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What Do Millennials Look for in an Employer?

Attracting top talent is a difficult task and in order to do so as an employer, you need to have something to offer in return. Keep in mind that, while you’re trying to evaluate how good they are as candidates, they’re simultaneously trying to evaluate you as an employer. Your former employees are a


Attracting top talent is a difficult task and in order to do so as an employer, you need to have something to offer in return. Keep in mind that, while you’re trying to evaluate how good they are as candidates, they’re simultaneously trying to evaluate you as an employer. Your former employees are also known to spread the rumors of your reputation (both good and bad), which is why nothing that you do, say or represent might ever remain hidden. Still, how do you increase your chances when it comes to talent attraction and retention? Let’s find out.

1. Making a difference

One of the most unrealistic expectations that millennial employees have is the desire to make a difference from day one. First of all, your employees do not want to hear that they’re an invaluable member of your organization. They want to hear and feel this, as well as enjoy all the benefits and respect that come from it. The problem lies in the fact that it might take a while until their presence in the company is felt (in a positive way).

Until they wrap up with their training, they won’t be able to come near their expected productivity. In some industries, they won’t be able to work at all. Even when they start, the creativity and room for autonomy will be quite limited. In order to appease them, try giving them a roadmap of their work post-progression. For instance, you can tell them what kind of difference they’ll make in the long run or make a list of all the things that they’ll be able to do once they complete their training. Just make sure to let them know that even if they don’t make a difference at the moment, they’ll be able to, first pull their weight and then start changing some things for the better, in no time.

2. Corporate values

Millennials are far more mindful when it comes to choosing a potential employer, which is why they’re more likely to pay attention to your corporate culture and your corporate values. Therefore, in order to become a company to work for, you need to figure out a way to properly construct this. You need to start by putting the employee first and emphasizing their own wellness and growth at all time. Second, you need to create goals that your employees deeply care for, as well as encourage positivity in the workplace.

By doing these several things alone, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a company that the majority of your talent pool desires to work for, however, this is not where your journey ends. You also need to foster social connections and find a way to provide meaning to your employees in other ways, as well. We’ve already talked about making a difference and being able to make the world a better place by checking into work every day is one of the sensations that you’re aiming for. Whatever you do, try to achieve a scenario where your personal values and beliefs align with those of your employees.

3. Charisma

While charisma is not the only reason why one will succeed or fail in the business world, the truth is that the perception of millennials heavily leans in its favor. What this means is the fact that charismatic people might get awarded a higher chance to success during the initial job interview, seeing as how people skills tend to be essential to success. So, when seeking employment, millennials look for charismatic employers and management, in general. Still, what is charisma, to begin with, and how does one recognize it?

The misconception surrounding charisma is that it’s an innate (almost mystic) trait that makes people like someone. However, the truth is the other way around. It’s not about making people like you, it’s about making people like themselves when they’re around you. The easiest way to achieve this is to learn how to give people full attention and to master the art of active listening. Other than this, you need to find a way to use non-verbal conversation in order to show people that you value their company. None of these tasks are simple but they’re more than worth it.

4. Office design

Apart from this, your workplace needs to be optimized for maximum productivity and comfort. An average person spends about 6 to 10 hours every day in their workplace. Once you add the amount of time they spend sleeping, you’ll quickly realize that they spend the majority of their waking hours in the office, every single day. Naturally, this means that everything surrounding the atmosphere and vibe of the place affect it.

In order to create a productive and pleasant work environment, you don’t have to go for a creative and unique look. You can just stick to a formula that you already know is working. You need to provide enough room for everyone (about 5-10 square feet of personal space per employee), ensure that there’s enough light within the room, as well as providing your staff with adequate furniture. Ergonomic furniture can boost productivity and improve the overall health of your employees, which is why it’s such a priority.

5. Employee-centric work environment

The next thing that your employees worry about is the treatment of your current roster, which is only natural, seeing as how it might affect them in the future. A high talent abandonment rate might indicate a poor talent treatment, as well as show that the treatment of employees in your organization is definitely not a top priority. One of the ways they can see this is by noticing that you’re always in need of more employees. Sure, expansion requires bringing in new talent, however, this kind of hiring process happens in cycles, it’s not a never-ending process.

Also, when furnishing the place (something we’ve already discussed) you need to think about the needs and desires of your employees. Decorating the break area is one of the ways to improve on this but there’s also tending to the needs of your employees in other, specific ways. For instance, by investing in a high-end bean coffee machine, you’ll clearly indicate that you deeply care about your employees. You see, if you didn’t have this as such a priority, you could have gone for a cheap, low-quality coffee maker.

6. Cutting edge technology

Keep in mind that millennials tend to be more tech-savvy than their predecessors, which means that they’re more likely to look for a workplace where they’ll get a chance to work with cutting edge technology. Seeing as how making your office tech-savvy is already in your best interest, you won’t have to deviate from your path in order to accommodate them. So, make sure to start improving your tech arsenal and look for adequate hardware and software for your enterprise. Some tools are so in-demand within the industry that a lot of people might consider working for your enterprise just so that they’ll get an opportunity to put this on their resume.

However, you need to understand that in order to make this system sustainable, you need to do this on the budget. Therefore, instead of just looking at the features of the tools that you’re using, you might also want to look at their cost-effectiveness. While we’re at it, we need to mention that the majority of millennials already use the BYOD (bring your own device) model. What you need to do from here is institutionalize it, in order to make it safer.

7. A learning experience

Their personal growth is something that a lot of employees tend to value far more than their paycheck or their first work position. Just think about it – no one in their right mind expects their first job in the industry to be a high-earning one. In fact, as long as it’s just a tad above the internship, people tend to be more than happy with the direction that their career is taking. Now, what they do care about is the fact that they have the potential to grow from this position.

In order to encourage this notion, you need to constantly give them a chance to challenge themselves and expand in all directions possible. This means that the job experience itself needs to be quite valuable. Other than this, you need to develop a learning model which includes a mentorship program and sending your employees to seminars and industry events. This way, they’ll rest assured that they have a satisfying learning experience in this position.

8. The rest of the staff

Seeing as how the composition of your team determines their work experience, they might not stay in your organization for long if the personality of their coworkers isn’t to their liking. Now before you say that you can’t like anyone, there are some types of people who can make your overall work experience a negative one in no time. Working with emotional vampires, narcissist or people who are outright irresponsible can be incredibly difficult.

The problem with identifying and removing people from your enterprise is, however, far from easy. Why? Well, because their performance doesn’t indicate that they’re any of these things. In fact, the chance is that the narcissist in your employ is a clear overachiever. There’s also no need for the emotional vampire to fail in their own work. Think about it, they just make others feel bad, however, there’s no reason why this would affect their personal productivity.

9. Employee benefits

Now, we come to the topic of employee benefits that are known to attract millennials. Previously, we’ve already mentioned the importance of the health of your employees, yet, this is something that you have to actively tend to. Having their wellbeing as a top priority (both physically and mentally) is definitely something that can transform your enterprise.

As far as the rest of these benefits go, you need to provide them with flexible work hours, as well as the opportunity to work from home, from time to time. In the digital environment, this shouldn’t be so hard to achieve. Apart from this, instead of offering them a bigger salary, you can use this surplus of resources to create a program that they’ll care for much more passionately. For instance, you can create a student loan repayment assistance program. This way, you’re bound to keep them in your employ a lot longer than you normally would.

10. Capable HR

Due to the fact that it’s the job of your HR to manage and protect the rights of your employees, having capable people in these positions will definitely make your company more attractive to millennials. To get there, you must first understand some crucial HR functions. They’re in charge of a strategic management, recruitment and selection process (vital for being more attractive to millennials from square one), development and training and policy formulation. In other words, everything that’s responsible for the way in which your enterprise is perceived by your employees comes from your HR.

Seeing as how your HR is also responsible for keeping your workplace bullying-free, as well as ensuring that newcomers feel welcome, people in charge of it might play a key role in how your business is perceived by the staff. The issue of compensations and benefits is yet another crucial aspect that not nearly enough employers pay special attention to. Sometimes, it’s not just about the money that you’re willing to spend to appease the injured party that counts, it’s the manner in which you do it that’s far more important.

In conclusion

Perhaps the single most important thing you need to understand about this is the fact that you don’t have to make sacrifices in order to become more interesting to millennials. In fact, by doing every single one of the above-listed things, you’re actually strengthening your organization and your brand. Therefore, you’re in a clear win-win scenario that you get to exploit even further to your own benefit. With such odds, success is all but guaranteed.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.