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How to Hire and Keep Millennials Happy

17 Oct 2017   Uncategorized

Getting your millennial hiring and retention strategy spot on: 5 key strategies

A ping pong table and beers in the fridge are no longer going to cut it when it comes to hiring millennials. Many are quick to write them off, believing this digital-native generation is high maintenance, entitled and lazy. However, you won’t find a more eager, highly adaptable or ambitious workforce.

It’s true that the millennial generation is different to others. Australian millennials have never faced a recession or experienced high unemployment rates. They have different expectations from their employers and are comfortable jumping ship when these expectations are not met.

The fact is, with Baby Boomers retiring, and Gen Xers ageing, Millennials are now the largest portion of the talent pool. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. This means employers need to get on board with a new way of thinking or risk missing out on the top candidates.

To attract the best and brightest talent to your business, you need to have an effective recruitment and hiring strategy targeting millennials. Here are five tips to get you started.

Tip #1: Champion work/life balance

Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is critical for all employees, and particularly for millennials. This balance helps increase productivity, build resilience to stress, and to cultivate a more motivated, happy and healthy workforce. Companies that champion work/life balance are magnets for younger job seekers. They also benefit from higher employee retention and less turnover.

Ways to achieve a focus on work/life balance in your business don’t have to break the bank. Some examples of the initiatives you can promote are to encourage them to:

  • finish on time instead of working overtime
  • take their annual leave instead of letting it stack up
  • get away from their desks during lunch
  • take a walk get fresh air or do an exercise or yoga class
  • not check emails or return calls outside of work hours

People need to be able to switch off, to recalibrate outside of work to be the most productive when they are at work. An affordable option is to create a ‘break out’ space in the office. A place where people can eat their lunch, read a magazine, grab a cup of tea or take a short break away from screens and phones and office noise.

Tip #2: Opportunities for training and career progression

Keeping millennials engaged and loyal is one of the most difficult challenges businesses face. Opportunities for training, career progression and leadership go a long way to tackling these issues head-on. We’re talking clear pathways with real responsibility. Millennials are determined, driven and keen to learn and develop new skills long after they’ve completed university or an apprenticeship. You could implement:

  • structured career development programs
  • mentorships within the business or
  • sponsor higher education or training programs

A company who promotes their people based on merit rather than longevity will fare well with the ambitious millennial generation.

Tip #3: Encourage flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements, with the opportunity to work from home regularly, is a top priority for millennials. Not every business is suited to a virtual workforce, but employers are mindful that millennials are motivated by flexibility. Some examples work arrangements that should be embraced when possible include:

  • working from home if a child is sick
  • making up hours over the weekend to meet deadlines
  • being able to hone their creative talent outside the confines of the office

An award-winning legal startup based in Sydney, Legal Vision, encourages employees to work one day a week out of the office. In return, they provide writing legal content for the business. Employees have the choice to work from home, a café, the beach, as long as they’re able to submit great content in their specific area of expertise.

Tip #4: Sense of meaning from work

All the flextime in the world won’t matter if your business doesn’t have a clear and well-articulated mission. Millennials want to be a part of something bigger, contributing to a business that makes a real difference. The 2016 Millennial Survey conducted by Deloitte indicated almost nine in 10 (87 percent) of millennials believe that “the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance.”

A company with a sole focus on profitability will fail to win the hearts and minds of millennials. Have a clear purpose other than increasing the profit margin. Millennials want to share your vision and be a part of a business with a higher purpose.

Tip #5: Ethical and social impacts of the business

Millennials want to work for businesses that behave ethically and for leaders who want to help improve society. The Deloitte survey identified, “businesses should put employees first, and they should have a solid foundation of trust and integrity.” For business owners or HR Managers, performance is judged on not only what the business does but how it treats its people. Aligning with charities or not for profits, or taking part in community events such as charity races or fun runs all adds to the bigger picture of businesses and business leaders displaying ethical and moral behaviour, inside and outside the workplace. Putting your people before profit and considering the ethical and social impact of your business carefully will win over many millennials.

What do you think you could implement today, to have a more attractive, and productive, work culture?