Drawing Millennial Employees to Your Business

Research indicates that millennials, those born between 1980 and 1996, are more likely than their working predecessors to switch jobs regularly.  91 percent of millennials indicate they expect to stay in their job for less than three years and have no trouble leaving one job to pursue another that is more in line with their interests, values, and hunger for learning.

Because so many millennials are unlikely to stay with a job for a considerable length of time, even if they are not currently dissatisfied with it, businesses need to invest time, effort, and resources on retention. Here are some key characteristics of millennials and what they might mean to potential employers.

Millennials hunger to learn

Millennials are not content to engage in repetitive tasks that have no apparent meaning. They want to expand and develop their skill sets and accumulate a range of knowledge. For this generation, intellectual stimulation is one of the top deciding factors for employment. Not only do millennials want to understand how to perform a task, but they also want answers to the question “why?” Understanding the significance of a particular task or business tool is critical to overall job satisfaction and work motivation. As an employer, it will be important for you to have ready answers for questions regarding the company’s big-picture goals and how a particular activity or task assigned to the employee fits into that picture.

Millennials value meaning

Millennials are constantly looking for employment that provides a sense of “meaning.” Specifically, they want work that allows them to share their gifts, impact the lives of others, and fulfill their desired quality of life. For this generation of employees, it is not about as much about receiving professional accolades as it is about being part of a company that has a higher purpose that millennials can identify with. Matching the vision and mission of the company to the employee’s value construct and sense of what matters means that the company will attract the right worker who will develop a sense of commitment to the business. Millennials are professionals, but they also want their work to be fulfilling in fun. They take a less formal, approach to work that values the completion of the task over the demands of time, and find meaning in bonding with and enjoying with their colleagues.

Millennials thrive on relationship

Millennials want a sense of human connectedness. This generation of workers is socially active and socially activated, and they show a strong preference for collaboration over competition. As a result, millennials want managers and bosses that can be regarded as mentors or even friends. They value feedback and advice and want to establish a rapport that emphasizes frequent communication. Potential employers will want to develop a sense of community within their businesses, establishing a sort of “work family,” where people value them as distinct individuals and not as “another number” or a cog in the workings of big business.

Millennials desire balance

Millennial workers, who are not motivated by the idea of putting their “noses to the grindstone” for the next 40 years, embrace flexible working hours and digital solutions to both straight time and overtime. They want to do their jobs when and where it makes sense, and as a result, they tend to engage longer with jobs that allow them to organize their lives with a home-work balance. Companies that encourage the social, healthful, and collegial development of their employees will be especially attractive to millennial workers, especially those that problem solve imbalances with technologically savvy solutions.

Millennials demand transparency

This generation of employees enjoins potential employers to exemplify transparency. They want consistency between their external brand and the internal brand. This means that what companies share with the world through their logos and taglines and overall marketing, millennials expect to see in practice. When job fair recruiters share positive stories to their potential employees, it is important that the experience of current employees reflects that. Not only with their employment skill and talent, but also with their brand loyalty and purchasing power, millennials show again and again that they expect to receive what has been promised. Attracting and maintaining talented and skillful employees requires companies apply a  “living the brand” approach. Loyal and ongoing relationships with companies are situated in the commitment and dedication the employers themselves have to maintain an accurate representation of their mission, vision, and values.

What are some things you look for in a job? What are some of the perks you offer employees to attract the best talent? Share your insights in the comments.