Employee Attraction and Retention Strategies for the Millennial Generation

Finding and retaining talented employees alone can be a continual challenge for small business owners, however, it can be particularly challenging to attract millennial employees.

According to a 2018 Pew Research Center report analyzing U.S. Census data, the millennial generation includes 56 million Americans who make up 35 percent of the nation’s workforce, It is projected that the number of millennials in the workforce will only continue to increase, with some estimates projecting they’ll make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2028.

It’s no secret that millennials are the most connected and disruptive generation in American history, but they often struggle to find good jobs that keep them engaged. The other current working generations have different ideas about work history and experience. Unlike their Baby Boomer predecessors, Generation Xers generally views work as simply “just” a job, placing a greater emphasis on work-life balance. In recent years, they have also taken the reigns of business leadership within their organizations.

According to a Gallup survey, what millennials expect from a job is different from their predecessors. Millennial employees seek jobs that offer purpose over paychecks, personal development over job satisfaction, coaches instead of bosses, ongoing conversation over annual reviews, and development of strengths over fixing weaknesses.

When hiring millennial workers, we suggest employing these four strategies to land the right candidate for your organization:

Consider alternative experience and skills

Depending on their age, millennials can have anywhere between 1-15 years of working experience. However, outside of work, this generation typically focuses on making a real difference in the world and millennials often have a track record of service that will be relevant to the jobs they seek. Search for applicable skills sets, in addition to real-world job experiences on millennial résumés. For example, volunteer work not only builds character, it teaches organizational and teamwork skills that apply in the business world for a variety of positions.

Check out social media

According to CareerBuilder.com, nearly 70 percent of employers today investigate a job applicant’s social media presence when considering candidate. Social media posts reveal a lot about a person, and millennials are highly connected. Understanding how a potential hire behaves on social media can provide solid insight into their professionalism and help determine if they are the type of person that fits a business’s culture.

Showcase the value of the role

While ping pong tables, nap rooms and stocked breakrooms are all appealing to millennial, the truth is, this generation is truly seeking jobs that provide purpose or meaning. They want to know what the position offers beyond salary and benefits. Millennials are passionate about growth opportunities, as well as finding something that will fulfill their desire to make the world a better place or serve a worthy cause. They want to work for companies that have a positive social impact and foster their own career growth. Millennials see community involvement, networking opportunities, mentorship, office culture and a sense of pride in the work as desirable benefits.

Consider offering higher pay

Despite their idealism and pull toward purpose over paycheck, millennial employees still have to pay the bills. And their debt loads are greater. Millennials carry student loans and other debt and have higher expenses than job seekers in older generations.  According to CNBC, millennials 25-34 years old now carry an average of $42,000 in debt. As a result, millennials often request higher salaries even if their experience doesn’t match the request. Salary offers should be commensurate with experience and the position, but don’t be surprised by a bold counter-offer from a millennial applicant.

At Roper Insurance, we have many ideas that can help your business attract and retain today’s top millennial talent. Curious to know more? Let’s get the conversations started. Give us a call today at 303-721-1145.