With over 15 years of HR experience, I know the candidate market is ever changing - and never more so than today. In fact, 91% of millennials will change their job in under 3 years, which means by 2019, 62% of our workforce will be made up of people we haven’t even met yet (and let’s not think about a potential bill of £230,000 in recruitment fees).
So how can businesses attract and retain millennial talent – and ensure their approach to recruitment and development stand outs from competitors?
For me, there are three key areas to consider:
1) Millennial’s are individuals - not employees
Smaller companies need to use their SME status to their advantage; you don’t need to imitate the behaviours of big conglomerates, wrapping everything into policy and procedure. Instead, offer flexibility, responsiveness and an entrepreneurial mind set to incoming staff.
How do you do this? By providing a recruitment process that is thorough but not formulaic – let the individuals demonstrate their thinking, energy and tenacity via the application itself. Offer a development framework based on their unique knowledgebase, skillsets and attitudes and enable progression within the agency vs. traditional, vertical progression evaluated against a cumbersome job description.
2) Millennial’s don’t choose how to spend their time, they choose how not to waste it
The phrase, ‘You don’t get anywhere standing still’ could not be truer for millennials – they need frequent recognition and instant gratification. Development needs to be constant, continually reaching the next sign post to direct them along their career path. A variety of work within their job role must be challenging and their line managers must adopt leadership qualities to empower independent thinking, not task management.
3) Millennial’s are not defined by their working life
It’s true that Millennial’s have a holistic view of their life, of which their working life is just one component. Facilitating wider external interests keeps them curious and creative and importantly, satisfies their FOMO (fear or missing out) it also protects them ever being bored.
Some quick wins for appealing and motivating millennials
- Rather than traditional job descriptions, understand that each role is multi-faceted. Summarise what an individual is accountable for and the associated responsibilities in order to deliver against this. Use a metaphorical lighting system whereby an employee’s light will show across various areas of the agency and they will come on / go off dependant on business needs
- Use a competency based framework to evaluate an individual’s performance against a matrix of knowledge, skills and attitudes. This allows the business to see how well the individual is likely to perform in the now and also for the role that they may be required to perform in a few years’ time
- Disperse authority throughout the agency and project teams so they are led by those that have the right ability, not just the most experience
- Define your company’s DNA so that you’re recruiting individuals with the right mind-set – not the most similar experience
- Understand that the org structure is a reflection of ever-changing business needs and dynamics – ensure it’s regularly updated with small iterations
- Create a strong family culture that supports and mentors – your business can only succeed if your people succeed, which can only be achieved through opportunity and direction
- Have an internal role dedicated to the development of the agencies people, not about the process of HR but how you can unlock and harness the true potential of its talent
My 2016 manifesto a quote by Peter Drucker, Management Guru “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual”.