Also known as Generation Y, Millennials, individuals typically born between the early 80s and late 90s, are changing how companies approach retention and hiring. Millennials have a whole different set of expectations and priorities when it comes to choosing and staying with an employer.

So much so, that the Millennial workforce has become a bit of a ‘hot topic’ with everyone from Deloitte to PWC conducting research and surveys into what ‘exactly’ makes Millennials tick and how employers can overcome this generation’s preference for job hopping.

The Millennial Retention Problem

Long gone are the days of a job for life. Loyalty seems not to be a priority for this generation as nearly 43% of Millennials plan to leave their jobs within the next two years and only 28% plan to stay longer than five years.

As HR professionals know, hiring a new employee can be seriously expensive with some reports claiming that the recruitment process can cost as much as 16% of the individual’s salary for a low-paying job and far more for senior staff members.

So the problem becomes not only how to attract Millennials, but how to keep costs down and hold onto your younger employees for longer.

Thankfully, with so much research going into the issue, we can provide some concrete solutions and help you build a workplace where Millennials want to stay.

Why Do Millennials Leave?

The first step to addressing the ‘Millennial problem’ is understanding why they leave jobs so frequently and what attracts them to other offers/employers.

Research from Robert Walters, detailed in a twenty-page white paper, identifies three clear reasons:

Studies like those by Deloitte also point to a lack of trust, poor corporate social responsibility, and concerns about Industry 4.0.

So, How Can You Create a Better Workplace that Attracts and Retain Millennials?

All hope is not lost. With a different approach, you can overcome the ‘Millennial problem’ and create a workplace that supports their needs and interests. Here are some of our tips:

Provide Career Development Opportunities

Over 90% of Millennials rank rapid career progression as one of the most important things about a position. This high flying generation wants their work to be challenging and are willing to put in the hours to get there.

Rather than viewing a position as a stepping stone, most Millennials aren’t afraid to take risks to secure new career opportunities. Whether it’s moving abroad or switching companies, they’re eager for chances to take their careers to the next level.

Retaining such employees can be difficult, but also extremely worthwhile. To do so, you’ll need a robust training and development programme. It’s essential to create a culture built on continuous learning and continuously provide them with opportunities for further growth, be it pitching a project to a client or chairing meetings.

Given the opportunity, they’ll drive your company to grow and expand into new markets with innovative solutions.

Promote Flexible Working

Employees want to work where and when it suits them. Whether they’re balancing care commitments with young children or simply want to squeeze in some lunchtime yoga, flexible working is a priority for many.

In fact, Deloitte's research shows that among the Millennials that plan to stay with their current employer for at least five years, 55% want the flexibility to choose where they work

.Their desire for flexibility isn’t due to laziness or the desire to slack off, but a different way of thinking about work. Rather than counting bums on seats to measure productivity, many Millennials place importance on output. If you can get the same amount (or more) work done from home, why shouldn’t you be allowed to work from your kitchen?

As a generation that grew up with the world at their fingertips, location doesn’t carry the same importance. Leading companies like Google and Facebook understand this and allow their employees to work remotely or outside conventional 9-5 office hours.

Regular Feedback

As expected in a workforce that wants development opportunities and rapid career progression, Millennials also want regular feedback. Most employers only provide constructive criticism as part of employees’ annual appraisals, and this can lead to ill feelings with the younger generations.

Try to create a system that offers regular feedback so Millennials can feel like you care about their development and progression. And, make sure to reward those that exceed expectations and reach team or personal KPIs.

Comprehensive Benefits Package (NOT Just Salary) 

Millennials want to feel appreciated and valued. Appreciation doesn’t come through only salaries and bonuses (though that does help), but also the overall benefits package and workplace culture.

According to PWC research, only 50% of Millennials evaluated a job offer based on salary and other financial incentives. Of the 12 million Millennials in the UK, this means 6 million looked beyond the financial compensation package when considering an offer.

Instead, Millennials want a comprehensive benefits package and consider this as one indication of how you value your employees.

Promote Diversity

Boys clubs simply don’t work any more. As one of the most open-minded generations, Millennials want to work in an environment that promotes diversity and inclusivity. In fact, according to research from Deloitte, Millennials are more likely to stay with an employer for longer, sometimes longer than the average five years, if the workforce and senior management teams are diverse.

Diversity, especially for the younger generation, often extends past gender, race, religious or sexual preferences. In its more broader definition, it also includes a company’s willingness to accept and value alternative ideas or those that think outside the box.

In addition to attracting a younger workforce, diversity has many benefits. So much so, that promoting diversity should be a no-brainer.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Have you thought about your company's’ social impact? Attracting Millennial employees requires more than good benefits and internal work environment.

More than any previous generation, Millennials care about how your company treats others and ethical business practices. And, this directly impacts their decision to work for and stay with your company with 83% of Millennials reporting greater loyalty to companies that contribute to an environmental or social cause.

If you don’t already have a CSR programme, they’re relatively easy to create. Encourage employees to partake in local charity events, team up with a non-profit to host an event or donate directly.

Recruit with Change Recruitment

As a leading specialist recruitment agency, we have relationships with some of the industries best and brightest. We can provide advice on how to develop a Millennial-friendly culture or connect you with up-and-coming talent. Simply speak with one of our dedicated recruiters to discover how we can help you attract and retain your next generation of employees.

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