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Targeting Millennials in the Workplace

September 22, 2015

What does it take to recruit fresh young talent to your workplace today? What special skills and perspectives can young people add to your team?

Have you ever wondered: What does it take to recruit fresh young talent to your workplace today? What special skills and perspectives can young people add to your team?

The U.S. Census Bureau calls people born between 1980 and 2000 “Millennials.” This demographic currently makes up one-third of the U.S. workforce. In fact, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers in 2014 and Generation X in 2015, now representing the largest share of the American workforce. The Millennial generation’s sheer size and numerous positive attributes make it a force too powerful for business owners to ignore.

Here are some lessons from the recruiting trenches about the newest generation to join our ranks.

How Millennials Differ from Other Generations

Every generation is somewhat different. If you understand what makes a demographic tick, you’re better positioned to take advantage of its strengths and opportunities — and to avoid costly mistakes. Millennials have received a bad rap for being spoiled, distracted and disloyal. But employers who cling to these undeserved stereotypes could be missing out.

In many respects, Millennials are better prepared for the workforce than previous generations. They’re called “digital natives,” because Millennials grew up in a world of smart devices, apps and social media. In 2014, Pew Research published a report, “Millennials in Adulthood: Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends,” which estimated that one-third of older Millennials have college degrees. Coming of age during such historic events as the September 11 terrorist attacks and the recession following the 2008 financial crisis also has made this generation skeptical, resilient and budget-conscious.

Why Your Team Needs Millennials

Millennials can bring diversity and innovation to your workplace. For example, if you want to expand your company’s social media presence, create a mobile app, brainstorm strategies to minimize cyberthreats or comparison shop for suppliers online, a Millennial may be well-suited to help lead the project.

Most important, hiring Millennials in today’s tough labor market and empowering them with challenging new projects can engender long-term loyalty as these employees continue to grow with your organization. In turn, a loyal team of Millennial workers will provide your company with first-hand insight into what’s trending among this age group as it matures. After all, U.S. Millennial consumers are projected to spend $200 billion by 2017 — and $10 trillion over their lifetimes.

How to Appeal to Millennials

A Millennial’s dream job provides opportunities for career building and personal fulfillment. This generation is drawn to companies that are environmentally friendly, socially progressive and, above all, flexible.

To make your business stand out to Millennial recruits, start with your corporate mission statement. It might need to be tweaked. When editing, avoid business school jargon and fluff. Millennials value authenticity and know when a company is trying too hard to appear “hip.” The rest of your human resources (HR) materials also will probably need to be revised to align with your new mission statement.

To attract and retain young workers, HR tools should showcase how your business:

  • Respects the line between personal and work lives,
  • Values diversity and autonomy,
  • Provides creative, value-added benefits packages, and
  • Fosters collaborative innovation among workers at all levels of the org chart.

No matter how much you promise to pay, Millennials dread becoming corporate drones that show up merely to collect a paycheck. For them, working should be about more than making money — a job should serve a bigger purpose that employees and employers work toward as partners.

For more ideas on how to better attract and retain the Millennial generation, contact us.

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