According to KPMG, there are around 13.8 million millennials in the UK — these are people born during the early ‘80s and mid ‘90s, also known as ‘Generation Y’. By 2020, it’s predicted by Manpower Group that they’ll make up over a third of the global workforce. So it’s for this reason, as well as all the unique benefits and qualities they offer, that every employer should be gearing up to strategically attract and hire millennials.
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What do millennials offer employers?
Despite a smattering of negative media attention, the reality is that millennials offer employers some unique benefits. KPMG’s ‘Meet the Millennials’ paper takes a detailed look at some of the key characteristics shared by this generation — all of them valuable assets for any workplace:
Millennials prefer to understand the value of doing something up front, giving them the potential to be shrewd, engaged and perceptive workers.
Confidence with technology.
They stay connected online, and know how to make the most of technology in the workplace.
They’re more open to multiculturalism than older generations because of globalisation. Gender issues are also important to them. Not only are they tolerant, they expect tolerance and will seek it out when choosing a workplace.
A focus on balance.
With a more self-assured approach, millennials are happy to call out for flexibility and fairness in the workplace.
Outward and enthusiastic.
Millennials realise that to get things done you have to speak up. They don’t shy away from questioning the norm, sharing their opinions and drawing comparisons.
With all of these and more up for grabs, now is the time to tailor your hiring strategy and business setup to the millennial mindset. Read on to find out how.
Create a strong company mission
Millennials will search out employers that gel with their dynamic qualities. As well as checking what previous employees have to say about you on sites like Glassdoor, they’ll also take a good look at your company mission. If you don’t have one already, the growing need to hire millennials is the perfect excuse to create one. All you need to write your company mission are the answers to these questions:
- What does my company do?
- How do we do it?
- Who do we do it for?
- What value do we bring those people?
When adapting or creating your company mission for millennials specifically, tie it to the things they care about and the qualities they offer. You’re not going to attract them all, so avoid being vague — know who you are, and be specific when communicating that.
Millennials put a lot into their work. This makes balance not only important from their point of view but from yours – the more you support a harmonious work setting, the more productive they’ll be. Play up the things that make your company a healthy, balanced environment. If you’re not sure what constitutes ‘balance’, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Offering flexible or home working opportunities
- Allowing employees to switch shifts with one another
- Ensuring they have breakout facilities to refresh and take a breather
- Building an open, welcoming structure where they can communicate their needs
Invest in diversity
Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey report reveals that 69% of millennial employees see a correlation between the quality of their workplace and the diversity of their senior management team. However, what diversity means to this group is broad, leaving the door open as to how you could achieve that in your business. It covers:
- Tolerance, inclusiveness and openness
- Respect and an acknowledgment of the individual
- Different ideas or ways of thinking
For small, independent businesses, it may take time to start incorporating these into your business strategy — but it is possible. And for every win, let people know. Be honest about the process you’re going through and the obstacles you need to overcome. With their open-minded, solution-focused worldview, many millennials will be attracted to your honesty and see your journey as an opportunity for them to personally get involved.
Deliver training and development
Again, according to Deloitte, the most coveted workplace benefit an employer can offer a millennial employee is training and development. From a small business point of view, this is great news. Although you may have read about larger employers flaunting their glitzy workspaces, free healthcare and all-inclusive team holidays, you already have all the tools needed to make the biggest impact with a millennial workforce.
Square Employee Management lets you track your employees’ performance to see who’s performing best and who needs extra training. If you want to increase employee retention by showing recognition and offering the means to improve, this insight is priceless.
As we mentioned, millennials want to see ‘how’ as well as ‘what’. This means that before you make any promises to prospective employees, prepare yourself with a fully-fledged programme that you and other managers can realistically roll out. The harsh reality is that if you over promise and under deliver, your millennial staff won’t stick around.
Ready to hire millennials?
It won’t be long until millennials make up the majority of the workforce in businesses that exist today. This is a dynamic generation that have a lot to offer if you get to know them. And even the smallest business can attract and retain their talent by following these steps:
1. Define your company mission with millennials in-mind.
Be specific about how your business goals and beliefs reflect the hopes, dreams and values of this target audience.
2. Align your existing employees.
It’s important that everyone in your business believes in and benefits from your refreshed approach.
3. Live your company mission everyday.
Millennials are employees of action, and they expect the same in return. Take measures to keep your entire team aligned, and create an environment that fosters new suggestions.