Posted by Lindsey Wichern, Account/Marketing Coordinator
Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, recently released an update to their study on the Millennial generation, 8095®, the years in which the generation was born, 1980 to 1995. The study reveals the generation’s aspirations, their relationships with brands and the role brands play in their lives.
Though the purpose of the study was to show Millennials’ relationships with brands, the findings reflect a Millennial’s general mindset, especially in relation to employment. Organizational leaders can use Edelman’s findings to help attract and retain Millennials and learn what to do to resonate with the generation.
To clarify, the youngest Millennials are now 18 years old and the oldest are 33. They are no longer the next frontier, they are here, in the job market, just now starting their careers or working their way into management positions and raising families. They are the generation organizations should focus on as they are becoming the most influential.
Attaining Top Notch Millennial Talent
When considering how to attain the best Millennials you must communicate on the same platforms as they do. According to Edelman’s study, Millennials are the first and most digital generation, never knowing a world without smart phones. Use social networks as recruiting tools and meet them where they are. Also consider ways to interact in person; even though Millennials don’t know life without technology, they still find value in face-to-face conversations.
The generation is especially open to brand engagement; they enjoy co-creating products, having questions answered in real time, creating content online and connecting with people similar to them. If trying to attain top millennial talent consider hosting mock interviews on Twitter where a senior level executive is willing to ask Millennials what they’d like an interview to look like. Or host an online contest where their work can be displayed and rated. The key is to be available and willing to listen.
Bill Handy, STF | PR’s vice president of digital engagement and past visiting professor at OSU says, “Millennials want to feel connected online and in real life. To not leverage technology puts any business at an immediate disadvantage for recruitment not to mention the ability to engage with the generation for commercial reasons. The absence of communicating via technology also sends a clear message—the same message we saw during the 90′s when comparing companies that had implemented individual email systems for their employees and those that hadn’t. Same story, different technology.”
Retaining Millennial Talent
When retaining Millennials think through the top priorities the generation listed when asked, “What do you want from a job?” Millennials stress the importance of interesting and challenging work and opportunities for advancement.
Once a Millennial is hired, there must be a strategic focus on retaining the talent. First, an organization must prove that the company’s culture matches the reputation of the organization. If this isn’t the case, faith will be lost in the mission of the organization.
Employee retention of Millennials requires innovative employee engagement strategies and tactics. Millennials are used to being able to obtain information instantly because of their access to information through Google, YouTube and other online resources. Therefore, the generation seeks frequent feedback and transparency from management—Millennials want to be involved in planning or development and see their ideas executed.
Aaron Fulkerson, STF | PR’s executive vice president and CAO, and leader of the firm’s management consulting practice, says, “Retaining the best Millennial talent is key to the success of any organization. In 2013 approximately 3.6 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 and only 20 percent will stay in the workplace. If we don’t take the necessary steps to retain the best Millennial talent there will be a dramatic lack of skills in our businesses.”
Millennials live in an era based on the present and organizational leaders tend to lose their attention by being too future focused. The world Millennials have known has proven nothing is certain—from climbing divorce rates to nationwide layoffs and war, the generation has decided they can’t count on much. In knowing this, organizations wishing to retain top talent must find ways to focus on the now and have a valuable plan that appeals to the Millennial mindset.
The quest for attracting and retaining top talent is real. Millennials have a desire to share and learn from each other, they want to be heard, know your organizations back story, history and reasons why you do what you do. Enable Millennials to be supporters of your organization by providing information where they seek it, considering what they want from their job and providing opportunities for mentorship.
Feel free to share with us what you do to recruit and hold on to top Millennial talent.
Lindsey Wichern is a part of the Tulsa account team and specializes in various services. Lindsey is an expert in team building and coaching, succession planning and strategic planning. In addition, she handles the firm’s marketing needs while working with a number of clients. If you’d like to learn a more about Lindsey please visit the firm’s meet the team page or contact us at our Tulsa office.