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Attracting and Retaining Millennials: A Guide for Employers

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http://recruiterbox.com | Millennials make up an increasingly large portion of the workforce. Savvy employers who take the time to understand the desires of Gen Y will attract and retain the best and brightest from this tech-savvy generation.

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Attracting and Retaining Millennials: A Guide for Employers

  1. 1. Attracting and Retaining Millennials: A Guide for Employers The Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are those born roughly between 1980 and 2000 and are the most studied generation since the Baby Boomers. In his Time cover story “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation,” Joel Stein called members of Gen Y “lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow.”1 While he also made a case for “why millennials will save us all,” his portrayal of Gen Y nonetheless caused considerable backlash.2 Stein’s portrayal notwithstanding, the Millennial generation is unique, providing fresh perspectives and hopeful optimism in the workplace (despite some reportedly oddball behavior during interviews).3 One thing is certain: Millennials make up a growing part of the workforce–in fact, by 2020 they will make up 50 percent of the global workforce, according to a study by PwC.4 Savvy employers know that identifying what makes this generation “tick” is the key to attracting the best and the brightest members of Gen Y. Motivating and retaining employees is always a managerial priority, but employers will have to step up their games as Millennials become an increasingly large segment of the workforce. Let’s take a look at the strategies and recruiting tools employers can use to attract Millennials. What Do Millennials Want in the Workplace? The values and priorities of the Millennial generation are different from their Baby Boomer parents. Work-life balance is important to Gen Y: The mantra “work to live” more aptly describes them than the “live to work” ambitions embraced by the Boomers. This is not to imply that Millennials are slackers. Like Boomers, Millennials have high expectations for themselves and crave challenge in the workplace, but they have different priorities when it comes to work dominating (or, rather, not dominating) their lives. Create a Dynamic, Fun Work Environment Millennials believe that work doesn’t have to be drudgery, that it can actually be fun, challenging and productive. You can create this environment with perks like group outings, in-house games and free lunches. Smart employers know that a bit of downtime helps employees–especially those in creative roles–recharge. Ditch the Hierarchy Millennials prefer working in teams rather than individually, and are more comfortable with flat management structures over corporate hierarchies. This is often difficult for older generations, who are accustomed to a chain of command, but the inflexibility of such systems can be a major turn-off for Millennials. Offer Flexible Schedules Who decided on a 9 to 5 schedule, anyway? Rigid schedules generally don’t go over well with Millennials. This group is accustomed to using technology to their advantage, and sees telecommuting as an attractive option. A desire for flex scheduling is not about laziness. In fact, Millennials are willing to put in a lot of hours–especially entrepreneurial types and those working at startups.
  2. 2. Companies that are open to embracing scheduling flexibility often find that productivity increases. One such example is Best Buy, which tested a program that allowed corporate employees to work virtually anywhere, anytime, as long as the employees completed their work in a timely manner. The company saw an increase in productivity of 41%, and a reduction in employee turnover of approximately 90% at the company’s headquarters, as reported in an article published by Legal Zoom.5 Offer Opportunities for Growth It almost goes without saying that most employees want to grow in their careers. This is especially true for Millennials, who see learning and growth as an essential part of any job. Members of Gen Y will quickly tire of a company that doesn’t nurture their talents and encourage them to grow and take on new responsibilities—they’ll simply move on. Offer workshops, classes, conferences and mentorship opportunities that challenge Millennial employees in their careers.