Attracting Millennials in to HR
23 March 2017
Generation Y or Millennials consists of anyone born from 1980 to 1995. However, the impact of the ‘millennial attitudes’ is likely to be seen in the younger 90’s born through to 00’s born as well.
So, what is all this talk about Millennials and why are they getting such a bad name in the workplace? They are gaining a reputation of being tough to manage, entitled, unfocused, lazy and impatient.
Traditional managers (i.e. Generation X) are struggling to manage this age group and are finding themselves asking the question “What is it you want?”. This is partly due to the fact that this is a whole new employee grouping which no-one has experience with yet.
However, tomorrow’s workforce won’t just include millennials, it will be dominated by them. So we better get on board with this new type of employee – especially since figures show that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials.
So, how do we attract and, more importantly, retain millennials in the HR workforce?
Put simply, we need to know what is important to them. Research by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) has shown that they key factors which are important to millennials are:
- Opportunity to learn and grow - This opportunity means both in their line of work and out with it. Some larger corporations are funding extra-curricular activities of their workforce in order to retain them.
- Quality of the manager – Millennials are looking for a manager to lead by example, work hard and show respect for differing opinion. This comes from a generation who want to work for people who are not just telling, but doing themselves.
- Type of work – Is it interesting and varied? If not, millennials become bored, disengaged and ultimately leave. Research has shown that 21% of millennials have no hesitation in leaving employment quickly if they do not feel that they are making a difference, being challenged or adding value.
- Opportunity for advancement – They want to know that there is a clear progression plan for their development. 69% of millennials rate this as being important.
- Overall compensation – Money is still important to them as this generation are likely to leave university with higher levels of debt than the previous generation.
- Work life balance / flexible working – Having grown up in a tech environment, millennials don’t understand the need for the traditional 9-5 working environment as they can work from anywhere. Companies offering flexible working are more attractive to this generation.
- Transparency – What you see is what you get. For example, big brands like Google, Virgin and Facebook are completely transparent with who they are, what their culture is and what you can expect when you work for them.
Incidentally, if an employer fails to meet the above, these are key reasons given as why an employee chooses to move on from their current employer.
Contrary to popular belief, however, millennials not list a ‘fun’ environment as being top on their list of priorities when choosing an employer. Also, with so much tech ‘noise’ these days, this generation enjoy turning to books and magazines to switch off. 2016 saw the biggest increase in print sales for 10 years.
Despite this return to hard copy, technology still plays a massive part in hiring millennials. 53% of employees are more likely to accept a job offer their potential employer uses the same tech as them. For example, having a real presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The reason behind this is, it gives them an insight into the culture of the organisation before they start. It also tells them whether the organisation is keeping up with trends in the market and how they engage with customers.
It is important therefore, that to attract the right candidates for roles, that you have a presence on the social media that your target group has a presence in. New statistics indicate user demographics across Social Media as follows:
- Facebook – females aged 45-65
- Instagram – 24 – 34 year old mixed sex
- Snapchat – younger grouping from 14-20
Depending on the demographic you are looking to attract, having a presence on the correct social media platform can make a huge difference. However, technology advances all the time, as do the core users and therefore it is important to continue to drive traffic to your core brand website as this is a constant and is something which you have complete control over.
So what can the HR industry learn from all of this? Millennials are coming into the corporate world of work with huge expectations and employers are too focussed on their short-term gain, forgetting about the long-term goals of the staff and what they can bring to an organisation. Millennials see things very differently and it is time for employers to embrace this change.
Therefore, we need start embracing their differing skill sets and support Millennials to learn and engage with colleagues in their own comfortable way.
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Written By Monica Lochrie