Tips for Recruiting a Millennial Workforce

The baby boomer brain drain, a product of retirement, not emigration, is a reality.  With baby boomers comprising 31% of the workforce and holding 56% of the corporate leadership positions, companies who are actively recruiting and retaining a millennial workforce will be the ones in the best position to succeed1.  To see a great infographic on the baby boomer brain drain, check out this post.

Here are some tips for attracting millennial talent to your organization.

Tip 1: Make Benefits Millennial Friendly
We know from this blog that when compensation is essentially equal for two positions, millennials will be attracted to the firm that offers the best work/life balance.  How does your corporate culture show millennials that you are invested in them as people, not just as productive employees?  Are there flexible work hours?  A fitness stipend?  The more you position your company as offering work/life balance with some tangible programs or benefits to prove it, the more likely you are to attract and retain a millennial workforce.

Tip 2:  Chance for Advancement
It’s not about a sense of entitlement, but rather a desire to understand how they can progress in a role and the timeline attached to that promotion.  Millennials want to constantly be growing professionally.  Offer cross-functional training opportunities, and clearly explain the path to advancement.  Millennials want to be leaders and view opportunities to develop their leadership potential as a reason to take, and more importantly, stay in a role.

Tip 3: Don’t Talk About Your Technology
Unless you’re a tech firm, don’t use your latest and greatest technology as a main differentiator when recruiting millennial talent.  According to this study from Deloitte, millennials don’t value technology as a reason to join an organization.  They’re also not impressed by the pedigree of a company’s senior leadership.

Tip 4: Research Their Values
According to the Deloitte study, millennials select companies based on core value fit.  And with more than half ready to transition out of their role by 2020, companies must also adopt a strategy to retain their millennial workforce.  To better understand the values of the millennial generation, Deloitte asked the question, “What are the most important values a business should follow if it is to have long-term success?”  Here are the top 5 values:

  • 26% employee satisfaction/loyalty/fair treatment
  • 25% ethics/trust/integrity/honesty
  • 19% customer care/focus
  • 13% quality/reliability
  • 8% environmental impact (tied with corporate social responsibility)

Think about your internal recruitment team’s messaging and how your company does business, does it match the core values of the millennial generation?

Tip 5:  Mentoring
Millennials are loyal to managers not jobs, which means two things – an organization needs to ensure their management team is progressive and collaborative in their approach and that a structured mentoring program is in place.  And since everyone benefits from a mentoring relationship, including the person doing the mentoring, it makes sense to implement something that could help people grow regardless of what side of the table they sit on.

Key Takeaways
With baby boomers slated to retire in increasing numbers, it’s important to have a recruiting strategy in place to attract and retain top millennial talent.  A corporate culture that prioritizes work/life balance and leadership training is appealing to millennials.  Since millennials are loyal to a manager, not an organization, investing in management training is imperative, as is an understanding of how millennials want their companies to do business.  An organization that is well-positioned to recruit a strong millennial workforce, will gain a competitive advantage by avoiding the talent gap that will come with the baby boomer brain drain.

1 https://onlinemba.unc.edu/blog/baby-boomer-brain-drain-infographic/

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