Millennials get a bad rap. They’re often touted in the media as being a fickle and entitled generation but the reality is that Millennials simply have a unique value system unlike any generation before them. This new generation is made up the most socially driven and diverse ethnic background in history.
According to a recent article in Forbes, Millennials in America are comprised of roughly 60 percent Caucasian, 14 percent African-American, 19 percent Hispanic and nearly 5 percent Asian. As compared to previous generations, nearly 75 percent were Caucasian. Furthermore, this group values knowledge over money.
The same report in Forbes said that 65 percent of Millennials polled ranked the opportunity for development as the most attractive feature of a company. Millennials are eager for work, value an entirely different compensation model that is based on growth and can be highly valued members of your team.
Here are four ways you can attract Millennials for your business.
1. Share Your Vision
Millennials want to feel tapped into something community-driven and bigger than just the work itself. How are you and your business changing the world, or at least the local area? If you can convey your mission to a Millennial, you’ll be much more apt to recruit them.
In a survey of over 2,000 Millennials conducted by Harvard, this generation listed “has strong values” as the number two most important trait in a company and listed “leadership” as the number three most important personal development goal they’d like to learn from their employer. This is a generation that wants to believe in the work they’re doing and contribute to the bigger picture.
As members of your team, don’t forget to reinforce their individual value. According to the Huffington Post, Millennials also want to feel like their work matters and is contributing to the company’s goals.
2. Tout Work/Life Balance
One surprisingly common trait amongst Millennials is their desire for work/life balance above almost all other things. This is a generation that wants to love their work, but also enjoy life outside of work. In a Harvard poll of Millennial values, work/life balance ranked in the top five for what they are seeking from their employer.
This is a generation that grew up attached to mobile devises and interacting through a highly socialized world, so they want to work hard at work but then unplug from work to lead social lives outside the office, too.
Make sure that during the hiring process, you emphasize any and all ways your company promotes a healthy work/life balance, whether it is your benefits, flex commuting, holiday schedule, team building or any other employee programs that will help them with achieving a well-balanced lifestyle. Many Millennials will take a flexible work schedule over higher compensation so they truly value this aspect of their lives.
3. Focus on Skills
Perhaps the biggest misconception many have of this generation is that they’re lazy when in fact Millennials want to learn. They’re highly driven by learning new skills, growing within your company and developing better personal abilities.
Huffington Post reports that Millennials respond well to challenges, responsibility and growth. According to Forbes, twenty-three percent of Millennials polled reported that training and development were valued benefits and over fifty percent said opportunities for growth and promotion were attractive in a company.
Be sure to emphasize internal case studies of promoting within, share stories of long-term employees who have benefited from the training and education opportunities of your company and be honest about the kinds of skills your company can help them develop. They’ll value this sort of intangible benefit heavier than monetary gain alone.
4. Provide Feedback
As mentioned, the Millennial generation thrives on collaboration and that holds true for their employer’s feedback, too. This generation wants consistent feedback for their work and rank feedback as an important aspect of their job satisfaction.
A study conducted by Media Post revealed that over 90 percent of Millennials said they are motivated to work harder if they know and understand what their work is contributing to building. Furthermore, 92 percent polled said they welcomed and expected feedback from their employer on shaping their work and making it better and more meaningful.
This doesn’t mean they want performance reviews, but rather this generation ranks interaction, collaboration and thoughtful commentary on their work as important. In your recruitment process be sure to mention any internal mentoring or leadership development opportunities, whether formal or informal, as this is a likely benefit Millennials will want from a company.
The Millennial generation is diverse and hardwired for collaboration. While not every Millennial will be right for your business, there are lots of reasons why you will want to attract and hire the right Millennial talent. This is especially true when you consider that projections by the Harvard Business Review which estimate that Millennials will make up roughly 50 percent of the workforce over the next four years. Don’t overlook the ways in which these individuals can bring value to your business.