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How the Best Businesses Recruit and Retain Millennials

  • Human Resources
  • Article
  • 6 min. Read
  • Last Updated: 05/11/2015
how to recruit and retain millennials
The millennial generation is at least 36 percent of the workforce, and growing. To successfully recruit and retain this generation, here are three core ideas for businesses to consider.

Table of Contents

Millennials, those born from 1980 to 2000, are becoming a larger and more important part of the workforce. As of 2014, millennials were already 36 percent of the U.S. workforce and that number continues to rise. Successful businesses will understand how to recruit and retain the best and brightest from this generation. What are millennials looking for? Read on to find out.

Values Matter

When looking for work, many millennials don’t just look at the job and benefits — they look at the larger organization. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that 59 percent of millennials surveyed have or will deliberately seek out employers whose corporate social responsibility reflects their values. Often, they seek out companies that give back to the community.

Businesses don’t need to be Fortune 500 companies to make an impact. Some ways to give back include:

  • Celebrate the end of the quarter not just with happy hour, but also a canned food drive for a local food pantry.
  • Can your product or service help a nonprofit? Give employees pro bono opportunities, or empower employees to find and work with organizations that could use your product or service.
  • Use charity events, like 5k runs, as team-building exercises. Coworkers can train together, have fun, and give back to great causes.

Creating unique ways to give back can benefit your organization in many ways. It can be a way for employees to create stronger teams; it can help raise your profile in the local community (potentially bringing you more business); and it can show your company’s values to potential millennial recruits. In the end, how you give back can be a factor in helping bring in and retain great talent. Some millennials have reported they’d prefer to start their own business if they can’t find a workplace that fits their values.

Room for Growth

More important than wages and benefits, they look for work with career advancement opportunity. They don’t just see career advancement as scaling the professional ladder. Instead, millennials look at professional growth as learning opportunities. Millennials are looking for companies that place premiums on career development, whether it’s a focus on mentorship or providing continued training or education opportunities. Companies that provide these options for career growth may be more likely to attract and keep millennials for the long haul.

Staying Flexible

While they are eager for growth and development, millennials want to work on different terms than previous generations. They grew up with technology, and are used to taking their studies and work outside of the classroom or library to work in a variety of locations and times. As they take these habits into the workforce, many will be looking for flexible working options. Some options they may be looking for include:

  • Flexible office hours
  • Opportunity for telecommuting
  • Compressed work week
  • Job sharing

Not all flexible options will fit with every business, but providing some options shows that your business values the millennial mindset of balancing work and family.

While millennials challenge business culture, they are realistic. PwC found that 72 percent of those surveyed had made compromises for their current positions including lower salaries, fewer benefits, or working outside preferred locations. Still, the companies that will recruit and retain the best of this generation are already making efforts toward creating the incentives millennials want in work. Creating more opportunities for giving back, career advancement, and flexible work can help you recruit and retain millennials.


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* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.