There are more than 80 million millennials — people born between 1981 and 1997 (sometimes defined as 1980 to 2000) — in the U.S., according to census data. By 2025, they will make up roughly 75 percent of the workforce, according to a study by the Brookings Institute.
So if your company doesn’t make a real effort to recruit them, not only are you limiting your candidate pool, but also you’ll miss out on all the benefits millennials can bring to your company.
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One of the most important benefits of hiring millennials is their diversity. Millennials are the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in U.S. history. And diversity brings with it a whole host of advantages. For example, different perspectives inspire and drive innovation and make businesses more competitive and profitable.
How can you attract millennials?
A report by Pepperdine University describes millennials as compassionate, progressive, and confident, as well as team-oriented multitaskers who are adventurous and fun. Based on this, and other insights presented in the infographic below, here are some ways to attract millennials to your company and retain them for years to come.
Focus on your mission
Millennials also want to find meaning in their work, and 40 percent say it affects their ability to succeed. And 61 percent are worried about the world and want to make a difference in it. (A 2012 study even found that 56 percent of millennials would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is changing the world.) So hone in on your mission and find compelling ways to communicate it to your customers and potential hires.
Millennials want to have fun — even at work. And one way to attract and retain them is to play up what makes your business a great place to spend time at every day. The generation’s desire for work-life balance and flexibility, as well as its passion and risk-taking, are all traits Pepperdine’s report encouraged the baby boomer generation to learn from.
Millennials prefer a collaborative work environment over a competitive atmosphere, and can help foster that within your company. (You can manage this by setting clear deadlines and defining roles to avoid confusion and keep employee happiness high.)
Invest in solid management
Sixty percent of millennials have changed jobs anywhere from one to four times in the last five years. Another 44 percent of millennials say they will leave their current position in the next two years.
The number one reason millennials quit their job? Issues with their managers. Ensuring that millennials have a solid relationship with their manager is crucial to retaining them for years to come. If you want to develop a solid relationship with millennial staff, start by communicating clear goals and expectations — this group is used to being regularly measured and assessed.
Offer strong benefits
Benefits are a huge draw for millennials. Begin by offering a competitive salary and growth opportunities for their careers. They also appreciate flexibility around where and when they can work, so consider implementing a more flexible work-from-home policy. As technology advances, millennials want to be able to choose where they do the work and be able to maintain a strong work-life balance.
A great way to retain millennials — who are known for job hopping — is to offer on-the-job training and growth opportunities. According to a Deloitte survey, 70 percent of millennials cite a lack of leadership development in their roles. Millennials also cite a desire to have consistent, year-round feedback, so you might be well-served to alter feedback cycles, or add more informal feedback throughout the year.
Forty percent of companies employ 50 or more millennials. While you may be a smaller business, thinking about how many you have on staff and what you can do to recruit this group will help your workplace be more collaborative and diverse.
Learn more about millennial employees in Pepperdine’s report.