How to Hire (And Keep) The Best Millennial Talent in Your Small Business
By 2025, millennials will make up more than 75% of the working population of the world.
Born between 1981 and 1996, this young, innovative generation is often pegged as being entitled, lazy and clueless. But as Silicon Valley has shown us, nothing could be further from the truth. To recruit millennials is to tap into a pool of unique, passionate workers with entrepreneurial mindsets and fresh ideas.
Hiring millennials can, however, be a bit of a challenge. They’re not quite like the talent in previous generations, and have different expectations for their employers. If you want to bring millennials on board and keep them engaged enough to stick with your company, it’s time to get inside their heads and use what you learn to launch a new recruiting strategy.
Why You Should Be Hiring Millennials
Myths about the millennial generation—that they’re lazy and obsessed with Facebook—are everywhere.
But on the contrary, millennials have a lot to offer your business.
According to experts, millennials can contribute quite a bit to your workplace:
- Innovative, inventive mindset
- Passionate approach to work
- True ability to multi-task
- Detailed understanding of technology
- Unique, creative ideas that challenge “the norm”
- Willingness to learn, experiment and think outside the box
In short, millennials have the soft skills every business owner should be looking for if they want to maximize the potential of their workforce.
Special Considerations for Companies Hiring Millennials
Because millennials are a driven and discerning bunch, you need to work a little harder to get their attention.
Being passionate means they need a job that’s meaningful, not just a “daily grind” to bring in a paycheck. They’re looking for an environment in which they can grow, learn and work toward both personal and professional goals.
Flexibility is one of the biggest incentives for millennials. You’re more likely to attract and retain talent from this generation if your business is willing to embrace a cultural shift to allow for non-traditional work hours and environments. The freedom to work remotely (for at least part of the week) can also go a long way.
Communicating via technology is second nature to millennials. Because of this, working outside the office has no negative impact on their output. Instead, it can actually lead to higher productivity.
No matter where they work, millennials value collaboration and camaraderie. Being part of teams and staying connected to co-workers contributes to a sense of purpose, seamlessly integrating work with lifestyle.
Millennials also appreciate opportunities to give back to their communities. Advertising community service opportunities should be an integral part of your pitch to prospective employees.
Best Practices for Recruiting Millennials to Your Business
Recognizing the challenges of hiring millennials can guide your recruitment process.
The attention and interest of top talent in this generation isn’t easily won. But, being strategic in your hiring process can ensure the best of the best come to you instead of going to your competitors:
- Write job descriptions with the generation’s priorities in mind, including potential career paths or trajectories.
- Update your website with details about your vision, values, company culture, and the benefits of being an employee.
- Monitor your online reputation to preserve positive employer branding.
- Get active on social media by joining and posting in relevant groups and utilizing job listings and marketplaces.
- Embrace texting and online messaging apps as part of your candidate communication strategy.
- Allow candidates to save time by interviewing via phone/video, instead of coming in person.
- Encourage questions, and be upfront and open with all important information.
Improving Your Millennial Employee Interview Process
When you begin interviewing candidates, consider the interview process the beginning of an ongoing relationship. Let the millennials you interview know they’ll definitely have something to work toward if they join your company.
It’s also important to provide details about your goals and plans for the future, so they know what to expect and can understand how they would be contributing to the company’s overall mission. Even if you don’t wind up hiring someone, you may wish to retain their resume for the future if they have skills and talents from which your company can benefit.
It’s common for millennials to do a good deal of research prior to applying and interviewing for jobs. During an interview, don’t be surprised if they already have a good grasp of what you’re all about. Contextualize what they’ve already learned by walking them through a typical day on the job, detailing the training and growth opportunities available at the company.
How to Keep Millennial Employees Once You’ve Hired Them
Before you begin interviewing, it’s important to realize that “retaining millennials” shouldn’t be a concrete goal.
While millennials do mean business, they’re not necessarily looking for a five-year stop in the same way their parents were. It’s also common for them to have side hustles, in addition to full-time jobs.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not loyal—just that they want to capitalize on every opportunity. If a position doesn’t offer the career development or growth millennials desire, they’ll look for something else. Twenty-one percent report changing jobs within the last year, and 36% are ready to look for a job with a different company in the next 12 months.
This can get seriously expensive for your business. Did you know it can cost anywhere between 33 and 200% of an employee’s salary to replace them? The more skilled the worker, the more expensive it is to hire someone else if they leave.
It’s much less of a hit in the wallet – not to mention productivity – to focus on strategies that keep millennials engaged and deliver on the experience promised during the interview process.
8 Tips for Retaining Millennial Employees
If you want millennial talent to stick around:
- Be prepared to invest in a solid onboarding process and ongoing training
- Embrace strengths while providing opportunities to improve weak areas
- Provide on-the-job challenges with learning opportunities to increase experience
- Integrate new employees into the company culture as soon as possible
- Foster a community atmosphere within the company
- Create collaborative relationships to leverage mutually beneficial talents
- Offer short-term growth opportunities on the road to long-term career goals
- Enact policies to optimize work/life balance
Throughout a millennial’s tenure with your company, keep the lines of communication open. Don’t create a hierarchy in which top-level employees are unapproachable. Allowing millennial employees to share their ideas and offer suggestions openly shows you value their contributions.
Let them know you care about personal and professional success through ongoing feedback, instead of single annual reviews. This provides a morale boost and supports continued improvement in performance.
In addition to highlighting where they’re doing well and where changes can be made, be proactive in helping millennial talent grow to be an even stronger part of the company. Once they become established as integral members of your team, ask them for referrals! They’ll be more than happy to recommend friends and colleagues with relevant skill sets and a passion for your industry.
Business Loans for Hiring Top Millennial Talent
Recruiting millennials for your company can be an expensive process, but it’s worth it! Don’t miss out on top talent from this singular group because you don’t have enough cash on hand for the hiring process. A small business loan can provide funding to cover every part of the process, from onboarding and retention costs to payroll.
The Business Financing Advisors at National Business Capital & Services are there to help business owners like you meet the challenges of recruiting on a budget. Median hiring costs stood at $1,633 in 2017, and once your new employees start at the company, you have to think about onboarding, training, incentives, benefits, insurance, taxes and numerous other expenses. With the right funding, you don’t have to worry about your recruitment strategy eating into your bottom line.
Apply now to learn about your options, and get started building an all-star millennial team today!
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