4 Tips for Connecting with Millennials

In 2015, Millennials took over as the largest generation in the workforce, accounting for more than 53.5 million workers and taking over more than 34% of the overall workforce, surpassing Generation X and the Baby Boomers. Despite the overwhelming number of Millennials on the job market, 53% of hiring managers admit that it’s difficult to find and retain Millennials.

For organizations struggling to both find and retain Millennials, the first step is to understand how Millennials live and work and craft a strategy that appeals to them. These four tips for connecting with Millennials can help organizations attract more people to their open positions and retain Millennials through management training and better communication.

How to Connect with Millennials

1. Social Media – As most talent acquisition teams have already begun to use social recruiting tactics to source talent, they’re well on their way to connecting better with Millennials, who are more likely to use social media to find jobs than previous generations. Approximately 73% of Millennials found their last job through a social media platform, so it makes sense that talent acquisition departments with a strong social media presence would attract more Millennials. What does it mean to recruit Millennials on social media? Recruiters may need to do more than post job openings – Millennials want connections. Organizations that use social media as a tool to connect with people, learn about them and develop relationships with them will have a better chance at hiring them.

2. Open Communication – Studies have shown that Millennials prefer open lines of communication and consistent feedback in order to excel at their jobs. Although a startling 58% of Millennials intend to leave their jobs in three years or less, it is because many Millennial workers are unsatisfied with the lack of fulfillment or feedback at their jobs. Because many Millennial workers want to learn at work, they long for a communicative environment with a manager that will help them succeed. If your organization is struggling to retain Millennial employees, consider managerial training or seminars that encourage a teaching and feedback-centric work environment. It will not only help Millennials but many other generational employees who would benefit from more open communication.

3. Growth Opportunities – Another factor Millennials look for in their careers is growth. Many Millennials leave their jobs because they feel there is no opportunity for growth or personal benefit. As a generation that grew up with technology and a vast amount of resources at their fingertips, Millennials are extremely motivated and resourceful with an entrepreneurial mindset that keeps them focused on new opportunities. Whether you’re looking to attract or retain or Millennials (or both), it’s important to demonstrate to them that there are opportunities to grow within the company when they perform well. Ask them about their plans for the future and their expectations, and explain the realistic possibilities for advancement at the organization.

4. Collaboration – Forbes describes it best when Jeff Fromm writes, “Millennials no longer work for you; they work with you.” Unlike any other generation before them, Millennials thrive in a more collaborative environment and they want a job that gives them the opportunity to work with a team and work with management to incorporate their ideas. Organizations that position themselves as collaborative and group-focused are more likely to attract Millennial employees, and these are the organizations that will truly benefit from Millennials.

The main thing to remember about these four tips is that organizations must actually implement changes to the work environment to truly retain Millennials and benefit from their work, not just position themselves in a way that will bring in more applications. Although such drastic changes can be challenging, you’re preparing your organization for a new generation of employees that will one day be running the company. Plus, the generation that follows (often referred to as Gen Z) is likely to be even more aggressive and innovative with technology and more likely to demand social collaboration and growth. It’s time for organizations to prepare for a new age of workers, and these simple tips are a great place to start.