Millennials are a popular demographic for companies to seek these days, despite the occasional negative connotations with the generation. On some level, it doesn’t matter what employers’ personal opinions about the generation are; these are the men and women who are shaping the future of the business world, and sooner or later, you’ll have to start cultivating them if you want your business to survive.
Why Millennials Are So Important
Recruiters are measurably escalating their efforts in finding and hiring millennials because they realize what a stronger millennial workforce can do for their organization:
- Millennials are passionate. In one of the more positive aspects associated with the millennial generation, these workers tend to be passionate about their jobs and full of energy (youth may also factor into this description).
- Millennials are the future. There’s no fighting it—millennials will rule the business world in another decade or two. The time to start finding and grooming them is now.
- Millennials look good. A company full of young, energetic people is a company other people will trust. Simply having more millennials in the workplace can make it look more appealing to clients and prospective employees alike.
Tactics for Hiring
So how are businesses doing more to target and retain millennials, specifically?
1. Better training and development programs.
Millennials love receiving feedback and hitting milestones, which is why training and development programs are starting to become more popular. Micro-learning and micro-milestones, guiding employees through a game-like mobile experience as they learn the ropes of their new position, are accordingly gaining traction—that’s why modern LMS’s with gamification elements, like Talent LMS, are seeing a massive response.
According to Dave McDermott of Kelly Services, “I think [gamification] is simply a reflection of our innate desire as humans to be recognized.” Having any kind of system in place that gives these workers immediate feedback and a set of structured goals to reach immediately makes a business more appealing. It also helps to offer on-the-job training, education, and workshops that help millennials develop themselves even further.
2. Corporate social responsibility programs.
Most workers look for things like salary and benefits when making an employment decision, and millennials do too—but beyond that, millennials hold their workplaces to a higher degree of ethical accountability. That’s why more businesses and organizations are working to flaunt their socially responsible contributions to the world.
For example, SurveyMonkey created its Audience program to give back to the world, donating 50 cents per completed survey to a charity of the survey-taker’s choice. We’re starting to see more volunteering opportunities through major corporations, donations, and of course, partnerships with charities and nonprofits. Millennials want to feel like they’re working for a place with high moral standards and a de-prioritization of greed, and companies are responding.
3. Remote working opportunities.
Most millennials love the idea of working from home. Since they grew up in a world that thrives on digital and virtual communication, they don’t have a problem holding meetings and collaborating over instant messages, rather than meeting in person. They would also rather spend the time they’d ordinarily spend commuting on significant work—which also makes them more productive. Companies get the added benefit of widening their potential pool of job candidates once locality is not an issue. It’s why more companies are offering better remote working opportunities, and some companies, like Buffer, are going fully remote—with no central office at all.
4. Leadership and engagement.
Millennials really want to feel like they’re a part of something significant. They’re passionate and enthusiastic about their careers, so they need to have an employer that’s willing to match that energy and encourage its development even further. That’s why so many businesses are attempting to look more attractive to millennials by giving them more leadership and engagement opportunities; they’re creating new roles and positions, and getting millennials started on bigger, more significant projects earlier on in their careers. It works out well for everyone since companies get to see more productive momentum once a worker is hired.
5. Work-life balance considerations.
Going along with the remote working opportunities, millennials strive for a healthy work-life balance (which often means plenty of time off and special considerations for personal events). More and more businesses are starting to realize the importance of this for employee health, satisfaction, and of course retention, and are starting to offer things like semi-unlimited vacation days, flexible time off, and more breaks throughout the day.
For example, Southwest Airlines is known for its commitment to work-life balance with fantastic employee wellness and career development programs, with compressed workweeks, flexible hours, and job sharing also a major part of its human resource offerings. This doesn’t mean it’s within your power or a wise move to demand unlimited vacation when you go in for an interview, but it is something companies are starting to be more flexible with.
In time, these trends are only going to grow, and they’ll likely be joined by even more forward-thinking, millennial-wooing efforts.
As a millennial in the workforce, you’re likely still in the early stages of your career, which means making strong connections and finding good opportunities is crucial. Be on the lookout for companies making these kinds of offers, and know that these options are out there. If you want to succeed, you should be involved in organizations that are both forward-thinking and truly considerate of their workers, so don’t hesitate to make a career change if your current location isn’t a good fit. The future belongs to you.
This article was written by Larry Alton from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.