How to recruit and retain millenials


Just like every generation before them, Millennials have been scrutinized by the generation that they preceded – labelled everything from spoilt, consumed, lazy and narcissistic – we can thank social media for that last one.

Regardless of how you may feel about them, Millennials are the future of your workplace and a great source of creative firepower.

As with every generation, Millennials are swayed by motivations. When it comes to retaining and recruiting talent, it is these motivations that you should focus on.

Millennials are open to change, they are upbeat, liberal, self-expressive and confident about their wants/needs (Pew Research). They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older generations.

The phrase ‘work to live’ died the moment this generation came of age.

Taking into consideration their faults and motivations, companies should look into adjusting their recruiting programs to capture millennials.

So, How do you Recruit Millennials?

  1. Tell Your Story

Millennials might as well be FBI detectives, they are going to find out the ins and outs of your business before they even bother to go through your job application process. Every bad review, every good review, every photo will be interpreted – and maybe not in a way that justifies who you are as a company.

Tell your own story. Use social media to connect with millennials on the things that motivate them, rather than allowing them to form a biased opinion based on Glassdoor or Google reviews – or anything else that may have an impact on their decision that can be found online.

Showcase who you are, show that you are upbeat, diverse and promoting a positive workplace culture through your social channels - and you will find that millennials will be lining up to work for you.

  1. Speaking of – Workplace Culture

Millennials work to live, not live to work – workplace culture may be the single most important factor when it comes to recruiting millennials.

“Recruiting millennials isn’t meaningless jargon or free beers, it’s a connection.” (LinkedIn)

This is all about interacting with the millennial in a way and through a method that they are comfortable with and doing so instantly – prior to and during the interview process.

Unsurprisingly, millennials use technology frequently. If your interview process isn’t set up to show you are hip, cool and open to technology, why not? This is a great way to showcase that you are open to change and able to meet the millennials where they want to be met. Think video interviews using platforms like Zoom or Skype.

What about Retaining Millennials?

  1. Modernize your protocols

Millennials are “less interested in following a tedious, conventional framework if they can get the same results in a more creative, engaging, or immediate way—and a way that will allow them to stand out.”(Forbes)

This goes back to the point of millennials like to use technology to simplify things. Why is a video conference less effective than an in-person visit? Why is a text message or a messaging platform, less effective than a long, formal, drawn out email to their peers? The answer is that it isn’t. Allowing a millennial to use their chosen tools to achieve the necessary results provides an increase in job satisfaction.

As long as they are achieving their results, the path shouldn’t matter.

  1. Provide Opportunities for Growth

Not exactly a big a shocker with this one. Millennials are stereotyped with a mindset of ‘the grass is always greener’ and constantly looking for their next workplace. Statistically speaking, yes – young people are more likely to be ‘job hoppers’ than older people – but this isn’t a new phenomenon - throughout every previous generation - the young were always more likely to be leave their workplace than the old - read more at Forbes.

Millennials want career progression and support, they want to feel like their company has their health, future and wellbeing as a top priority. Working a stagnant job with no career projection is a catalyst for the worker to look for outside opportunities – particularly young workers.

Provide career progression and stability and the millennials job satisfaction with also progress.

  1. Freedom! – Work to Live, not Live to Work

Compared to the USA and Europe, Australia has fallen behind in terms of offering alternatives to the standard 9 to 5 work life.

Providing an environment that allows remote working opportunities, flexible hours, and an increase in potential vacation days shows millennials that as an organization you are providing an avenue for them to work to live – and not the other way around.

Millennials are changing the world, socially, politically and everything in-between. By 2025 they will make up 75% of the total global workforce – adapting to the way that they operate may mean the difference between innovation and recession.