How The Best Leaders Attract Millennial Talent

How The Best Leaders Attract Millennial Talent

A lot of firms try to make millennials ‘fit’ within their business. They take on techniques to ‘woo’ them with awesome perks such as free snacks, a ping-pong table, or even a happy hour every other Friday. Now, while these things are nice to have, millennials see through these tactics as a mask to cover for the corporate culture they feel they’re about to sign their lives away to.


Where a lot of these companies miss the mark is assuming that these folks are willing to embed themselves into the archaic philosophies like “working your way to the top” at a place for 20+ years. Unfortunately for employers stuck in the past, those mentalities are dead. Instead, their replacement is the “be your own boss” attitude of the youth. And if these companies don’t change their tactics soon, they’ll soon be left behind as Millennials are quickly becoming the majority of the labor force soon.


With how rapidly the culture of the workforce is changing, we’ve compiled some notes on how exactly the best leaders bring in millennial talent (as well as how you can too).



Understanding the Self-Starter


Millennials have a strong desire to be entrepreneurs and independent self-starters. Their approach to life is drastically different than any other generation, with a high priority on a value system. Quite simply, millennials want to own the world and everything in it, and for top tier firms, that’s a good thing.


As a leading provider of marketing services and products for small businesses, Deluxe Corporation has created an attractive opportunity for millennials who appreciate the stability of a large corporation while serving the entrepreneurs and small businesses that power our communities. “I’ve loved working with such an experienced team that values my ideas and perspective,” says Jade Ptacek who accepted her first job after college with Deluxe.


As Brian Scudamore notes in his article My Number One Tip For Hiring Millennials, the most important part in bringing in solid, young talent is knowing and believing in the ‘why’ of your business. And while some people may say “I know why I’m in business, to make money!”. That’s the obvious, easy part. The harder part is knowing the core mission to why you exist and matter. Finding that will be the first step down the right path.


Let Them Work When and How They Want


Rather being locked in the confines of a cubicle from 9 am to 5 pm, the youth has a stronger desire to have a fluid workplace to match their workflow. An excellent example of this is media start-up Mic out of New York, which was founded and is run entirely by millennials.


“Mr. Altchek is proud of the freewheeling office culture. ‘It helps us to have everyone speak out and best ideas rise to the top,’ he said. ‘What that can feel like or sound like is rudeness. But I’d rather have a lot of people speaking their minds than a very controlled environment.’


Additionally, Millennials have a strong desire to have a stable work-life balance. While older generations view this approach as ‘entitled’ and ‘lazy,’ they also need them to figure out the technologies that are supposed to make their work easier and more streamlined. While this barrier has been discussed over and over again, the balance will come with time as both sides still need to learn from what’s worked in the past and how that can apply to what’s going to work for the future.


Playing The Gig


According to Upwork, 55 million people across the United States are freelancing, roughly 35% of the total workforce. After the economic downturn of 2007, the self-starting flexibility and freedom independent gigs have provided has been an attractive trait for millennials. Plus, freelancers can hire and fire employers when new work arises, giving them the ability to find the right fit.


While older generations may have enjoyed the benefits that come with a full-time position, younger people are willing to trade those in for a better sense of self-dependence. To them, it’s the greatest benefit they could ask for and in exchange, they’re known to offer more creative input, hard work, and dedication.


As a hiring agent, this can be a pretty lucrative deal as their employment is at-will with no additional costs. It can also be a great solution if you’re on a shoestring budget to see if an employee will fit within your culture and workflow. By bringing on a contractor, you’re at an advantageous position to working with top millennial talent.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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