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Building your future workforce: What's the secret to hiring millennials?

Posted on 15.08.2016

They're now the most numerous generation in work. It's time to think creatively about hiring millennials

Also known as Generation Y or the 'me' generation, millennials are born roughly between 1980 and 2000 and they are playing an increasingly crucial role in the UK job marketplace. As of 2016, millennials make up a quarter of the UK workforce and will account for 75% of the working world within the next ten years. It's common knowledge that good talent is hard to find, and retaining that talent is a constant battle for employers. So how can you secure and retain the best of this rising generation to cultivate future leaders and sustain business success?

Face the future: Get connected

Millennials have grown up during a historical period of technological revolution. They are the first generation to ever use digital communication to connect with the world and their peers in ways that allow them to have deeper, instantaneous and more globalised connections. They are tech-savvy and slaves to social media, fluent in the latest trends on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and quick to take up the next new thing. From social media hubs to mobile technology, employers need to invest in finding the most effective ways to engage with talent through channels that are relatable to both current and potential future employees.

Flexibility: The freedom of choice

Research shows that compared to prior generations, millennials are more likely to place importance on flexibility. They do not want to be restricted; both work-life balance and individuality are key considerations during the application process and as part of a typical millennial career plan. Employers may find that by offering more flexibility, such as adjustable working hours, informal work clothes and the option of working remotely, staff will benefit and retention will improve.

Collaboration: Get the best out of them

For previous generations, the management style and culture of a company were moderately insignificant factors of concern to employees. It was also to be expected that an employee traditionally experienced top-down leadership with less interaction with senior members of the company. If the CEO told you to jump, your response would be to ask “how high?”, not "why?" or "wouldn't it be better if I did this instead?" However, generally speaking, millennials appreciate a flatter hierarchical structure and a mentor-apprentice approach to leadership, where they can learn from the top whilst also receiving frequent communication and performance feedback. Employers should recognise that working with millennials in a collaborative environment will encourage loyalty and boost productivity.

Values: The idealist generation

For the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) and Gen X (born between the mid-1960s and 1980), marriage and home ownership were core values and the peak of generational aspiration. These values have now shifted completely. For millennials, adopting a culture of authenticity, giving back and being civically engaged are top priorities. The social change consultancy, Global Tolerance, states: “In order to be successful, organisations must first find compelling and current values, then live these values across all areas of their operations and only then build on them to engage citizens and employees.” Millenials care about the social impact of an organisation and want to believe in the values and 'greater goals' of the company to which they choose to dedicate their career. If an employer can establish a strong, value-driven culture, millennials will have a significantly smaller desire to leave.

How can we help?

We have only just begun to see this generation’s impact on the landscape of the global workforce. Millennials are the leaders of tomorrow. It is crucial for employers to act now to secure the best talent of this generation. For advice or a private consultation on how Hanson Search can help, contact us or get in touch with Vicky directly via the link below. This article was submitted by Peace Oyegun.

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Author: Alice Weightman

As Founder and CEO, Alice established Hanson Search in 2002 and has since gained a reputation as one of the leading search professionals in senior appointments across communications, developing an incredible network globally.

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