What millennials want from an employer

If your business wants to succeed in the digital age – you’ll want to recruit millennials. But first you need to understand how they differ from candidates from previous generations.

Born towards the end of the twentieth century, millennials – also known as Generation Y – are the first truly digital generation. For them, social media and smartphones are a natural part of everyday life. Where others try to keep up with new developments, millennials are ahead of the game. They are perfectly at ease with modern technology and the new way of living, working and communicating it brings. So, when it comes to recruiting millennials, what do they look for in employers?

The opportunity to fulfil their potential

Millennials don’t work for employers, they work with employers. They are in control of their own lives, and they see employers as an opportunity to realise their ambitions. And, if they are not getting the fulfilment they seek, they are happy to leave and find an employer who is more conducive to their needs.

Despite being unashamedly ambitious, millennials are not interested in working their way up the company hierarchy by virtue of long service and company loyalty. They aim to succeed by proving their worth, and they look to training and development programmes as a way to maximise the value they bring to an organisation. Providing a continuous flow of growth opportunities is essential if employers want to attract and nurture the best millennial talent.

The flexibility to blend work and life

Millennials are not confined by the 9-to-5. Instead of counting the hours spent at their desk, they believe the only meaningful measure of productivity is the value they add to the organisation.

Work is a vital part of their lives, but they see no need to implement artificial restrictions on when and where they can do their job. Work and home-life are not two separate entities for millennials, they overlap and integrate seamlessly. Offering maximum flexibility, therefore, by removing boundaries on working hours and physical location is key to bringing millennials on-board.

The values to give work purpose

Millennials are motivated by making a positive impact on the world. The purpose of their work matters more than simply chasing profit. They judge companies by the way they treat customers, employees, society and the environment, as well as the products they create and the services they offer.

For employers to attract millennials, therefore, they must be underpinned by a solid ethical foundation. There must be real purpose to their role and the aims of the business as a whole.

Adapting your organisation to thrive in the digital age means recognising that technology is transforming what is possible – and that millennials are the driving force behind these new possibilities.

To make the most of what the millennial generation have to offer, it is essential to understand and embrace what makes them different from previous generations. While it is important not to alienate employees who do not share the millennial mindset, taking steps to respect and utilise the unique contribution every generation can make will ensure your organisation has the mix of talent to succeed now and in the years ahead.

Why we need diversity at board level

Asian Businesswoman Leading Meeting At Boardroom Table


Back in the old days, choosing board members was simple. The CEO would simply pull in like-minded people from his (and it usually was a he) existing network of trusted colleagues.

It seemed obvious at the time that it is better to have similar people sat around the board table than a disparate bunch that might disagree and bring in different viewpoints. However, there are significant downsides to this arrangement.

Today’s businesses are more complex than before, with diverse workforces and diverse customer-bases – and a homogeneous board is simply incompatible with this modern, multifaceted work environment. For a board to maximise the full potential of every element of a business, it must broaden its composition to become as diverse as its workforce and its customers.

A truly diverse board encompasses talent from a range of skills, beliefs and life experiences as well as different genders, ages and ethnicities. Of course, diversity for its own sake is of little value. Board members must also be competent and capable individuals with a commitment to the success of the business.

Five reasons why a diverse board is good for business

  1. If ‘know your customers’ is the first rule of business, having a board that reflects the composition of your target market is fundamental to gaining that essential insight.
  2. When little or no debate exists between board members, policy-making stagnates. Diversity, however, encourages healthy debate, fresh thinking and, ultimately, better decisions
  3. Business is a brutal game of survival of the fittest. It is not necessarily the biggest and strongest that survive, it is the most adaptable. A board comprising various types of people with different backgrounds gives a company the all-round attributes it needs to evolve and survive in an ever-changing commercial environment.
  4. A diverse board sets an example which other parts of the company can follow. Every aspect of a business can benefit from diversity. It helps build a more dynamic workplace and instils a culture of innovation throughout the organisation.
  5. Nowadays more than ever before, the reputation and ethical perception of a brand is crucial to its success. A diverse board, therefore, is something for a company to promote. It’s mere existence will bring about kudos and competitive advantage.

Unleash the benefits of diversity

While media interest in the composition of company boards is relatively recent, research has indicated for a long time that diverse boards are not only a moral obligation, they are an essential business enabler.

Boards comprising people with an appropriate mix of skills and backgrounds perform better than those lacking diversity. With a mix of different people on their board, companies will grow in different markets, find different solutions to familiar challenges and optimise the potential of different aspects of the workforce.

So, if the upper echelons of your business are looking decidedly samey, maybe it’s time to embrace diversity and for everybody to get on board!