How to Start Employing the Next Generation NOW
Millennials currently make up the largest percentage of the population. According to a 2008 report written by Amy Lynch, by 2020 this demographic will comprise nearly half (46%) of the U.S. workforce. Despite all the advances in technology and new search tools available, this demographic is extremely hard to find right now. Regardless of the job board you visit, a search for entry-level candidates yields very slim results. These young adult candidates are not searching for jobs they way they have in the past. They’re choosing to embark on their own highly targeted job searches for companies where they can be productive and happy.
At issue is the idea that most employers are not prepared to attract, let alone employ a majority millennial workforce. These candidates need to be able to find your company, and like what they see when they do. To accomplish this, employers must regard their websites, career sites and other online social channels as “digital storefronts” to attract these employees and get them excited about their companies. Positioning your company as one where young adults want to work may take time and adjustment. Consider these 6 contributing factors when you’re building your millennial brand.
You need a strong online presence
Millennials are a tremendously tech savvy generation, comfortable with virtually all forms of media and devices. They were the first generation to grow up using platforms like YouTube and Facebook, and were basically born holding smart phones. Their use of technology in everyday life was more a requirement than an option. It is somewhat natural for them to want to work for a company that is socially relevant and communicates in modern ways. Your organization’s presence on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social channels is crucial to gaining an audience with these young adults. Your application and hiring process also needs to speak to this generation. According to Snagajob, more than 90% of millennial candidates will search for jobs via a mobile phone, but less than half of all job applications are mobile-friendly. Your brand may need a refresh or redesign so that you can showcase your company in the best possible way. Now is the time to think about implementing website updates and social media accounts to be competitive with other organizations who are wooing this same demographic.
Millennials covet socially conscious organizations
In addition to salary and benefits, the millennial demographic is notably interested in careers with organizations that make socially conscious contributions to the community, and even the world. Those companies that are doing these kinds of socially responsible things and brandish them on their websites will attract more attention from those candidates. Among organizations where charitable work was discussed during the interview stage, more than half of the candidates accepted a job with that organization. Employers who recognize the desire of this demographic to put their skills to use for a larger purpose will become job targets for them. According to SHRM, 94% of millennial candidates said they like using their skills to benefit a cause, and 57% would like there to be more companywide service days in their organization. Feeding that desire to give back to a greater purpose will attract them to your company and keep them engaged over time.
Office design and décor matter
Many employers don’t realize that the physical design of your office space is a key determining factor in how engaged and happy employees are in the workplace. In a 2003 survey by Management Today, 97% of respondents said they regard their workplace as a symbol of whether or not they are valued by their employer. Millennials are especially influenced by a stimulating, less traditional office environment. Making an impression on a candidate in the first interview with a dynamic work space is instrumental in distinguishing yourself from other employers that may be pursuing them Companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon pioneered office spaces that cater to what the millennial generation prizes in the workplace: modernity, comfort, collaborative environments, and cutting-edge technology. Basic cubicles, drab colors and fluorescent lighting are not going to cut it for this generation. Inc.com recommends combining open floor plans with gathering spaces, breakout rooms and conference rooms with up-to-the minute media. Buildings.com gives some good examples of steps you can take to create a millennial-friendly office space and Pinterest provides some great visual examples as well.
Millennial motivation goes beyond money
For the purpose of attracting and retaining top talent, competitive compensation and benefits packages will always be critical for employers. Millennials have other needs that they value almost as much, if not more than money when it comes to choosing an employer. The fact that millennials are not as driven by the desire to achieve adult milestones (like college graduation, marriage and family) contributes to this idea. According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 1 in 3 millennials lives in their parent’s home. Of those, 1 in 4 is idle, that is they neither go to school nor work. Being passionate about what they do is of greater priority to this generation than financial gain. According to a GOBankingRates.com survey, 67% of those individuals between 18 and 24 years old have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts and 46% have $0. You will need to offer more than money to engage them and retain them. To this end, SHRM recommends the implementation of a Total Rewards System. This is a system that provides monetary, beneficial and developmental rewards to employees when they achieve specific business goals. This approach combines compensation and benefits with personal growth opportunities, which promotes a motivated work environment. This practice is in line with the desire of the millennial generation to have rewards, recognition, feedback and more instant gratification. To attract a millennial workforce, your company will need to invest in things like enhancing workplace culture, improving the quality of management, and creating opportunities for career development in the organization.
They really don’t like dress codes
The trend toward more casual dress is becoming more prominent in many offices. According to an Inc.com article, 50 percent of managers say employees dress less formal than they did five years ago. And 58 percent of employees say they would prefer to work at a company that has a business casual, casual, or no dress code. This trend is most likely a result of the abundance of tech and startup companies that embrace a more relaxed environment at work, and the social media exposure that exposes it. The historically low unemployment rate also enables employees to be more particular about where and how they work, making it necessary for employers to adjust their policies with regard to attire, body art and hairstyles. Increased exposure to the mainstream media is forcing employers and other organizations to focus on inclusion and not judge a book by its cover.
They want unique perks and flexibility
2017 is a buyer’s market for job seekers. Employees have much more leverage when it comes to negotiating the things they desire from a company. The younger millennial candidate is less likely to be impressed by traditional benefits and compensation packages. This does not mean that you have to establish Google-esque features like napping rooms and in-office massages. You will need to be creative, however, when planning perks that will excite a young adult job seeker. You might consider the following as optional fringe benefits to set your company apart:
- Pampering perks like free cafeteria food or VIP parking
- Community perks like paid gym membership or PTO for volunteer work
- Lifestyle perks like the option to work from home or reduced hours in the summer
- Convenience perks like cellphone stipends or on-site car detailing
In addition to these perks, another key factor for attraction of the millennial generation is a flexible work environment. The 9-5 workday is becoming obsolete as more young adults enter the workforce. They work differently than older generations, often relishing the opportunity to sleep in longer, and work later into the evening. Their comfort with digital technology and devices lends itself well to this kind of remote work. Their careers don’t define them as much as older generations. Their desire for work-life balance is even more robust, making it necessary for you to make flexible work a reality at your company.
Why you need to start TODAY
Approximately 10,000 baby boomers will retire each day, every day, until 2030. Employers and HR departments will have to prepare their workplaces for the upcoming generation considering the factors we’ve outlined here. These are vital to attracting and retaining a majority millennial workforce.To remain competitive in the search for top millennial talent, many organizations will need to transition, aesthetically and culturally, to meet the unique needs of that generation. The increasingly low unemployment rate is driving this obligation to adapt hiring practices across all industries already. It will become even more imperative as millennial presence in the workforce increases. For some companies, creating a diverse workplace will take time and preparation. It is worthy cause because it will simultaneously fill a universal need to cater to younger clientele, enhance customer confidence, and increase your capacity to adopt new technology and benefits.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. http://useful-sock.flywheelsites.com/employers/