Stereotype: A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
To the outside world, Millennials have a sense of entitlement—they’re lazy, don’t want to work, and switch jobs regularly (according to LinkedIn, Millennials job-hop four times in the first decade after graduation). But for the majority of twenty-somethings, that’s wrong. As a Millennial and recent grad, I disagree with the stereotypes unfairly placed upon myself and my peers.
No matter your viewpoint, Millennials are changing the workforce. For brands hoping to stay relevant, a reliance on Millennials is inevitable, and it’s time to start paying attention to what they want. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 75% of the workforce by 2030 will be Millennials.
At Roberts, we recognize this and have set out to help our clients develop recruitment strategies around the demands of Millennials: culture, perks, and retention.
Culture: It’s Not Just About the Money
Millennials want to believe in a company’s mission and purpose—think 3M, Disney, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Today, brands are taking note.
It’s also worth noting that 71% of Millennials are either not engaged at work or actively disengaged at work. Long story short, Millennials are the least engaged generation in the country. This lack of engagement means that identifying what’s important to them is the key to longevity. Here’s a rundown of what Millennials are looking for.
So, when looking for a candidate, take the time and make sure you’re attracting the right talent—talent aligning with your purpose (never change for them). While it can be tempting to cast a wide net in hopes of landing handfuls of applicants, a more strategic approach could lend you top-level talent aligning perfectly with your brand.
For example, Kimberly-Clark has an “Original Thinkers” quiz, which places its values front and center. Those that align with its core missions and values can discover the thinking style of their applicants and see where an individual fits into its organization. This way, Kimberly-Clark knows it’s hiring people that mesh well. If you ask me, this has a lot to do with its $47.5B Market Cap and its mainstay as a leader in the Consumer Goods market.
Perks: Beyond PTO
When it comes to Millennials, flexibility is key; in fact, according to a Bentley University study, 77% of Millennials said flexible work hours would make them more productive at work. This is further supported by a Deloitte study that found a work/life balance is more important than career progression when evaluating job opportunities. The way Millennials see it, as long as we get our work done and do a kick a** job, it doesn’t matter where we do it.
Some of the world’s biggest brands are picking up on the trend. Burton, for example, a popular snowboarding outfitter, lets its employees take the day off to hit the trails if two feet of snow falls in 24 hours. Likewise, Fidelity contributes up to $10,000 to help its employees get out of student debt. It’s important for brands to understand what its employees value. From here, they can better determine perks that make sense; for example, furthering education, gym memberships, and commuter allowance.
Retention: Don’t Let the Good Ones Stray
Now that you were able to draw in talent through culture and perks, how do you keep your Millennials? In a nutshell, feedback, feedback, and more feedback. In fact, Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees, and unfortunately, annual reviews won’t cut it. Instead, have a weekly one-on-one, ask them how they’re doing, and give them advice on what they can do differently. This coaching and peer mentorship will not only make them feel valued, but it’ll give them a feeling of empowerment that will lead to a more confident and effective workplace. Studies have shown that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week and that the turnover rate is 14.9% lower in companies that implement regular employee feedback.
Employee engagement proves to be a strong retention strategy, as a research study conducted by SHRM found that 70% of employees ranked being empowered to take action at work when a problem or opportunity arose as an important element for their engagement. For example, Google offers its employees 20% time, which allows them to spend 20% of their time working on something they think will benefit Google. Google believes the idea alone of empowering its employees to be creative and innovative not only helps them feel included but is an integral part of its organization.
Despite what you’ve heard, Millennials aren’t hard to recruit. Forget the stereotypes and focus on what’s important. Remember don’t tell, but show them what your organization is like by showcasing your culture, exposing growth opportunities, featuring employees and showing what the work day looks like. By understanding what the organization is like ahead of time, you’ll be able to attract invested employees who want to be part of your organization.