Millennials in the workplace were once considered disruptors because they questioned traditional ways of doing business. However, the tide is turning as the Baby Boomer generation retires and hiring millennials for top management roles becomes the norm. The commonly held myths, that millennials have no loyalty, no work ethic, an entitled attitude, and no respect for authority, no longer apply. Although they may think differently to Baby Boomers and Gen-X, millennials have a diverse range of skills to bring to the table.
Getting inside their headspace and knowing what attracts and retains young talent, is an important part of recruiting millennials.
What Millennial Employees Look For
1. Career Progression
Millennials look for roles that offer a clear path for career progression and transparency from management on how to achieve goals. These are highly educated workers, confident in their personal and professional abilities with a desire to build a secure economic future. Leave them hanging or neglect to fulfill your promises and they’ll be looking around for a new employer.
Millennials have grown up in a digital world, they’re technologically adept, and any employer that uses and embraces new technologies is highly attractive to these workers. Add a respected brand name to the mix and you’ll be inundated with interest. You shouldn’t invest in new technologies simply to entice millennials but be aware that using outdated systems will not attract the top talent.
3. Work-life Balance
Millennials won’t shy away from roles that involve training, working remotely or even an international transfer. But the positions more likely to attract and retain millennial employees are those that encourage a good work-life balance. Younger managers want to feel proud of the work they do and the company they work for, but also be able to shut the door on work at the end of the day and enjoy a social life.
4. An Attentive Boss
Don’t expect to retain millennial employees in top management positions if you’re not willing to spend time mentoring and providing feedback on progress. Checking in once a year isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to schedule regular check-ins and catch ups. While the older generation would see it as “hand-holding” millennials see it as an important part of building their career.
Reverse mentoring, or shadowing more experienced members of staff, is another way for millennial managers to feel included and valued while obtaining firsthand knowledge of how the business works.
5. Equal Opportunity
Lastly, millennials will be attracted to employers who treat all employees equally, no matter their race, sexuality or religion. According to a 2018 HR study, millennials who take pride in working for their organizations are 20 times more likely to stay for a longer duration.
Potential Impact of Hiring Millennials
Millennials coming into top management positions can be overly ambitious, and often want to run before they can walk. This can cause conflict with older members of staff. But by giving clear timelines and realistic expectations for promotion you can ensure they remain engaged, and build strong relationships with more experienced members of the team.
Once employed gaining the trust of millennial employees is crucial for retention, otherwise they won’t hesitate to leave for a more fulfilling role. Have a plan for their training and development as soon as they start and be prepared to keep your promises. This will demonstrate that you respect their ambition and act to nurture their sense of pride.