Make your business more attractive to millennials

Millennials now dominate the American workforce. According to the Pew Research Center, workers aged 18 to 34 make up more than 50 percent of the total working population. As a result, organizations young and old are changing their ways to attract professionals from this unique generation.

If your business has not yet adjusted to this shift, now is the time to transform. To draw in millennials, you should reevaluate your company culture and make internal modifications in a few key areas.

License to choose
Freedom is a major concern for millennials, reported CNN Money. Young employees want a certain amount of autonomy and the license to innovate within the workplace. Companies like Google schedule time into the workday for employees to express their creativity while working toward wider company goals, reported The New York Times. The tech magnate works with the 70-20-10 model which enables employees to allot 70 percent of their time to tasks that further core organizational aims, 20 percent to related long-term initiatives and 10 percent to acquiring new skills or working on experimental projects.

This collective desire for freedom also trickles down into more administrative workplace policies. For instance, millennials are the driving force behind the rise of flexible work schedules, reported The Muse. In fact, according to a Bentley University survey, 77 percent of workers from this generation believe employers should do away with the nine-to-five model. Of course, some executives from past generations disagree with this notion, believing it to be a veiled attempt to distort the concept of work-life balance. Proponents of the flexible schedule disagree, reported the Los Angeles Times.

"I think it was a term that previous generations believed in," Michael Elliott, a 28-year-old, certified public accountant at Dittrick and Associates Inc. in Burton, Ohio, told the newspaper. "I know for me and most of the millennials I talk to, work-life balance is nonexistent. There's only work-life integration."

In your quest to attract young, enterprising employees, take into account this generational need for independence and add flexibility to the workplace. This move will make for happier employees and promote internal innovation.

A real reason to connect
In 2014, professional services company Deloitte surveyed more than 7,000 millennial workers in 26 countries to uncover generational employment expectations. Over half of respondents said businesses needed to do more to promote wider social change and wished to work for companies with stringent ethical codes. In short, millennials expect organizations to do more than just sell products or services.

"They want a career, not just a job, and they want a career that aligns with their values and desire to give back," David Smith, senior vice president of Microsoft's small business unit, told the magazine. "These are weighty things that ultimately contribute to the overall culture of a company, and they may not be easy for business owners to quickly wrap their heads around or implement."

Your business should take this task head-on and evolve to meet expectations. It can be as easy as scheduling regular, office-wide volunteer time or making donations in the names of employees during the holiday season instead of doling out catalog tokens.

Technology support
Much has been made about millennials' connection to technology. It's widely known that members of this generation stay connected via internet-enabled devices at all times, including at work. In fact, according to a survey conducted by analysts at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, almost 60 percent of millennial workers said employer technology use was a major concern for them during the job-hunting process.   

"Embracing the latest technology is a crucial part of that innovation that's necessary to compete in an ever-changing business landscape," Smith told CIO. "Millennials don't just want to get the work done, they want the tools that will enable them to do their best work."

To attract millennials, you should work to integrate modern technology into your operational approach. This doesn't mean you have to spend a huge chunk of change on complicated workplace technology. Try implementing a bring-your-own-device policy. This approach might actually save you money in the long run, as you won't be required to purchase and support company-owned equipment.

Once you've implemented changes to attract millennials, reach out to YES partners to begin your recruitment effort. Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

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