6 ways to attract, retain and develop Millennials

Here at ManpowerGroup, we wanted to better understand what motivates that infamous generation known as the Millennials – set to make up over a third of the world’s workforce by 2020. We surveyed 19,000 Millennials from across the globe, asking them what they look for in a job, what paths they want their careers to take, and what would encourage them to stay with an employer. The research revealed some striking differences between the working practices of Generation Y and those of the generations before them.

From the extensive insights gathered from the research, we identified 6 key ways employers can reimagine their people practices so as to attract and inspire the next generation.

Offer career security, not job security

For Millennials, job security doesn’t just mean a guaranteed job-for-life, it means developing the skills needed to match market need. 93% want continuous skills development to remain employable in the long-run. Demonstrate exactly how staying with your company can lead to career enhancement. Share examples of people who’ve progressed through training programmes, and enable mobility around the organisation for on-the-job learning.

Satisfy the Millennial appetite for new opportunities

Millennials aren’t as disloyal as you might imagine – they crave regular change and new challenges, but often with their current employer not the next. Create opportunities for Millennials to work on varying projects with different teams to enhance their experience and networks – without them having to go elsewhere.

Check in regularly

Rather than annual reviews, focus on near-term objectives for development and implement plans to achieve them. Use these regular career conversations to connect how their work today will enhance their career prospects and longer-term employability. Right Management’s recent whitepaper offers some vital advice on how to initiate and reap the benefits of these career conversations.

Appreciate your Millennials

Half of Millennials would consider leaving their current job due to lack of appreciation. That’s a statistic that can’t be ignored. Maintaining a high-touch approach and offering recognition and affirmation is crucial to engaging Millennials in their roles. Find new channels that encourage recognition and sharing from managers and peers. It’s low cost, and it works.

Be ready to ride the career waves

Millennials already know they will work longer and harder than previous generations, so they also foresee career breaks along the way. Anticipate these breaks and know that these go beyond the traditional reasons (births, honeymoons and caring for relatives). Recognise that lengthy careers mean time to re-tool and refuel, and make breaks an acceptable part of company culture. Be clear what flexibility you can offer and help people re-enter the workforce when they return.

Embrace the alternatives

Millennials tend to favour full-time work, but more than half are also open to alternatives like part-time, freelance or portfolio careers. Adopt some of the more attractive aspects of these models – greater flexibility in where, when and how people work, and a larger variety of projects – to better engage and retain Millennial workers.

To explore all the insights and discover more practical advice, download the full report.