Written By: Rich Mesch
August 19, 2017 – 5 min read
How do you attract, onboard, and retain the best, most talented millennials? It all starts with your Employment Brand, how the outside world perceives you as a corporate employer. For the job-searching talented millennial, this even includes your ethical stance and your sense of social responsibility. As a company, you will have focused heavily on your corporate brand and its offer of value to potential customers – your employment brand is your offer of value to potential new employees. Onboarding drives your Employment Brand, impacts first impressions of your company, and can drive job satisfaction.
Millennials, known also as Generation Y, are the offspring of Baby Boomers and even members of Generation X (their predecessors), defined by their seemingly instinctive grasp of digital technology and communications, and their understanding of the media world. They are true Digital Natives, having never known a world without computers and the internet. And by 2020, they will make up one-third of the workforce.
There is a lot of misinformation about Millennials. For example, Millennials would prefer, like previous generations, to advance within the company of their choice, and are not the “job-hoppers” they are sometimes perceived to be. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey: Winning Over The Next Generation Of Leaders and the ManpowerGroup’s Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision, “The Millennial’s Wish List” (in order of importance) is:
Those motivations are probably shared by a lot of non-millennials, too. Now let’s look at the Millennial’s career aspirations:
Meeting these aspirations is key to enhancing your employment brand, and marketing your company to the best millennial talents out there.
Getting them in the door is just the first challenge. Now you’ve got them, how do you keep them? You need an effective onboarding system, one that highlights the way in which your company values your team members. By doing so, you create a positive impression, and a successful employment brand, which will entice future employee prospects to make that same journey. Your employment brand starts before your first contact, but long-term begins on Day #1. Effective onboarding includes:
Those steps can create a great first impression. How do you keep it going?
Maintain Engagement Through “Learnability” Remember the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” The millennial’s response to this? “No, it is what you know.” Millennials place skills way above connections, and they certainly understand the concept of learnability, or “the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one’s skill set to remain employable throughout their working life.” A millennial considered as learning-agile understands that new skills are imperative to their personal goals. It’s your job to keep them engaged.
Opportunities to Use New Skills Opportunity creation, a clear millennial aspiration, needs to be continually demonstrated by the company. Such opportunities are a direct response to the millennial’s newly-enhanced skill set, giving them a way in which they can demonstrate their new abilities by performing new tasks competently.
Constant and Calculable Progression On Day #1, your new millennial was given learning resources on the topic of personal and professional growth. By doing so, you have shown this is as important to the company as it is to them. Therefore, the onus remains on the company to continually provide feedback on their career advancement, a statement of their progression.
Tangible and Intangible Rewards Like most people, a millennial wants fair and appropriate compensation for the work they have undertaken. They also want a company to provide other tangible rewards, in terms of career enhancement, the placing of value on what is offered to the company, and an employer who understands the personal needs of the millennial – the social responsibility element.