How to attract and retain millennials
For millennials, job hopping is a normal occurrence, especially when they’re just starting off in their careers. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 21 percent of millennials have changed jobs within the past year alone. That’s more than three times the number of non-millennials who have done the same.
What does this mean for the U.S. economy? Gallup estimates that millennial job hopping is costing the U.S. economy more than $30 billion every year. That means that employers need to make it their mission to retain millennials both for their bottom line and for the sake of the U.S. economy.
Here are several ways to make that happen:
Review Your Recruiting Practices to Get the Right Talent
Getting millennials to stay on the job starts with the recruiting practices you’re using. You need to start by putting your company in the best light and post your job to online sites where the type of talent you want will look.
If you’re looking for computer support technicians, find sites that are specific to that niche. If you are looking for technical writers, find job boards that are geared towards them. There are numerous online sites that are geared towards specific industries. Use them to seek out the best employees.
If you just post to generic job sites, you may not find people who are truly talented in the field you want to hire or people who are passionate about their work. When people are passionate about their job, they are more likely to give their all and stay on the job.
You can also use a headhunter to help you find people who are looking for jobs just like the ones you need to fill. Attending trade shows is another way to find the right people. University campus job fairs are also good places to find potential employees who are eager to work.
The bottom line is that you need to be strategic about your hiring practices. If you’re not, you’re bound to only find employees who are just doing their job to get a paycheck. These are the type of employees who won’t think twice about changing jobs.
Use a Current Hiring Process
If your goal is to hire the top talented millennials, you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot by using a recruitment process that is outdated, confusing, or time-consuming. Investing in an applicant tracking system can help to keep the application process organized for both you and your potential employees and keeps the process moving.
Recruiting and hiring software is a modern way to look for and hire the right candidate. You can create and post job listings, review current applicants, and even assign tasks to team members to get their feedback on potential employees. This erases the old system of receiving a resume via snail mail, reviewing it, inviting feedback from your hiring team, and getting back to the applicant after enough time has passed that they may have received and accepted an offer from another company elsewhere.
You also want to be efficient in the job application process. A CareerBuilder survey found that one in five employees want to spend less than 10 minutes on an application, or two to three pages on a mobile device. You can also utilize video interviewing versus waiting to get an applicant face to face, which is especially useful if the candidate is out of state, or if you’re hiring for a remote position. In short, providing accessibility and efficiency is key to enticing a large number of candidates to apply — and the more people applying, the more likely you are to find the perfect fit for your company.
CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky told Business News Daily, “Nearly one-half of employers said it’s taking them longer to fill jobs today than in any other period in the post-industrial era – which not only costs money, but has an impact on productivity and speed to market.”
You can eliminate this problem by simply updating your hiring practices.
Offer Your Employees Perks
Everyone likes perks, especially in the workplace. A relaxed work environment with referral bonuses and other programs is one route to take — but millennials work hard, and so they also like to be rewarded by having some fun.
Consider hosting team building nights with fun activities outside the workplace. Karaoke nights, trivia nights, and other events are all things that can improve the culture of your company and help you keep those millennial employees. These types of activities offer employees the chance to communicate more outside of work, which makes for a better working relationship. When employees are having fun, it gives them a chance to relax, which can help them be more creative in the workplace.
Another perk you might consider is shifting away from the traditional corporate work schedule. For the most part, millennials are not into the traditional 9-5 work schedules that their parents followed. They want to work remotely, have the option of a flextime policy, and even work 4-day work weeks, as long as they’re getting the job done. Having a work-life balance is extremely important.
If your company can offer these types of perks, you may be able to retain those millennial employees. If you’re not doing it, they’re bound to find someone else who is. Do your homework to see how other companies are getting it done if you’re unsure of how to implement a non-traditional work schedule.
Engage Your Employees
One of the reasons that many millennials switch jobs so frequently is that they tend to check out and become disinterested quickly. Many employees become disengaged because they get stressed out and may even feel isolated. Sitting in a cubicle all day in front of a screen can get boring, affect productivity, and lead your workers to start thinking about other jobs that don’t make them feel that way.
One way to engage your employees is to interact with them, get their input about the job, and take them seriously. If they offer viable ideas and options, you need to look at ways to implement them. This will not only keep your employees engaged, but it will also make them feel valued, which is something else that millennials look for in a job.
Employees who feel valued and respected are likely to be more productive and stay at their jobs longer. Millennials also feel engaged when they feel like they are making a difference — they want to see that their work is having an impact, or they actively look for ways to have an impact, whether big or small.
One way you can help is to look for opportunities that put your company and workers out in the community, making a difference. This can include collecting food for the needy or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Activities like these can not only help the community but can also create camaraderie among co-workers.
Give Them Real-Time Feedback
Millennials like to know how they’re doing in real-time and not wait until their annual review. As a manager, this means you need to give feedback on their work as it’s being done or as projects are being completed. This not only helps them know how they’re doing, but also lets them know where they need to improve.
When you recognize that an employee is doing an exceptional job and going above and beyond, it’s important to give them timely promotions. An employee who sees they are climbing the ladder and being recognized and appreciated is more likely to stay. Failing to do this can cost you.
The bottom line is that to attract millennials to your company and keep them, you need to put the effort in. You need to start by attracting them with efficient hiring processes. Once you find and hire them, you need to keep them engaged, offer them perks, and give them real-time feedback including timely promotions. If you don’t, you’ll see millennials leave your company just as quickly as they came in.
Written by: Indiana Lee, BOSS Contributor