As baby boomers continue to retire, many vacancies in your work force will be filled by the next generation: millennial workers. Current estimates forecast that millennial workers will comprise 50 percent of the labor force by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025.

There is no doubt that recruiting the millennial generation can bring hardworking, enthusiastic employees who are eager for new opportunities to your company, but recruiting and retaining these workers is different than it was for prior generations. You can make the most of millennial workers by taking a new approach to recruiting and retention.

What do millennials want?

According the Gallup Study, “The State of the American Workplace,” millennials are the most disengaged of all working generations and the most likely to say they will leave their jobs in the next 12 months if the job market improves. However, while nearly half of actively disengaged millennials want to find new jobs, only 17 percent of engaged ones do.

So, how does an employer engage its millennial workers? Millennials who are engaged usually have a strong sense of what their organization stands for. Find ways to help these employees verbalize and internalize what the company’s mission and purpose means to them.

Additionally, the 2012 study, “Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace,” conducted by the University of North Carolina Kennan-Flagler Business School, offers four suggestions.

The study found that millennials want their employers to have four critical traits, including:

  • Coaching. Millennials were raised with constant coaching and feedback and expect it to continue in the workplace.
  • Collaboration. Employers should be clear about the big picture so employees understand their roles.
  • Measures. Millennials were raised with a lot of structure and evaluation rubrics and are accustomed to understanding how they will be judged and assessed. They expect these metrics to continue in the workplace, so employers should define clear and consistent job assessment criteria.
  • Motivation. Millennials want a work environment that is comfortable and inspires them to contribute without fear of being criticized.

Recruiting and Retaining Millennial Workers

Recruiting and retaining employees from this generation can be different than traditional techniques previously used by many organizations. Here are some ideas for recruitment and retention.

  • Have existing millennial employees assist in your recruiting efforts.
  • These individuals can go to job fairs and discuss the day-to-day details of their jobs while also touching on some topics that may interest other millennial workers, such as company philanthropy efforts or flexible scheduling.
  • A company executive should also attend any recruiting sessions to support younger employees and answer questions.
  • Avoid PowerPoint presentations when possible, and instead impress them with videos and other new technology.
    • Since many younger workers watch YouTube and log on to social networking sites regularly, try reaching them using these platforms. However, a presentation done with animation software can interest them as much as a well-designed website.
    • Flash presentations are also instantly customizable, so you can gear your presentation to your audience.
  • Recruit employees online using LinkedIn, job boards, career building sites and industry-specific forums. Many millennial workers look to these sites before thinking of applying to companies in a more traditional way.
  • Allow potential employees to apply virtually through your company website or through a career site. Avoid using paper applications that are tedious and take a lot of time to fill out.
  • Connect your employees with the issues that are important to them.
  • Millennial workers want to find substance in their lives, which includes their careers. To motivate them, offer on-staff career coaching so employees can move around within the company and hold different positions. This will produce loyal employees who want to stick with your company for the long haul.

Whatever the look and feel of your organization, recruiting and retaining the future of your workforce is essential. For more assistance and information on how to do so, contact MZN Management today.