Got Millennials? How to Attract Top Talent – and Keep Them

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Over the past few years, millennials have developed a negative reputation as the lazy, self-indulgent  “me-me-me generatiom.”  However, when you look at the facts, that picture couldn’t be further from the truth. It turns out the majority of millennials are actually workaholics with no plans to “job hop ” who don’t even take their allotted vacation time.

Millennials have moved past Gen. X to become the largest generation in the American workforce. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of millennials in the workforce – currently 53.5 million – is only expected to grow as millennials currently enrolled in college graduate and begin working. Companies need to take notice of this generation and understand what it takes to not only recruit the best talent in the group, but keep them happy.

Throughout all industries – from tech and finance to hospitality and fashion – the traditional offerings of money and stability will no longer cut it when trying to attract the top millennial employees. Instead, organizations need to offer transparency, culture, and flexibility. To recruit elite talent, the entire company needs to be involved – not just the HR team.

If you’re looking for ways to attract young talent in the job market to your organization, check out the below tips on drawing and keeping their attention:

1. Write a Compelling Job Description

Now that it’s easier than ever to post jobs and search for positions online, a generic job description is no longer enough. The description of any open position should reflect the company and the team.

If culture is important, that needs to be clearly included in the job description to ensure the right person is applying for the right job. If the post is vague, it makes the applicant question if the job is right for them – and it wastes the time of the company when employees are stuck interviewing someone who isn’t right for the role.

If you are not looking for a typical job candidate, you need to consider the qualities that would make an applicant successful in your company, on your team, and in this specific role; then write a description based on them.

sun2. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot People to Other Roles

Sometimes you interview a candidate who blows you away – but it turns out they aren’t the right fit for the specific position to which they applied. Rather than not hiring this impressive talent, try pivoting them to another team internally.

As much as you want the right person for the right role, sometimes you need to take a step back and recognize it’s important to have the top talent in your company in general. If you go this route, patience will be necessary as it can take several months to find the right fit. If you have the flexibility to pivot, millennial candidates will be excited by the opportunity to learn through experience until you ultimately find the perfect placement, and your company will benefit from obtaining a stellar employee.

3. Get Creative With Your Company Perks

Company perks that make the difference in retaining employees go far beyond a happy hour on Fridays or free meals. Millennials don’t expect excessive perks that aren’t sustainable for most companies, but they do want something tailored to them and their passions. Focus on creating the right perks for your ideal workforce.

If you find out what drives your applicants, you can alter the discussion around those specific perks. Do they have a family at home? Offer a flexible work schedule. Fitness buff? Provide free classes or allow them time to catch a midday workout when they don’t have meetings. Even internal professional development training can be valuable to someone just getting started in their career and help convince millennials to join – and stay at – your company.

By taking these steps, you can make your business much more attractive to millennial applicants, which should prove very beneficial to your organization: Millennials will represent nearly 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.

Elise joined MediaMath in 2012, where she founded an educational institute within the company, the New Marketing Institute.

By Elise James-DeCruise