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Are you feeling frustrated in your efforts to hire and retain millennials in your business? Why? The truth is, millennials aren’t so different from older workers. They want an interesting, challenging job and they want to be recognized for their accomplishments. Their approach may be different, but that difference can significantly benefit your business.

Millennials represent your largest hiring pool. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are now the majority age group within the nation’s workforce, and that majority will rise to 75% by 2030.

Attracting millennials

Polish your online presence. Any potential employee will check you out before their first interview. What will they find? If your website or social media presence is lackluster (or, worse, lacking altogether), millennials will shun you as out-of-touch. Is your brand recognizable, one they can get behind and enthusiastically support? They will, and their social sharing can do wonders to boost your company’s reputation in addition to promoting your products or services.

To hire the best, you need to promote your company as one of the best places to work. Younger generations grew up with video, so create a short video about your company – who you are and what you do. Create a video showing them what it’s like to work at your business, too – your people, your culture and working style. You can display these videos at college and community job fairs to attract employees, and videos make excellent marketing tools to educate prospective and existing customers.

Discuss their career expectations and goals to help both of you determine if the fit is likely to be good long-term. Clearly delineate your company’s mission and values. And make sure potential new hires know you are excited to add their perspective to your employee mix — and that you’ll be there to help them succeed within your organization.

 

Encouraging millennials to stick around

Employees of any age are more motivated and productive when they can see your company’s big picture and how their job contributes to overall success. Sharing what’s happening and the reasoning behind company decisions builds trust and sense of community. Millennials in particular expect openness, even if things aren’t going well.

They expect you to be up-front and honest with them about their specific job, too. Clear expectations and ongoing feedback will help them do their best work.

Millennials want to know they can move up in your organization, and that you reward top performance over mere time-put-in when promoting employees. These workers are young, so give them plenty of learning opportunities and encourage them to “stretch” into new roles. Help them uncover their hidden strengths and put those to use.

Give them responsibility so they can become leaders. Note, though, that millennials tend to be more collaborative than older workers who often see other employees as competitors. Less formalized hierarchy and more group interaction will help engage and retain younger team members.

Recognize that millennials bring extreme skills to your table, especially when it comes to technology. Tap into that, by asking their advice on how your business can make better use of tech tools and resources including social media, to engage employees as well as prospects and customers. And turn your millennials into coaches and mentors, helping less tech-savvy co-workers put the latest technology to better use to strengthen daily operations as well as your business brand.

Remember, you’re hiring a whole person, not simply filling a job description. Competitive salary isn’t the only draw. Cultural fit, a sense of purpose and future opportunity all matter to millennials, just as they do to your older employees.

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