Millennials - the people that we currently think of as young and forward thinking are also the people that employers consider to be fly-by-nighters. Those young people who flit from job to job, creating opportunities where none exist and never treating a job as a career. Yet, they are the future of employment and they have the skillset that many employers want - especially in the financial sector. So what does it take to make these young people stop and put down roots in a job? What do you, as an employer, need to do to attract them and keep them?
By 2020, millennials will make up more than 50% of the workforce and any company that wants to attract this pool of talent needs to understand them and what their drivers are. One of the main factors of difference between millennials and the generation that came before is the skillset that has been taught to them by their parents, their school or university environment and their early work lives. It is substantially different and targeted at their own personal fulfillment, but as part of a larger and more coherent group.
●Used to working in teams and have a high desire to excel individually.
●Understand technology and have the ability to use it to their advantage without a second thought.
●Think outside the box and see the world as an open source of information that they can gather and use.
●Are media savvy and can use this medium to advance their own careers and the businesses they work for.
●Expect the businesses they work for to be socially and environmentally responsible.
These positive skills are often overlooked by employers who expect these staff members to be low on loyalty. A study carried out by Deloitte in 2016 discovered that 66% of millennials expected they would leave their role before 2020. However the most recent 2017 Millennial Survey found that fewer are leaving their roles within two years and the picture is an improving one.
This most recent study discovered that millennials are now more loyal due to the unstable economic and employment market. Additionally they are discovering that a number of companies are engaging with their need to have a positive impact in their work and their general activities. This two-way approach to work is resulting in improved loyalty and workplace longevity.
So if you want to take advantage of this improved picture, you will need to learn what is required to get millenials on your side.
Understand that talent are also people
Even the word “talent” undermines the person that exists behind the worker. Businesses that understand that a person is a human and sees the value of that human are already winning improved loyalty and productivity. This requires investment in your staff and a long term approach towards career development and skill improvement. Millenials want to learn and will appreciate an employer that puts their development first. But don’t rest on your laurels - individualise training and development to ensure it is targeting the needs of the staff member and move with the times. What’s new and exciting in your industry? Find out what it is and offer that.
Offer mentoring as standard
Millennials see the benefit in learning from their peers and are used to the concept of mentoring. In the same way that they understand the idea of learning from a range of online and offline resources, they understand that experienced people are an excellent resource too. Mentoring schemes both encourage a workplace team mentality and allow a sharing of ideas in both directions.
Create a family feel at work
This may seem like a very “woo” concept, but young people are used to a level of collaboration and transparency that many of the older generation might find strange. They like to feel a connection with their work and the people they work with as it engenders a feeling of trust - essential for the long standing workforce. This concept comes down to communication. It should be as easy for the newest member of staff to speak to the director about a problem as it would be for them to speak to their parent. An open door policy is essential and will benefit all staff members.
Promotion isn’t a given, but its on the horizon
Millennials may be guilty of expecting to rise through the ranks quickly due to their particular skillset, but this is rarely the case. Experience often counts for much more. However this off-putting fact may be the reason why so many move on within the first few years, as they are looking for new horizons and better pay. They need to see that promotion is possible and that the system for promotion is fair. This means promoting from within your current pool of staff members. By employing a new staff member for each new role, you are proving that moving jobs is the best way to effect a promotion. Development plans that include promotion opportunities will keep your staff excited about their role.
Leverage that entrepreneurial spirit
Millennials are unique in their attitude to entrepreneurship. They don’t fear it or see it as a far flung dream. They know it to be possible. Taking a on a full time financial job can be seen as crushing that spirit - or maybe it is possible to fan the flames and take advantage of it. For accounting firms this is especially true. Younger staff members may encourage clients with business plans, get more excited about taking risks and have new and exciting ideas they can offer their clients and the business as a whole.
Create a business to be proud of
Do this, not just for your potential millennial staff, but for your existing staff, for your clients, for your customers, your community and for yourself. Create a business you are truly proud of and one that millennials will be excited to join. Creative ideas like flexible working, specific environmental policies and green schemes will build a positive feeling about your company. But it goes further. Also, choose work that improves your credibility and builds your reputation. Be mindful of your corporate social responsibility and involve the business and workers in charities and giving back. Don’t just pay lip service to these things - make it an integrated part of your business policy.
If by 2020, half of your workforce is likely to be a millennial, it is probably about time you started the process of making the workplace millennial friendly. It’s a positive thing to do and will benefit your entire workforce. Your staff will stay around longer, your clients will get improved service and fresh new ideas and your business can move forward into a future that, while uncertain, is certainly exciting.
Want to recruit a high performing millennial and ensure they stick around? Contact us to discuss how we can help.