Attracting and Retaining Millennials

As Baby Boomers leave for retirement and Gen X moves into middle management, the Millennial generation (born early 1980's through early 2000's) is filling entry-level positions en masse! By 2020, Millennials, a generation larger in size than the Baby Boomer Generation, will make up half of the workforce. These fresh-faced individuals have a completely different concept of work than their elders. It makes sense that they approach job searches in their own, unique fashion.

The best way to attract the best young talent is to go to the source. College Career Services departments are seeing an increase in utilization. Sixty-five percent of Millennials participate in career services at their university. Seventy percent use networking events during their job search. Partnering with colleges, universities, and technical schools gives a company the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the next generation of talent.

Technology is the obvious choice since they are so dependent upon it. Submitting a resume or application online is second nature to a group who took exams and applied for college online. Eighty-seven percent of new college grads will go directly to a company's website to search and apply for open positions. However, they will not take time to look for postings on the website. Adding a "Careers" link on the home page of the company's website is the best way to direct not only Millennials, but all candidates to current opportunities.

Brand recognition and corporate culture are the biggest factors to Millennials. They seek positions that are challenging and lead to opportunities for advancement. When crafting job posts or company profiles, highlight projects they may work on, mentorship opportunities, and potential advancement tracks.

Include videos on the Careers page that highlight different aspects of the company and corporate culture. "Day in the Life at XYZ Company" is a great way to attract candidates.  Employee profiles and photos of how employees and the company give back to the community are also great talent-magnets.

Retaining Millennials is not as difficult as anticipated. There are five BIG factors to retention.

  • Transparency of corporate culture.
  • Communication - frequent and through many different means including email, text, and face-to-face.
  • Constant feedback - frequent feedback on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.
  • Clearly defined expectations - written outlines and milestones for projects.  Define position requirements and expectations.
  • Sense of purpose - have a means, either within the company or on personal time, to give back to the community. 

Attracting and retaining Millennials is easy if you know where to go and what they are looking for in a company.  It is without a doubt that this group of talent will help reshape work as we know it.

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