How to attract and retain Millennials in the 21st Century

Millennials comprise the generations born between 1980 and 2000, who are now entering the employment field. By 2020, these millennials will form 50% of the global workforce, making way for the soon-to-be retired baby boomers.   

Millennials with the right skills are in high demand, however, attracting and keeping them have proven to be a challenge to many organisations. Because of their good command and knowledge of new technology in the workplace, millennials are easily attracted to offers given by other organisations and tend not to stay at one organisation for more than two years.

This generation is looking at working in companies that are flexible. They expect to climb the corporate ladder quickly and excel in the business, while learning constantly, and receiving constant feedback, encouragement and recognition.

The following are some requirements that will enable organisations to attract and keep talented millennials:

Growth opportunities: Not only do millennials want competitive salaries, they also want the opportunity to grow within the organisation. Employers need to foster this generation’s ambition and drive.
Mentoring: Millennials are always looking for feedback and a mentor will be valuable to them. This could also be beneficial to the employee and/or management from a digital and social perspective.
Companies’ digital presence: All millennials will Google the company before going for an interview and will also check the organisation’s social and digital presence, which could give them doubts about the organisation.
Transparency: As millennials have grown up with technology, a culture of transparency has been created, and millennials therefore expect the companies they work for to be transparent and upfront with information.  

200 South Africans participated in a recent (2017) Deloitte Millennial Survey Report, which revealed that those who enjoy flexible working arrangements express higher levels of performance, loyalty and trust. Flexible working arrangements also support greater productivity and employee engagement while personal wellbeing, health and happiness are enhanced.

So what does this mean for employers? It is certainly better to address their needs directly and to understand the characteristics of the millennial generation than to pretend they don’t exist.

Anisha Patel is the Chief Human Capital Officer at Fundi.

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