Most companies spend thousands of dollars each year acquiring and retaining the talent needed to make their company a success. While each has its own process for snagging top talent, Millennials provide a unique challenge for company recruiters. Unlike previous generations, Millennials are not satisfied with just a job or their salary. They desire many additional things as an employee and have expectations regarding how the company operates and behaves.
1) They Want Meaningful Work
Millennials need to know that what they are doing at work matters, at both the individual and societal level. Companies should be prepared to help connect Millennials to how their role fits into the organization and helps to make it a success. At the same time, it’s important to Millennials that what the company does benefits people and helps them in their daily lives.
2) They Expect Community Involvement
Millennials expect their company to be a good steward in the community and provide opportunities to get involved in charitable activities and causes important to them. Providing time away from work to volunteer or coordinating team volunteer opportunities demonstrates to Millennials that companies care about the community. Companies can also establish payroll programs that allow for employees to donate a certain amount from their check to a charitable organization of their choice. General Electric, Johnson and Johnson and Hewlett Packard are just a few of the companies who take this a step further by matching the employee’s donation up to a certain dollar amount.
3) They Want to Collaborate and Share
Millennials grew up participating on teams and working together to complete projects and schoolwork. As a result, they expect a high level of collaboration and sharing to be present in their job. Employers can accomplish this in a number of ways from utilizing collaborative technology to redesigning the layout of office space to allow for more collaboration between employees.
4) They Expect a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Work doesn’t define Millennials, who see their job as just one component of many that make up who they are. While they take pride in their work and want to do a good job, they are unwilling to put their job ahead of their personal life and other outside interests. Flexible work is important to Millennials, who in a 2015 report by Ernst and Young were more likely to refer friends to their company if they offered a flexible schedule. Millennials see a flexible schedule as being the key to helping them balance their work and personal life. For some this may mean working from home a few days per week while others want to set the schedule of what time they arrive and leave the office.
5) They Expect Current Technology
Having grown up with technology, Millennials don’t know what it’s like to work without it. They are usually up-to-date on what the latest technology is and expect their employers to be as well. With collaboration and sharing important to Millennials, employers may want to invest in cloud tools that promote this, such as SharePoint or Yammer. In addition, Millennials are top users of social networking technology. Utilizing these avenues to communicate with Millennials may be more effective for companies than email or printed documents. Finally, millennials are used to having relevant information accessible at all times: consider investing in a business intelligence platform that will make vital data really accessible.
With Millennials making up one-third of the U.S. population in 2013 according to the U.S. Council for Economic Advisors, it’s important that companies learn what Millennials desire in a job. Their needs from their employment are completely different than past generations. Taking time to understand and meet their needs provides companies with the opportunity to attract and retain the top talent the generation has to provide.
Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales. He’s begun multiple corporations and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.