Engaging the Millennial Workforce

There’s no escaping it – the era of the millennial is upon us. They’re young, eager and educated, all the characteristics your organization might want from the next generation of its workforce. On top of all that, there’s more of them than any other group in the job market of today, with the Pew Research Center finding their numbers now surpass the previous generation in the US.

The inherent potential of the millennial workforce is the good news. What may not be quite as promising is that they appear to be well aware of their value, and they’re not afraid to make their demands known. As such, attracting and retaining the best young candidates may require some adaptation of your talent management strategy.

Where to begin with millennials

Given their huge importance to the business and public service environments in the coming years, it’s perhaps not surprising that millennials have found themselves under the microscope of a number of research organizations. Studies into the new generation have revealed some interesting findings, which may be helpful for organizations on the look out for fresh talent.

To recruit millennials, it helps to first understand them, what they are looking for from their career, and how to engage them. Research from Goldman Sachs notes that the new generation are the first ‘digital natives’, people who have grown up almost exclusively in the digital age, with access to the internet and social media from a young age. 

To attract talent you first need to know where to find it. Engaging with millennials on their own terms can make a difference, so having a mobile optimized recruitment strategy can be of huge benefit.

Pay attention to retention

As most organizations probably are aware, finding employees is only half the battle. In many cases, unlocking the true value of an employee requires patience, as they are allowed to learn and develop into their role. This seems to be the biggest challenge as far as millennials are concerned, with research finding that a lot of the new generation may already have one foot out the door. 

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, two-thirds of millennials expect to have left their current position by 2020, with only 16 percent expecting to still be with the same employer a decade from now. 

There are a number of reasons attributed to this high rate of attrition, but according to Deloitte, it may partially be caused by a symptom of perceived neglect. The organisation notes that just 28 percent of millennials surveyed felt that the organizations they worked for were fully appreciative of the candidate’s skills, and weren’t making the best use of them in regular duties. 

Developing the new generation of employees

To avoid losing your most promising millennial workers to competing organizations, letting them know their contributions are appreciated can start with an attractive, achievable development plan.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) suggests that understanding the professional and personal goals of young employees will yield opportunities to try them out on different tasks, allowing both the individual and the organization to learn where their strengths lie. 

Once that development plan is in place, supporting millennials and offering feedback is critical in order to keep them satisfied in their role. Remember, this is a generation that thrives on sharing their thoughts and feelings on social media, so it makes sense that they expect similarly open channels of dialogue in the office. 

Modern talent management solutions can help. From the moment of hire, a powerful onboarding process will set the tone. From there, performance management that encompasses coaching and ongoing employee-manager feedback helps build an engaged and high-performing organization. You’ll also be able to assist employees in their career development and growth plans through clear succession planning and learning programs, all of which help not only employees, but the organization as a whole as well.  

The millennials are here – it’s time to embrace them.

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