5 Tips for Attracting and Retaining Millennial and Gen Z Talent
Posted on: January 8th, 2019

Avenica CEO Brian Weed shares the top 5 strategies for attracting and attaining Millennial and Gen Z talent in the following article published on HR.com.

Having 56 million active workers in the United States, millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) compose the largest generation in the American labor force. That’s right: 35% of all American workers fall within the age group who’s developed quite the reputation for being notoriously fickle when it comes to their careers.

Unfortunately, there is evidence to suggest truth behind that reputation. A recent study by Gallup concludes that nearly a quarter of millennials have switched jobs within the past year. This rate is three times higher than that of any other age bracket. All the while, only 50% of surveyed millennials see themselves at their current employer one year from today, with 60% admitting they’re currently open to new opportunities.

Under pressure from mounting student loan debt and often not knowing where they fit in the workforce, many millennials rush into jobs only to wind up dissatisfied. Research indicates that a high number of millennials are disconnected from their careers, and generally lack passion for what they do. They show up, put in their hours, and collect a check until its time to move on. As the average cost to replace an entry-level professional is $15,000, this dynamic is costly to employers. Sadly, this phenomenon also prevents many millennials from the benefits and satisfaction of a successful, long-term career.

All of this raises the question: What can employers do to not just attract, but retain millennial employees?

1) Create Clear and Fast-Moving Career Tracks

Not unlike other age groups, millennials are always thinking about what’s next–especially when it comes to their careers. Its crucial for employers to establish distinct career tracks with detailed directions on how employees may advance to each level. This could include the restructuring of promotion and incentive programs to give smaller, more incremental position and salary raises, providing more consistent and positive feedback, and setting specific goals that make staying at a company more enticing and satisfying.

Employers should launch professional development opportunities such as education/tuition reimbursement programs and networking opportunities to demonstrate true investment in their employees, helping them to build the skills they need and want. Simultaneously, employers will be creating leaders within the company.

2) Provide Avenues for Young Employees to Explore Other Career Tracks Without Leaving the Company

Millennials and Gen Z’s have a higher propensity for changing their minds and/or wanting different experiences, so consider ways that enable employees to make lateral moves, or create rotational programs that allow inexperienced professionals to get experience in a variety of business capacities before fast-tracking them to a single role.

3) Give Them a Reason to Stay

Alongside competitive compensation packages that include 401K matching programs and comprehensive insurance offerings, provide benefits that allow employees to have flexibility when it comes to when, where, and how they work. Tools such as remote work options, flex schedules, and floating holidays are particularly beneficial as the workforce becomes increasingly diverse. The restructuring of PTO can also provide employees with a boosted sense of autonomy and responsibility for their work.

4) Ensure that Company Culture, One of the Strongest Recruiting and Retention Tools, Is as Strong as Possible

These days, employers must go far beyond the flashy tactics of having an on-site game room and fun company outings, and bring more focus to the company’s mission. Create, live, and work by a set of core values that represents your company’s mission. When millennials feel connected to a mission they’re far more engaged, willing to work hard and seize new opportunities.

5) Walk the Thin Line Between Challenge and Overworking

Allow involvement in higher-level projects and discussions to provide meaningful learning opportunities, and create goals that stretch their capabilities. Its equally important to keep said goals attainable, and keep tabs on individual employees workloads to avoid boredom or stress, two of the most prominent factors for driving millennials out of a workplace.

For more than twenty years, Avenica has been the leading U.S. recruiting firm exclusively focused on placing college graduates into entry-level, career-track positions. Learn more about our process, or find the right entry-level talent for your team here.

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