With Millennials making up one-third of today’s workforce, recruiting and hiring Millennial job seekers is essential for companies eager to staff more positions. Millennials are also tech-savvy, goal-oriented workers who tend to possess a burning desire to learn and grow, which often makes them great employees.
Also, according to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey, more than half of Millennials aspire to become leaders or executives within their current organizations—proving that they can be worth investing in. But if your company can’t afford to offer competitive perks like top-rated technology or free snacks, how are you supposed to attract and recruit Millennial job seekers?
Before you admit defeat, realize that Millennials would rather have valuable company benefits than expensive, shiny objects. By learning what Millennials truly value, you can discover other workplace perks they appreciate that are more affordable for your company. Here are the key things Millennials want, and what your business can do about it:
Career Development & Advancement
According to the HR Review, an overwhelming 91 percent of professional Millennials report that opportunities for rapid career progression are the most important aspect of their jobs. Millennials want opportunities to learn and develop their professional skills at work because they are passionate about moving forward. If your organization can’t afford to offer tuition reimbursement or to sign employees up for national business conferences, consider offering some of the following options:
- Lunch-and-Learns: Ask managers or guest speakers to provide seminars during lunchtime so that employees can learn something new during their lunch breaks.
- Company Library: Collect donated and/or used business or professional development books, DVDs, and CDs to create a company library that employees can borrow from.
- Cross-Training: Give employees an opportunity to learn a new skill or role within your company by allowing them to train in or transfer to a different department.
- Stretch Assignments: Occasionally assign employees new tasks that are beyond their current skill levels and that challenge them to “stretch” their knowledge.
- Mentorship Programs: Ask managers to become mentors for employees, and create monthly performance reviews to consistently provide them with feedback.
Volunteering & Donating
Research shows that most Millennials would rather make a positive difference in the world than get professional recognition. In fact, 84 percent of Millennials made a charitable donation last year. Fortunately, most volunteering opportunities are free, very fulfilling, and can generate positive brand awareness for your company. Here are some ways your company can help your community:
- Become a “Corporate Sponsor”: Volunteer your company to staff events as a corporate sponsor. Choose relevant events such as industry-specific conferences and/or job fairs to position your brand in the best possible places.
- Donate Company Products/Services: On occasion, let your employees contribute your company’s products and/or services to nonprofit organizations that truly need them but can’t afford them.
- Community Assistance: Use your team’s unique skills to help others around the community. For example, your HR department might help college students edit their resumes and your graphic designers could help nonprofits create marketing collateral.
- Professional Speaking Opportunities: Encourage your team members to speak at relevant events on behalf of your company. These events could be tradeshows, training programs, or even college classes.
Positive Company Culture
Because Millennials prioritize being happy at work, they look for employers that maintain positive company cultures. According to Bridge, 88 percent of Millennials will start looking for a new job if their current employer doesn’t possess a positive culture. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your company culture must be fun or exciting; it just means that your culture should be pleasant and engaging! These affordable practices will help you accomplish just that:
- Recognize Employees: Share and celebrate employees’ big wins during meetings, and ask team members if they would like to recognize any of their colleagues’ for a job well done. Also offer awards such as “Employee of the Month” and quarterly gift cards to recognize hard-working employees.
- Welcome Employee Feedback: Maintain an open-door policy so that employees feel encouraged to share their thoughts and concerns. You can also create an anonymous opinion box so that employees can easily share new ideas or desired changes.
- Be Transparent: Schedule monthly team or company meetings to review business updates, changes and progress. You can also send out email updates on a regular basis to keep your employees looped in on company success and events.
- Promote Company Values: Post your organization’s core values around the workplace using posters or whiteboards, and regularly discuss them with employees in meetings and emails. Encourage employees to point them out when they see these values in action at work.
Flexibility and Work/Life Balance
If your business is flexible, Millennials will come running. In fact, Boston College reports that “more flexibility” is one of the top reasons why Millennials switch jobs. Millennials care deeply about their work/life balance, so they prioritize working somewhere with flexibility perks. If flexible hours won’t work for your business, here are some alternative benefits:
- Flexible Lunchtime: Allow employees to take their regular lunch breaks whenever and wherever they want, as long as it remains within your company’s time limit.
- Work-From-Home Days: If possible, give your employees the ability to work from home at least a couple times a month.
- Bring Your Child or Pet to Work: Allow employees to bring their children or pets to work on certain days so that they can spend more time with them.
- Save Them From Errands: Find dry cleaners, grocery stores, and other services offering onsite or free drop-off/pick-up for multiple accounts to save employees time from doing chores during lunch or weekends.
- Appointment Flexibility: Let employees leave work for necessary doctor’s appointments without using up their PTO.
If your organization can’t afford to offer pricey perks, don’t give up on recruiting Millennials altogether. Considering that Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, giving up could be detrimental to your company’s well-being. Instead of throwing in the towel, find affordable and meaningful ways to successfully attract, recruit and retain Millennials.