Attracting and retaining fresh, young talent is a universal challenge faced by all companies – irrespective of size, sector or division. How to go about this isn’t easy, especially in tech-driven cities like San Francisco and New York where the competition for Millennials is fierce.
Deloitte recently published a study of 7,800 Millennials in 26 countries exploring this very challenge: what do Millennials want and how can companies align with their needs to make themselves more appealing?
Addressing this question is critical for any organization to thrive. The study shows that by 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of Millennials.
So what can hiring managers do to maintain their competitive edge with this highly sought-after generation?
1. Change Your Attitude
The study showed that over 75% of Millennials are strongly influenced by how innovative a company is when considering if it’s the right place for them to work. It also found that, in the eyes of Millennials, management attitudes are seen as the biggest barrier to innovation.
- Reluctance to risk
- Resistance to exploring new products, business practices or work environments
- Unwillingness to collaborate (internally or externally)
- Poor communication within and across channels
Candidates aren’t just evaluating where your company stands on the innovation spectrum by doing desk research. They’re picking up on hidden cues during the interview – cues like whether you’re using “I” vs. “we” statements, how quickly your team adapts to emerging customer needs, whether there are formal processes in place that foster innovation, etc.
Use the interview as an opportunity to share how your team encourages and creates the conditions for innovation. Give concrete examples of how employees are empowered to contribute to this process.
2. Develop Their Leadership Skills
Deloitte found that 25% of Millennials ask for a chance to show their leadership skills. They’re looking for companies that invest in and nurture the growth of their people.
Starting this process early by finding out about their ambitions and how they could build their careers within your organization is important. Hiring managers can use this as a recruiting tool when bringing in new talent.
Find ways to share how your company has groomed its people and promoted from within to make ambitions a reality. Do you provide opportunities for further education? Let candidates know about it!
3. Articulate Your Purpose
Millennials are inherently drawn to mission-driven companies. Their motivations go far beyond just making a profit. This generation expects (or rather demands) companies to contribute to the health of the global ecosystem.
This means tying your goals and initiatives to your company’s higher purpose. Telling a story of why you are here and what you are doing to contribute to society is paramount. Millennials want to work in an environment where they can make their mark. Are you building a product or serving a community or behaving in a way that will have a positive impact?
[Bonus Question: Can you guess what Millennials rated as the top challenges businesses should address? The answer: Climate change and resource scarcity.]
Hiring managers – and managers in general – must seize the opportunity to learn from and develop a more sophisticated understanding of this next generation. As this study shows, the best way to draw people in is to figure out what they want and, according to Deloitte’s CEO, “get in tune with their world-view” to keep them sticking around.