Five Key Considerations for Attracting and Retaining Millennial Talent

November 13, 2019

Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard a lot about Millennials. There are a variety of reasons that the Millennial generation has been generating so much media attention, but the primary reason is – there are a lot of them.

Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard a lot about Millennials. There are a variety of reasons that the Millennial generation has been generating so much media attention, but the primary reason is – there are a lot of them.

The Pew Research Center has predicted that this year the Millennial generation will surpass Baby Boomers as “the largest living generation in the United States.” Naturally, such a significant shift in generational dominance has significant implications for the US workforce. As Boomers retire and Millennials continue to fill the pool of candidates, many employers are left examining their business models, culture and recruitment strategies in order to remain relevant and ensure they can attract top talent within the Millennial generation.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the benefits and aspects of a company’s culture that Millennials most value and outline five key areas to consider in your efforts to better attract Millennial talent.

What is a Millennial?

The Pew Research Center considers anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) a Millennial. In 2015, the United States Census Bureau, estimated the number of Millennials in the US at 83.1 million. Millennials account for almost one quarter of the US population.

Millennials in the workforce

Millennials are not only taking over the US workforce – representing nearly two-fifths of the working age population – they are also transforming it by bringing an entirely different perspective and set of values than that of their Boomer predecessors and parents.

For starters, Millennials value work-life balance. They are also much more transient when it comes to their employment and change jobs much more frequently than the typical Baby Boomer and other older generations. For example, one study found that Baby Boomers average two jobs every 10 years, while 46% of Millennials expect to change jobs in the next 12-18 months.

The benefits and offerings Millennials are looking for

As previously indicated, what Millennials value in the workplace is much different than the items that generally top the list for Boomers. In fact, 80% of the 23-38 working demographic would choose extra benefits over a pay raise. So, what are the additional benefits that Millennials find so desirable, and what can employers offer to attract talent in this key demographic? Below are a few of the top perks you should consider in order to remain competitive with today’s job seekers.

1.Flexible work arrangement

The traditional office setting, in which one person occupies a small room and a desk, has been slowly disappearing for decades. Millennials embrace this shift and prefer to work in open-plan, shared community spaces. When not congregating in a communal environment, Millennials often like to work remotely from a nearby coffee shop or other non-traditional space.

So, if you’re looking to attract Millennial employees, reconsider your office layout and ditch the walls and cubicles in favor of more open, collaborative and less permanent work stations.

2.Natural light

Who doesn’t love natural light? Vitamin D is good for you and Millennials especially love, and expect, an open workspace filled with natural light. Don’t be afraid to transition to the previously mentioned open floor plan in order to let more light in. Utilizing natural light is also energy efficient and can help you cut costs.

3.Sustainability initiatives

Millennials are environmentally conscious and keenly aware of their impact on the planet. Young professionals in turn expect their employer to share this value and are looking to work in an environment in which recycling services and eco-friendly features exist. Even taking small steps to reduce waste and consumption can have a measurable impact and will appeal to younger employees.

4.Onsite amenities

Many Millennials are attracted to non-traditional, and often unconventional, work settings. Such arrangements often have no set office hours and offer unique benefits, such as onsite coffee stations, rest areas, gyms and entertainment. Some companies have even gone as far as offering free meals and dry-cleaning for employees.

While not all perks will be a cultural fit or financially feasible, try thinking outside the box when it comes to benefits and poll younger employees on the offerings they would find valuable.

5.Healthy food options

In today’s workplace, vending machines stocked with sugary snacks and soft drinks tucked in the corner of the breakroom are becoming rare. In the event that you still stock these types of snacks, chances are most Millennials won’t touch them.

In general, Millennials are far more concerned about eating healthy foods and maintaining an active lifestyle than previous generations. To get their attention, consider stocking healthy snacks and organic, vegan and gluten-free options.

The bottom line

Millennials are both the present and future of the American workforce. By referencing these five considerations, you can build a culture and retention strategy that caters to Millennials and establishes your organization as progressive and employee-focused.