group of younger employees

Tips & Strategies to Recruit & Retain Millennial Employees

Just as email replaced the fax machine, a new generation of employees are taking over the workforce. Defined as those born between 1982 and 2000, Millennials are saturating today’s employment pools and even became the largest generation in the labor force in 2016. To help keep up with the changing times and find quality talent, it is essential that you learn how to recruit and retain Millennial employees—if you don’t, then the success of your business might be at stake.

The Millennial generation sits between Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Generation Z (born from 2000 onward). Because of this, Millennials also go by the moniker “Gen Y”.

Millennials became the largest generation in the labor force

As a small business owner, you want to attract and retain top talent who will contribute to your company’s long-term success. Considering that the Millennial population makes up a significant portion of the hiring pool—they are currently the largest generation in the U.S. labor force—it’s crucial to learn the best strategies for recruiting this demographic. Understanding what make Millennials interested in employers and likely to stick around could help make or break the future of your company.

In addition to recruiting Millennial employees, it’s essential that you also have a thorough and speedy employee screening policy in place. Using a fast, online employee screening service like ShareAble for Hires can help you get Millennial talent in the door faster.

Learn the unique characteristics that make Millennials great employees and discover the best ways to recruit this generation with the tips below.

Common Characteristics of Millennial Employees

There are certain employee characteristics that separate Millennial hires from the generational workforces that came before them.

  • Tech-Savvy

Many Millennials can remember life with dial-up internet before the advancement of mobile 4G data. They can recall switching from house phones to pagers to flip phones and then to handheld smartphones with incredible processing ability. This transitional experience means two things: first, they’ve proven their learning and adaptation skills throughout the course of their lifetime; and second, they live and breathe the technology your small business likely depends on.

  • Culture-Centered

When recruiting this demographic, you need to establish your company as an attractive place for Millennials to work. Past generations of workers might have been satisfied to simply clock in and clock out for a steady paycheck without questioning much else.

In contrast, Millennial employees want to walk into a welcoming work environment that’s clean, safe, and maybe even stocked with a few snacks. Employers who have in-office break rooms and dog-friendly policies may get extra bonus points from Millennial employees. If you remain stuck in an old-fashioned business mindset, then you might have a hard time finding new talent.

Why it is Important to Provide a Welcoming Workplace for Millennials

    1. Employees who are happy with their work environment are more likely to stay, which helps reduce the risk of employee turnover costs.
    2. Satisfied employees are more likely to refer their Millennial friends for employment, naturally bolstering your company’s recruitment efforts. However, unsatisfied employees are likely to warn their friends about you, which can negatively affect your reputation and hiring pools.
    3. Consumers are increasingly aware of company culture and are more likely to give their business to companies that have been publicly endorsed by employees on sites such as Glassdoor.
    4. The 2018 Great Place to Work Survey reports that Millennials who say they have a great workplace are 59 times more likely to endorse the company.

Millennials who say they have a great workplace are 59x more likely to endorse the company


In addition to desiring a positive workplace, Millennial employees tend to seek work that’s personally meaningful. While that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out to change the world, they do want to contribute work that’s part of a larger cause or purpose, rather than just sit behind and desk with blind task execution. They also want to feel the satisfaction of doing a good job and are likely to appreciate praise and recognition.

Millennial Employees Compared to Other Generations of Workforce

Older workers may struggle with adapting to newer technologies you might adopt into your business model, while Gen Z employees—who largely grew up dependent on technology already enmeshed in their lives—might have a difficult time operating on analog procedures. Millennial employees are more likely to be well-versed in both newer and older technologies, which means less training time and an easier time adapting.

Millennial Recruiting Strategies

Millennials tend to make great employees because they are experienced and open to change. They’ve demonstrated their learning capacity in mastering the latest technologies. Many Millennials are recent college graduates just starting their careers, meaning they can be coached and molded into exemplary, enduring employees—so long as the right workplace and meaningful workload is there to motivate them. If you think your small business can benefit from this batch of young talent, then here are six easy strategies for recruiting Millennials onto your team.

1. Social media

Employers may consider bringing their recruitment efforts directly to where Millennials spend a large majority of their time: on social media. Millennials tend to rely heavily on online reviews—whether for products, restaurants, or even employers. Work to cultivate a positive presence on sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn and become an engaged employer. Post your job descriptions on job sites like Indeed, and consider advertising your open position on Instagram or Facebook—so long as your company profile showcases a great culture and makes you look like a great employer to work for.

2. Team interviews

Millennials tend to challenge hierarchical structures in favor of collaborative team efforts. This isn’t bred out of a disdain for authority, but rather out of a belief that good ideas should transcend rank or job title. One way to ensure your candidate that their voice will be heard if they work at your company is to host team interviews in which everyone can have a say. This will help show that your company has a spirit of teamwork, rather than one of strictly following orders passed down from the top. Additionally, you can highlight the contributions and profiles of “lower ranking” employees on your website, rather than just those at the top. Showing that you recognize and value all contributions to your business can be attractive to Millennial employees.

3. Highlight work culture

Millennial employees have new job priorities; they are not only looking for money and job security. They want to be involved in mission-driven work and want their company culture to value them as an individual, not just a number. In advertisements and interviews, use language that focuses on the mission and purpose of the company and highlights how their role fits into the bigger picture. If you have employee recognition programs, highlight them in your hiring efforts, as well. This helps potential employees see that you value your employees on an individual level. You can help employees feel valued in a number of other ways, as well. According to the Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision, the top three job priorities besides money and job security that this generation desires are: paid holidays, great coworkers, and flexible schedules. When recruiting Millennials, show them that you respect their work/life balance with plenty of paid time off. In your hiring process, emphasize your desire for candidates with optimistic, can-do attitudes, and highlight their ability to tailor their schedules as needed. Values like these will attract young talent by illustrating your forward-thinking management strategies.

4. Highlight benefits and perks

Even if you can’t offer a giant compensation package, you can still provide smaller perks that make a big difference. In fact, almost all Millennials surveyed said they would still consider a job with great employee benefits—even if the salary is less than expected. Medical, dental, and optical insurance are highly coveted amongst 26-year-old workers who are exiting their parents’ coverage plans. Other company selling points might include work-from-home Fridays, on-site daycare, extra paid time-off, weekly catered lunches, and occasional office happy hours.

5. Provide insight into potential career path

Millennials are ambitious, and many are motivated to pay off their student loan debts as soon as possible. You may find success in recruiting this demographic by showing them the path to financial freedom with clear opportunities for promotion and a way to advance their career by working at your company. If you have an employee mentor program or coaching plan in place, then consider highlighting the program in your hiring materials. 6.

6. Quick hiring process

Last but not least, Millennial employees may expect a quick hiring process in today’s age of efficiency. Too many businesses get caught up on time-consuming pre-employment screening and wind up losing candidates to employers who can make faster hiring decisions. When recruiting Millennial employees, keep the hiring process moving by choosing a modern online employee screening service that reflects the Millennial mindset by providing quick, accurate results.

Millennial Retention Strategies

Once you get the right talent through the door, make sure you follow a Millennial retention strategy that encourages great employees to stay. After all, Millennials aren’t afraid to jump ship and tend to change jobs at a much higher rate than previous generations; a departing employee could cost you thousands in lost time and hiring costs. Try the following tips to help reduce employee turnover and increase your odds of placing dedicated employees who will stay year after year:

1. Provide opportunities for career development

It’s not enough to simply show your employees a typical career path; go farther by having regular reviews, identifying room for growth, and coaching employees into leaders who can guide new hires as the company grows.

2. Offer opportunities for innovation

In the Great Place to Work survey mentioned earlier, it was found that companies who show a sincere interest in their Millennial employees saw innovation increase eightfold as well as seven times the amount of agility, which means employees were able to solve problems and fix inefficiencies in creative ways. Allow your team to showcase their creative problem solving, generate new ideas, and find opportunities for new growth. Doing so will keep them engaged at work—especially if you are personally invested in their wins and supportive during their losses. You might encourage employees to set aside 1-2 hours each week to work on new projects of their choosing or host a regular walk-in time when any employee can come in to share new ideas. It can also help to show interest in your team members outside their role in your company. A question as simple as, “How was your weekend?” or asking about their pet can go a long way in making someone feel valued.

3. Work schedule flexibility

Not all companies can offer flexible schedules, but doing so is an effective Millennial retention strategy, especially as many look into freelancing careers. Burnout is a real threat that you should combat to minimize employee turnover. The occasional remote workday or flex Friday does wonders for morale and work/life balance. If you hire a team member who has family or school obligations, working around their schedule restraints shows compassion and generosity, which makes you the type of employer they’re more likely to stay with.

4. Transparent and performance-based pay

Returning to the importance of meaningful work, Millennial employees want clear expectations of what they’re being paid to do. It can seem frustrating and unfair for a superior to receive a higher salary when they seemingly perform less work. Transparently documenting each role, its assigned duties, and corresponding pay grade can help prevent any confusion from arising.

Get Millennial Talent in The Door Faster with Thorough Online Employee Screening

unbelievably fast pre-employment background screening

Although office equipment, hiring procedures, and even generational ideals might change, some things always stay the same: you will always want the best, brightest, and most fitting candidates that help your business prosper. Millennials are young, skilled, and eager to grow their careers—but that doesn’t mean everyone born between 1981 and 1996 will be a good fit for your team; it’s crucial to find a great match with comprehensive employee screening.

Created specifically for small business owners, ShareAble for Hires provides comprehensive online background checks and employee screening that provide trustworthy TransUnion insights in a matter of minutes. With a variety of customized options, you can get the exact reports you want, when you want them, without having to worry about paying for extras or subscription costs.

With quick and easy identity verification checks, you can compare your applicant’s personal information to government databases. Knowing that your candidate is actually who they say they are can make you feel more confident in your hiring decisions. Get the full story with criminal background checks and detailed credit checks. These reports can reveal a candidate’s relevant financial and criminal history—histories that could pose a threat to your business and brand.

As office technologies become obsolete, so do hiring procedures. A traditional background check can take weeks to complete. Meanwhile, your Millennial job candidate is getting antsy and looking elsewhere. If it takes more than a few minutes for you to get your complete employee screening results, then it may be time to update your process to reflect the tech-savvy, fast-paced Millennial generation you’re trying to recruit.

ShareAble for Hires can help you keep up with the changing times. Start screening today and get Millennial talent through the door faster.

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