.
Consider elements like remote working or summer hours so that balance is met and even introduce things like wellness packages where they can access gyms or healthcare through the organisation.
Millennials are making up the majority of the workforce today, so finding a way to attract these 30 and now, 40 year olds into the workplace is a challenge. From being more socially vocal to caring about where they work and their impact to the wider environment and society, Millennials have found it difficult to be enticed by the old methods of workplace etiquette and recruitment.
Using new strategies such as developing the employer brand or showing the possibilities for growth and development is going to be key in attracting and retaining Millennial employees.
The Thomas Recruitment Platform can be used to help advertise and attract Millennial candidates whilst also engaging with staff in the evaluation process making it easier for organisations to attract top talent.