August 7, 2019 – There are roughly 73 million Millennials in the U.S. Born between 1980 and 1996, Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, yet many employers struggle to attract and retain them. The U.S. now has more open jobs than job seekers, and the quit rate recently reached a 17-year high. In today’s tight labor market, what entices Millennials to look elsewhere, and how can you keep them?
A new report from recruiting and cultural firm LaSalle Network recently gathered responses from more than 5,000 professionals to discover what they want, where they’re looking for jobs and why they may have one foot out the door. The report is designed to help businesses retain the people they already have and help attract the best new talent.
According to Pew Research Center, Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Here’s a glimpse at what they want:
Philanthropy is Losing Steam
LaSalle Network recently found that nearly one-third of recent graduates said philanthropy was important or very important when deciding which company to work for. Fast forward to last November and entry-level respondents ranked philanthropy among the bottom three factors when deciding what company to work for.
Tom Gimbel is the founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a recruiting and human resources consulting firm based in Chicago. He is an expert on organizational development, securing a job, career development and how businesses should hire successfully and company culture. He has been a guest on or featured in CNBC, The Today Show, Fox and Friends, FOX Business, NBC 5, ABC 7, CBS 2, WBBM 780, WGN TV and Radio, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Small Business, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun-Times.
Here are the top three factors entry-level respondents want when evaluating a future role, according to the LaSalle Network study:
Compensation; work-life balance; and company culture.
According to a recent study by HubSpot, 56 percent of Millennials and Gen Z say the top workplace attribute that enables them to do their best work is the people they work with. In addition, companies with aligned cultures had three times greater stock market returns than the market average, according to a poll by Great Places to Work.
Do Your Employees Have One Foot in the Door?
The LaSalle Network report discovered that 76 percent of Millennial employees said they are open to new opportunities. Why are they open?
The top reason candidates gave is that they are considering changing careers to a new industry. According to a Gallup study, 21 percent of Millennials have changed jobs within the past year in the U.S., which is more than three times the number of non-Millennials who responded.
How can businesses retain their best people? LaSalle says understand if your organization offers opportunities for employees to change roles within the company. If so, encourage employees to speak up. If they are unhappy with their responsibilities or are curious about another department, they may be able to transfer internally. When an employee expresses interest in other areas, you may be able to help them work more with that team or department.
Is there a project they could take on to start to develop new skills? Can they shadow a meeting with a different team? If your organization offers it, encourage employees to take advantage. LaSalle also said that companies should showcase their success stories.
Are there other employees who have made lateral moves, switched teams or managers? Highlight their growth in the company, even if it isn’t linear or traditional.
The second reason Millennials said they are open to new opportunities is because they are seeking a better benefits package. Here are the benefits employees want:
Help with finances. Consider offering plans to directly help with finances, like 401k plans and company matches, or student loan assistance. In addition, a casual dress code or providing food options onsite can keep costs down for employees. This generation is also looking for more time off. According to HR Daily Advisor, more companies have been adding days to their paid time off (PTO) policies. LaSalle said to consider adding to your PTO plan to increase retention. LaSalle also said that flexibility is key. HBR said that a majority of employees value benefits that promote flexibility and improve work-life balance. Work-from-home arrangements can be cost effective for employers and save money by lowering overhead costs.
The third reason Millennial employees said they are open to new opportunities is because they are unclear of their career path at the company they work for.
Here’s how you can communicate career paths to increase retention: Build a road map. Revisit career paths with employees in one-on-one meetings. Ask where they see themselves and what their career aspirations are. What tools do they need to get there, and how can you help? Physically map out a plan with them that they can refer back to. SHRM recommends identifying career paths are an important part of retention.
LaSalle also stressed the importance of mentoring: Identify who your high potential employees are, and communicate that with other managers. Then, experienced leaders in the company can mentor the next generation. Embracing corporate grandparenting can ensure managers guide their direct reports, and the layer below, as well.
Lastly, LaSalle suggested that businesses promote alternative career paths. According to HR Dive, employees may hit a ceiling and feel there’s nowhere to go but the door. Consider cross-training to expand employees’ knowledge in other departments and highlight different development opportunities. Nontraditional career paths may exist outside of the employee’s current group.
Where to Find Millennial Talent?
According to LaSalle Network research, the most popular job board for Millennials was LinkedIn, followed by Indeed and CareerBuilder. “Take advantage of job boards to help your organization shine,” said LaSalle. “If you post a position on a job board, be clear and specific about the position and showcase your brand. In addition, highlight people who have gotten promoted or received an internal accolade. If your organization has won awards, promote or re-promote them on LinkedIn.”
The Millennial Leadership Skills Gap
Anywhere from five million to 11 million young leaders have taken charge in the workforce, but many admit that they feel ill-prepared to lead effectively, says a new report by the Korn Ferry Institute. Here’s how companies can build better relationships with this demographic group and gain a competitive advantage along the way.
What Do Millennials Want?
The most important factor when evaluating a future role is compensation, said the LaSalle Network report. In today’s tight labor market, many organizations feel they need to increase base salaries to stay competitive. Its research of more than 4,000 executives showed that more employers plan to raise wages in 2019:
In today’s candidate-driven market, many organizations are paying more for top talent, but money isn’t everything. Identify other motivators for your people, like benefits, work-life balance and opportunity for growth. According to LaSalle Network, only 45 percent of employees are satisfied or very satisfied with their career path at their current employer. Highlight opportunities for growth and promotability in your organization to attract talent, the report said.
Millennials Have Options
With unemployment at historic lows and employees quitting their jobs at record rates, competition for top talent is fierce. More than a third of candidates received two to three job offers last year, according to the survey. Below are a few ways to ensure the best candidates aren’t lost to competitors:
- Condense the interview process. Consider shortening or condensing the interview process. This can help limit the number of offers your best candidates receive while considering your company.
- Consider a signing bonus. As an additional incentive, you may decide to offer candidates a signing bonus. In a competitive hiring landscape, this can give you a leg up on the competition.
- Differentiate. Whether it’s your celebrated company culture, extensive benefits package or training and development program, identify what makes your organization unique and highlight that. If your organization has won awards, showcase them.
Here are a few points LaSalle Network said to keep in mind when navigating the ever -tightening labor market:
- Showcasing opportunity for growth and providing benefits that employees value are key to retaining Millennials.
- In your hiring efforts, compensation cannot be overlooked. There are other ways to attract talent, however, like highlighting career paths and company benefits.
- Candidates are using job boards like LinkedIn most often in their search. Make sure you’re posting open positions to job boards with clear job descriptions.
- With unemployment at historic lows, expect Millennials to receive multiple offers.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media