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.

Thirsky Work

We stumbled across a video posted by Andy Thirsk celebrating his time working as an Art Director at BD. We were really impressed by this positive exit and the fact that he showcased his amazing time at BD. His entire network of colleagues and friends saw this.

It’s important that when someone does move on, they move on with the memory that you supported their development, you were there for their ups and downs and you contributed to them taking the next step in their career. To have your people exit with such a positive experience is absolutely brilliant for your company reputation. Positive leavers support your company in a number of other ways:

  • Free advertising to back fill their position
  • Free advertising for your business
  • Supports your recruitment strategy
  • Supports retention of current people, (their view of the company being a great place to work will be reinforced).
  • Positive leavers will increase your current people’s performance.

Have you got an exit policy? Call HR Rockstars and let’s see what we can come up with to suit your business culture.   For all my creative, technology clients out there, perhaps we take a leaf out of BD’s book and insist on leavers showcasing their amazing experience working for you. Get their story on your recruitment page!

Andy is now Senior Art Director at Isobar. Lucky Isobar! Check out his experience and let us know what you think.


This was BD from Andy Thirsk on Vimeo.