Matt Stevens looks into how organisations can attract and retain the millennial generation.
If you are a pre-1980s child, the chances are that millennials (bn. 1980 – 2005) are more technologically adept than you’ll ever be. Why? Because like a child with a bilingual parent, they were exposed immediately, rather than having to play catch up.
From a business perspective, having young employees who are tech literate has obvious advantages, but a common complaint is that social media can hinder a young person’s performance at work due to the sheer volume of platforms they have to choose from and feel that they must maintain.
This perceived lack of concentration is just one of the likely issues that managers of millennials have experienced in recent years.
Another key difference is in millennials’ values. An example of this is the priority they place on their development and progression versus their job security. Being born into a world of technological flux, they are hyper-connected and are thus more aware of the opportunities the world has to offer.
They are much more likely than previous generations to change jobs every two-three years as they search for new development opportunities. As we all know, gone are the days of a job for life.
How innovative a company is has a large influence on whether millennials want to work there – they want to be subjected to new experiences where they can learn and further their progression. For companies, this means that they must actively think about how millennials can be assigned to projects and importantly, a mentor, so that they are simultaneously challenged and guided.
If embedded effectively, this approach will engage and stimulate the younger worker and promote inter generational communication across the business.
Failure to consider this could potentially result in an ‘us and them’ culture, higher staff turnover and the subsequent need to recruit more often. From a starting point therefore, it is vital to onboard people with values and ability that can be aligned with the organisation and role respectively.
An objective way of achieving this is via the use of psychometric testing – 75% of the Times Top 100 use aptitude and personality assessments, with Critical Thinking skills shown to be more predictive of performance than A Levels or Degree Class.
Overall, millennials do present a lot of challenges but they are only the product of the times. Ultimately, they want what you do – a demanding and rewarding job and the chance to develop. Taking the time to recruit and develop them effectively will only benefit the business.
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