Attracting millennials has become the primary concern for local, national and even international companies. Millennials are dominating the workforce, but the median job tenure for a sales professional is only between three and four years. Many of the companies searching for millennial talent want to invest in a young, growing team. However, they need to have solid programs in place, as studies show that turnover is higher than ever before. It’s smart to question how companies can attract, hire and retain millennial talent while meeting their bottom line.
Here are five notable factors:
A Positive Company Culture
It is much easier — and less expensive — to keep an employee happy after they’re hired than it is to replace them. Our team completes hundreds of interviews with prospective candidates every week and often ask why people are looking to leave their current role. Perhaps not surprisingly, the top reasons for their unhappiness include lack of personal growth, lack of challenge or inability to have added responsibilities (upward growth).
Companies that can retain millennial talent are those that create opportunities to add challenges to their existing roles and emphasize a long-term philosophy that with added responsibilities come additional perks and/or compensation. Sharing this philosophy in the first interview dramatically helps decrease turnover, as it provides the new employee with an attachment to the “bigger picture.”
The top organizations for millennials create a role in which the employee can take pride in their performance and demonstrate that in formal reviews. Everyone wants to do well on their first day, and employers can continually reinforce that feeling.
Allow employees the freedom to come up with a few parts of their own review and describe how they will be accountable to themselves. For a salesperson, this may look like implementing more follow-up phone calls to their routine to increase referrals from happy clients. During your review, ask them what their metric was, how they went about reaching it and what the results were. This instills prideful ownership of the work.
Professional Development Opportunities
If a significant portion of millennials believes that professional development opportunities are important in a job — and 87% do — it’s up to the company to provide such opportunities.
Making room for on-the-job skill-building within your organization can mean you have a staff full of millennials willing to engage and become part of the business and its culture. Even further, offer off-site workshops or conferences that will benefit them in growing professionally within their role. They’re willing to participate because these new skills will increase their value within the company and the position.
Defense Against Burnout
At one point or another in a workday, many of us slow down our working pace because of overloading or fatigue. But when the stress becomes overwhelming for your team members, reevaluate ways to combat this issue in your organization. Implement solutions like an open-door policy for managers, which lets team members know that they’re able to express concerns to their management team without repercussions. Encourage mental health breaks. Usually, a walk around the block can do a world of good for settling one’s mind, and taking in outside air can help to soothe nerves.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Creating a company culture that will entice millennials to apply isn’t just about offering the right salary or perks. Other factors come into play, like corporate social responsibility. Words like “honesty,” “integrity” and “truth” reign supreme for these employees and should be reflected by the organization they decide to join. Millennials tend to be attracted to companies with community service projects — companies that give back to charities, have the occasional in-office event to raise money or donate volunteer hours to causes.
If your company does not currently have a culture of social responsibility, the good news is it’s easy to create. Encourage employees to rally together for an event with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity or food bank, or sponsor a 5K charity walk and give employees recognition for participating
Employers will be relying on millennial talent for decades to come. If you want to hire millennials, you have to see recruiting as a proactive process. If you want your new talent to stay with you, you have to give them unique reasons to. Only the organizations that understand how talent wants to be treated will avoid the turnover trap. Are you one of them?