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Employing Millennials

Max Mackin 600Max Mackin, Managing Director at Black Fox Solutions

Millennials or Generation Y has become a recent buzzword in the Recruitment Industry, categorized as anyone born after 1980 they are usually described as more idealistic, digitally-engaged and ambitious than the previous generation, but also have a reputation for being work-shy, self-entitled, possessing short attention spans and a poor commitment to jobs.

That being said, as the baby-boomers (born from the 1960’s to early 1980’s) are retiring, Millennials are entering the work-force at speed and according to a survey by Deloitte are expected to make up 75% of the global work-force by 2025.

This change is causing a big shift for employers in how they recruit and retain the staff they need and we, at Black Fox Solutions, are finding our clients increasingly concerned about attracting and retaining them.

The main problem facing employers is that millennials attitude towards work differs considerably from that of previous generations, for example:

  • Millennials are the most educated generation in history with half of UK millennials having at least one degree but they suffer from greater levels of underemployment and struggle to gain financial independence.
  • Compared with 41% of baby-boomers, only 13% of millennials believed that you should stay in a job for at least 5 years before looking for another one.
  • 1 in 3 millennials said they would prioritise social media freedom and device flexibility over salary when considering a job offer.
  • 65% said personal development was the most important factor in their current jobs

      (Sources: Kenan-Flager Business School and Department for Business Innovation & Skills) 

With this in mind, if you are going to be successful in attracting and retaining a millennial work-force then it is important to understand what they want.

Focus on the benefits of the job

Companies like Google and Facebook pioneered this approach, by not only offering attractive salaries but promoting the benefits to be enjoyed by joining them. Flexitime, Free Lunches, Travel Allowance, Healthcare and opportunities for further training or a clear path for progression are increasingly important to millennials. Promoting the benefits to new staff can get them to buy in to your company, and a more engaged work-force is a more productive one.

 Provide opportunities for personal development

Millennials change jobs more often than previous generations, and are more concerned with personal development and working for a company where they will be valued and receive continuous training. Therefore, it’s important to invest in their development and create future opportunities. That’s why more and more companies are seeing a benefit in offering, ongoing training, mentorship programmes and path-to-management schemes.

Give ongoing feedback

Millennials want continual feedback, they are ambitious to succeed. Instead of traditional annual performance reviews, companies are now adopting an ongoing approach to feedback, giving regular feedback on a one on one basis, both personal and company related, helps focus the individual and creates better buy-in. Allowing staff to feel appreciated and trusted. 

Rethink your recruitment model

According to a report by Research and Advisory Firm CEB, the average millennial candidate gets 12.5% more job offers than the previous generation. Which has made companies re-think their interview polices.

Previously the interviews would be carried out on site in a meeting room and 85% focused on the candidate’s suitability. Employers now realise that to attract better candidates they have to use the interview process in part to sell the company to the candidate.

A lot of 1st interviews now take place in public places like coffee shops and hotel foyers because the activity going on around them, help relaxes the candidates and produces a better more relaxed  dialogue that produces a greater insight to the persons personality and wants.

Companies now see the need to use part of the selection process to promote why “working” for their company is beneficial to the persons overall development and career goals.

Our advice would be, take a progressive approach to recruitment; rather than insisting on tired application forms or conducting old school/formal interviews in your meeting room (because “we have always done it that way.”), arrange to meet your candidate in a more relaxed informal setting?

Better still, if you want to give candidates a snapshot of what they can expect when working for your company, arrange for one of your top performers, or the person they will be working with most closely to meet them and promote you as an employer.

How we adapt our approach to the recruitment and retention of millennials will impact the success of our businesses in the future, and those who fail to adapt will most likely miss out. Anne Donovan, Managing Director at PWC, sums this up well, saying “If businesses are not focused on millennials, they are at a competitive disadvantage. There is a clear business case to have these discussions and to change the culture in the workplace to attract and retain millennial talent. Organizations that understand how much millennials matter are going to win”.

For more information or advice on hiring a member of staff or finding a new job, visit www.blackfoxsolutions.co.uk or call 028 9099 4111. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.