10 steps to ‘Millennialize’ your recruiting and retention strategies

Millennial recruitingCreating a more casual dress code and doing away with cubicles may help draw the attention of some younger job candidates. But real improvement in recruiting and retaining of Millennials must go deeper, focusing on helping people build trust and connection to their work.

Millennials are the country’s largest generation, and six in 10 of them say they’re looking for new job opportunities, according to a Gallup poll.

To solve this retention problem, employers are looking beyond offering trendy perks toward building high-trust, high-growth cultures.

“Millennials are leading the charge to update HR practices at their companies,” says Tony Lee, a senior exec at the Society for Human Resource Management. Lee recently moderated a panel of employers that won SHRM awards for their ability to attract and retain millennials. Here are the best 10 tips from the discussion:  

1. Focus on creating strong company branding. If you don’t brand your company effectively, others will do it for you. Make sure Millennial candidates hear what makes you a great employer, so they can weigh that message against what they find online.

2. Be transparent with potential hires. Open and honest communication works best. Offer candidates the ability to talk with current employees and potential bosses about what makes your workplace collaborative and supportive.

3. Commit to providing work/life balance. Your culture must reflect your messaging. If you communicate an emphasis on work/life balance to attract new hires, make sure bonuses and promotions aren’t based on working long hours and taking on extra assignments.

4. Pay at least as much as the other guys. Make sure your compensation package is competitive. If it isn’t, explain the nonmonetary benefits you can offer that may outweigh the lack of available dollars.

5. Show new hires a career road map. Develop career lattices—not ladders, allowing employees different paths to their unique goals. Demonstrate a genuine investment and interest in promoting employees.

6. Create a structured skills training program. Focus on leadership development. Consider a dedicated team to help Millennials address their craving for professional  development and career progression.

7. Provide all the tools needed for workplace success. Millennials expect cutting-edge technology to help be effective. If you can’t fulfill that expectation, you won’t attract or retain the best and brightest.

8. Encourage internal mentoring and coaching. Millennials seek feedback and guidance from other employees and managers they respect. Don’t disappoint them.

9. Update your employee recognition program. Service awards typically aren’t meaningful until the fifth year anniversary, but Millennials’ average tenure is 2.3 years. Possible solutions: Implement early milestone recognitions. Survey employees on how they’d like to be recognized. Incorporate social sharing that allows employees to recognize their work friends online.

10. Help Millennials fulfill a higher purpose. Help them do well by doing good. Compensation is critical, but this generation also seeks the ability to make a difference, feel valued and achieve a high sense of self-worth from their daily activities.

Millennials by the numbers

• Born between 1980 and 1999
• Comprise 38% of workforce
• Will comprise 50% of workforce by 2020 and 75% by 2025
• Average tenure: 2.3 years