Five Ways to Attract – and Retain – Top Millennial Talent

As of June 2015, millennials comprise the majority of the Canadian workforce and are poised to significantly alter the way business hire, retain, and train employees.

It’s crucial that your business adapts to Canada’s rapidly changing demographics and develops strategies for attracting the best millennial talent so that it can continue to thrive in the decades to come.

Here are five ways to ensure that your business attracts and retains the very best that the millennial generation has to offer.

1. Professional Development Programs

As a millennial who works at a startup staffed almost exclusively by other millennials, I can personally attest to the importance of professional development to my generation. According to 2012 report conducted by PwC, 35% of millennials listed comprehensive training and development programs as the top benefit they would want from any employer.

Make continuous learning and ongoing opportunities for advancement a core component of your hiring strategy. Not only will providing professional development programs help attract the best millennial talent to your business, but it will also cultivate loyalty and motivate your millennial employees as well.

2. Encourage Input

Tech giant Google is well-known for attracting top millennial talent. While Google certainly does offer great salaries and plenty of employee perks, a stunning 96 percent of Google’s millennial employees stated that the company’s willingness to hear their suggestions and welcome their input was what first and foremost compelled them to stay at Google.

Create avenues for employees to share innovative ideas and suggestions for improvement. Millennials enjoy being challenged and when they know their input will be welcomed and taken seriously; not only will they be motivated to work for you, but they will become genuinely invested in making your business the best it can be as well.

3. Provide Consistent Feedback

While providing your employees with consistent feedback and recommendations for improvement is a good idea for any age group, it’s doubly important for millennial workers. When surveyed by PwC, 51% of millennials (6) said they welcomed and anticipated consistent, detailed feedback from their employers with only 1% stating that feedback was not of particular concern to them.

Be sure to praise millennial employees on a job well done, as well as provide recommendations for improvement on a regular basis. Doing so will bring the best out of them and motivate them to continue working for you, rather than seek employment at a company that let’s them know how they’re doing and how they can get better.

4. Create a Cooperative Company Culture

A disdain for hierarchy is a fairly common misconception about the millennial generation. Millennials don’t dislike hierarchy as much they enjoy a co-operative work environment where they feel like everybody is on the same team. In fact, an Intelligence Group study found that a whopping 88% of millennials preferred a co-operative company culture as opposed to a competitive one.

To attract and retain top millennial talent, avoid creating adversarial work conditions and encourage employees to engage with one another on both a personal and a professional level. A work environment where employees are comfortable with one another and feel a sense of shared purpose is not only incredibly millennial-friendly, but it also encourages employees to make a greater personal investment in the success of your company.

5. Encourage Flexibility

According to an EY survey, 75% of millennials say that flexibility is of primary importance when they’re selecting an employer. With technology making remote working an increasingly viable solution, a lot of millennials are opting out of commuting and cubicles whenever they can.

While many employers might be hesitant to let employees work remotely, research has shown that flexible workplace options improve employee satisfaction, can save employers money, and can even boost employees’ productivity. Flexible workplace policies will go a huge way in helping you attract and retain the very best that the millennial generation has to offer.

With Baby Boomers continuing to retire en masse, Canada’s workforce and its preferences will drastically change as it becomes more millennial-heavy. If you want your business to continue to succeed well into the future, the time to start planning on how to attract and retain top millennial talent is now.