How to Attract Millennial Employees

Millennials meetingAccording to an often-cited report from the Business and Women Professional’s Foundation, Generation Y will make up almost 75% of the world’s workforce by 2025.  With just a little over a decade to go, the smart employer is taking a look now at ways to attract the next generation of talent.  I have spoken with Milliennials and their potential employers about this topic for several years, and here are some ideas I recommend for attracting Gen Y employees.

Show them a path…while giving them options

As I have discussed previously, the Millennial generation is characterized by unmatched career ambition.  They are highly educated, work hard and want quick professional growth.  In the recruitment process, it’s important to demonstrate to Gen Y that you have their development in mind.

Many Gen Ys I speak with are also concerned about being “stuck” in one career path forever.  Though they know and have heard that people change careers, they are still conscious of making the right choice right now.  Employers have taken to offering rotational programs, which allow employees the opportunity to rotate through a few business units in the organization to help the individual find the right fit.  I’m also hearing about rotational internships, which I think could be a valuable Milliennial recruitment tool as well.  Let Millennials explore work first-hand to understand how they can build a career with flexibility inside your organization.

Embrace technology…and its limits

Gen Ys grew up with technology and that affected most everything about the way they interact with the world.  This includes their interactions with work, colleagues and clients.  With this generation, it is important to offer up-to-date hardware and software and to consider allowing employees to bring their own devices if they choose. However, I believe it’s also crucial to teach Millennials – through training courses and informal coaching – how to interact without technology. This might include a course on how to have difficult conversations or how to run an effective face-to-face meeting.

Care about people…and culture

Millennials are team-oriented and want to make friends at work.  When looking at potential employers, they want to like the individuals they are going to be working with, and organizational culture matters a lot as well. Gone are the days when you expect to stay with one employer for the duration of your career, so what makes a Millennial consider committing is the opportunity to do good work and be with good people in a good environment.  For example, Skype paid close attention to designing the space for their North American headquarters in order to foster interaction and creativity.  Vanguard offers employees paid “VTO” (Volunteer Time Off) to commit to a day of community service at any organization they choose.  If an organization genuinely cares about its people and its culture – and, importantly, allows them to have fun in the process, Gen Ys will pay close attention.

How does your organization attract Millennial talent?

Image: iStockphoto

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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