Employee retention is always a hot button issue. Anyone in HR knows about Google, Facebook, Zappos, and other major brands that are legendary for offering a multitude of perks to their employees, perks that are intended to keep them happy and with the company for years to come. Many companies believe in order to attract candidates and maintain a high rate of retention they must follow the leader and provide free food, dry cleaning, bus rides, etc. This is especially true when it comes to millennial talent, as story after story paints them as fickle, disloyal, and unreliable professionals that need to constantly be given the latest and greatest to keep their attention.
Companies that believe they can win the retention battle with millennials solely by offering the latest and greatest perks are in for a rude awakening though. Recent studies have revealed that when it comes to attracting and retaining top millennial talent, HR directors need to focus more on matching motivations and giving their employees the tools to help them grow rather than a free lunch.
While it’s in vogue right now to pan millennials for their perceived entitlement or lack of work ethic, millennials aren’t all that difficult to manage if given the right tools and motivation. The millennial work force is the largest in US History, with nearly half of workers of the active US work force being defined as millennial by 2020. While they are often portrayed with an air of mystery, millennials deep down are just like any other generation; they ultimately want a career in which they can feel fulfilled, grow, and make an impact. Unlike previous generations though, what they value and define as fulfilled differs. A hefty paycheck, while valued, is not the sole motivating factor for millennials. The opportunity to grow and develop as a professional is now rated as a top concern, with millennials marking it as their third most important consideration when selecting a company to apply to and work for.
When considering a plan of how to retain employees, always keep growth in mind. Ultimately you goal is to help facilitate the success of your company by bringing in the right hires and retaining them as they develop as a professional. The best types of employees are the ones that want to be there and value their work as well as the company. Millennials especially desire to join and grow with a company that matches up their values, gives them transparent, honest, and direct feedback, and helps them develop as a professional. As many millennials are recent graduates this guidance and feedback is integral to not only their success but in the success of the company as well. Treat their growth as you would the growth of your company. At the end of the day their success is your success, and a well developed plan to foster transparency and growth with your new hires will pay dividends.
Sean Little is the VP of Marketing for FirstJob.com. FirstJob matches current students and recent college graduates with internships and quality career opportunities. Sean also runs FirstJob’s campus ambassador program at campuses across the country, helping students learn marketing topics while connecting them with top brands and job opportunities. Post a job to FirstJob.com through SmartRecruiters.