Engage Millennial Employees by Providing Purpose

young workersNot only are Millennials hard to recruit — they are difficult to keep.

New grads and young professionals are discerning job seekers who methodically use social media, colleagues and technology to identify employers of choice — and to spurn bad fits.

Though at 33 percent they are the second most-engaged generation, Millennials are the most likely of all generations to leave their company in the next 12 months if the job market improves, according to the 2013 State of the American Workplace survey results recently released by Gallup.

Staffing firms can become Millennial-friendly recruiters and developers of contingent and permanent workers by providing meaningful opportunities to contribute and grow. According to Gallup, getting workers to positively answer the following questions are the strongest factors for retaining Millennials:

  • “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”
  • “The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.”

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Given that new grads and young professionals are a target group for our firm, we begin our job description as follows:

“An iMethods Recruiter is someone who:

  • Values meaningful work
  • Is passionate about our six core values: ardent service, constant learning, community involvement, deliver positive results, tireless efforts, and telling the truth”

Once on board, we equip Millennials with the tools and resources that they need to produce individual results in a team-oriented culture. This addresses a third important survey question for Millennials, according to Gallup: “This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.”

Keeping Millennials engaged through training, development and meaningful work is key to retention. Almost half (47 percent) of actively disengaged Millennials strongly agree that they will switch jobs, compared with  (17 percent) of engaged Millennials, according to Gallup.

The following traits also influence retention for Millennials, according to the “Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace” white paper from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Millennials:

  • View managers more as coaches and mentors than as content experts.
  • Are optimistic and achievement-oriented.
  • Crave collaboration, team-based projects and an unstructured flow of information.
  • Seek employability and flexibility.
  • Are continuous learners.

Millennials want to develop new skills that will prepare them for future opportunities to advance and contribute. Attract, retain and engage them by helping them to prosper with purpose.

MORE: The Me ME ME Generation Fallacy

Chad Perce
Chad Perce is CEO and co-founder of iMethods, an IT staffing and consulting company specializing in healthcare. He can be reached at chad.perce (at) imethods (dot) com.

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