How to attract and retain millennials?Reading Time: 3 minutes
Millennials or ‘Generation Y’ are people born between 1980 and 1995. Reputedly unstable and difficult to manage, it is not always easy to know how to manage this new generation of young workers. So how do you convince these future talents to come to your company and make sure they stay?
The Digital Native Generation
American sociologists William Strauss and Neil Howe, specialists in generational studies, have identified these famous “millennials” as the individuals born before the year 2000 (described by others as Generations Y and Z). These young workers are aged between 20 and 35.
Already well-established on the labour market, they are considered to be unstable and difficult to manage. In contrast with previous generations who worked for work’s sake, “millennials” are looking for a form of self-fulfilment in their career.
Motivated by the desire to develop and consequently experiment with activities requiring radically different skills, they also strive to maintain a perfect work-life balance. Most of them therefore want to be employed, and some see themselves as entrepreneurs or expatriates.
How to attract these millennials?
Like their elders, millennials dare to state what they believe to be important. Wishing to find a meaning to their existence, millennials are sensitive to an authentic context enabling a balance between their personal and private lives. That is why they tend to look closer at work conditions and corporate values.
Even though they have an idea of what they are worth on the market, they are still capable of lowering their wage demands if the business plan really speaks to them. Millennials want to feel useful in everyday life and like to learn new things and innovate. The company therefore needs to highlight the history of its founders and values.
It is important, however, to not try and “sell” an ideal context which is not really embodied by the company. Millennials do not care for smoke and mirrors. So, watch your storytelling! However, feel free to encourage your staff to co-opt people in their network, as these will become genuine “natural” ambassadors.
Retain these new talents
This generation is quick to quit their job, whenever they no longer feel comfortable in their environment, with boring tasks, blocking due to old processes, a change of management, etc. Yet, talent management is THE loyalty lever for these new generations. They are very sensitive to the recognition of their strengths and to support helping them to upgrade their skills.
“To ensure the loyalty of these new talents, everything revolves around feedback and skills!”
For millennials, feedback on accomplished work and their strong points is essential. Ideally, their managers should be able to discuss their development outlooks and potential and be frank about the corporate strategy, so that they can fully support it. Millennials’ commitment depends on the place they are given in the company.
To be taken seriously by these profiles, team managers need to give real added value, to bring something to the discussion. Managers should not simply describe the main strengths of an employee from this generation. They must also be capable of drawing out areas for improvement and put them into perspective, for example by explaining the risks incurred if nothing is done about these points.
Hence, the importance of the skills and potential assessment. To prepare to offer in-depth feedback, the company can use the Assessment Centre for this new generation of employees. As gamification is part of the genetic make-up of these digital natives, simulation in a professional environment really speaks to them. The Assessment Centre is a unique experience that teaches an employee a lot about themselves.
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