The HR Manager’s Guide to Hiring (and Retaining) Millennials

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Sep 30, 2014


That lazy, indolent, pleasure-seeking, mercurial generation. A group characterized as loving rewards but rejecting correction. The generation that the executives of yesterday cringe to see populating their hiring pools (in only six years, 46 percent of the workforce will be Millennials).

But is this cynicism fair? Do Millennials really live down to these debased expectations?

A very different picture, statistically

The truth is, thankfully, surprising.

Statistically, a very different picture of Millennials is painted: according to a study by PwC, it is a complete myth that Millennials lack the work-ethic of their older counterparts. Millennials are even said to place a higher emphasis on meaningful and individually rewarding work than on larger salaries; meaning higher employment rates and lower corporate employment costs.

And Millennials are adept at the one force sweeping and reengineering society: the internet. Pew Research found that a staggering 81 percent of Millennials are on Facebook (with a median friend count of 250). With these budding aspirations and avid technical skills, what better way to expand market prominence and corporate presence than to hire a Millennial?

But attracting Millennials to your organization is no small task. Here are three tips to help you recruit GenY like a champ.

1. Social Media: A force to be mastered

Beware the vague job posting thrown on the normally dormant corporate Twitter account. Or the Facebook page with no face that lists a vague career opportunity. Appealing to Millennials is all about being personable and approachable, and incorporating social media in an effective manner.

Here are two tips to keep your recruitment endeavors to-the-point and appealing to the younger generation:

  • Always update. Easily the most important factor in maintaining a popular and well-received recruiting page, regardless of what channel it is through. Even updates once a week are enough to entice Millennials to approach you. Just make sure you are updating.
  • Display your company’s character. Have a face. Show them what permeates the culture of your office: from the corporate dodge ball game held once a year to your company’s team picture. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you show real people, lest you get tossed into the bin containing all of the other indistinguishable white-collar corporations.

2. Flexibility — and then some

Do you have a device policy at your office? Are many employees at your office on set work schedules? Do any of your employees work remotely, or have the option to?

Millennials love flexibility. They love the BYOD thing, the ability to work when and where they want, and the ability to blend their personal lives into their work.

Incorporating these into your work options will add significant allure to your career opportunity, as well as allow Millennials to get out of the office more and experience the world: a place brimming with ideas and an environment conducive to creativity. Why have employees commute to your office when the same or even better work can be done elsewhere?

Millennials are also more entrepreneurial, and you should be too. Be open to new opportunities; be willing to see thing in a different light. Be willing to implement standing desks, or to stock the office fridge with Red Bull. Millennials love to reside at the forefront of workplace trends.

3. Satisfy their ambition

Millennials are very likely to be ambitious, according to a study done by the Kenan-Flager Business School at the University of North Carolina.

With this comes a need for advancement and growth opportunities. A great way for you to offer this is through training and development options, as well as employing coaches or mentors. Both will give your prospective Millennial the time to self-evaluate his or her own abilities, and time to grow and succeed in crucial areas.

According to the International Coach Federation, employing a coaching system in your business can increase employee work performance up to 70 percent. Even eLearning systems can fill this coaching void: by offering a distributable learning management system that is accessible on many platforms and devices, companies can cater to the flexible and device-inclined Millennial generation.

And finally, have a clearly defined career path. Let Millennials know where they are going and how they can get there. Clarity is crucial in cultivating a productive and effective workforce, especially for a thoroughly pragmatic younger generation ready to use the fastest means possible to accomplish their goals.

The GenY economy

So, don’t be reluctant to hire a Millennial. They are ready to work and will bring skill and expertise to any field. You may even find that this stigmatized generation is the key to revitalizing your business.

Have any more suggestions about things to keep in mind when hiring the younger generation? Leave them in the comments below.

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