People Positive Culture

Employers and employees, does it really need to be this hard?

Who cares about Millennials anyway?

Recently I read an article in an HR publication about attracting and retaining the Millennial workforce. Millennials want this it said, Millennials want that, benefits are a right not a perk, they want a voice, what makes this age group tick, what do they look for in a job and career, what makes them cry, you name it. To which I thought to myself, who cares what they want?

I care about my business. I care about my employees. I care about my customers. I care about doing the right thing. I care about having strong values, a strong vision, a strong mission, and follow through. If that means a Millennial is interested in working for my company, great. They will get the same attention and support that anyone working for me would.

What about what makes Gen Y, the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers, men, women, body-snatchers, pod people, old, young, gray, and tattooed people, tick? Companies will do well to not cater to a specific segment. Instead, they need to establish quality values and live by them. Most of what I read about what Millennials want in their careers strike me as things that any good company with strong values, that tries to do right by their employees, would have present already.

Companies that think reading an article and implementing some Millennial-friendly policies is going to transform them into a Millenial talent attraction machine are deluding themselves. Once on board, the Millenials will see through the fa├žade. At worst, they will feel betrayed and unfulfilled. So unless you are going to commit to wholesale changes, your success in talent attraction will be fleeting.

Start by building a company with strong values. Implement sound talent management strategies to effectively manage and develop your workforce. Focus on having a strong employer brand. Communicate your vision to prospective employees. Engage and establish clear expectations. Always be recruiting. Be a responsible employer. Listen. Observe. Be flexible.

Attraction and retention have just been achieved.

One Response to “Who cares about Millennials anyway?”

  1. August 22nd, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Erik Ratcliffe says:

    I read an article recently (was Mark Zuckerberg involved? Probably) that laid out why Millennials are coveted: they are unencumbered by family/mortgages/etc and they lack job experience so they can be overworked and paid very little. It’s exploitative and unfair to Millennials, and older, more efficient and more experienced employees may be displaced by these hapless young’uns.

    My take: any company that is anxious to attract Millennials is potentially exploitative and best avoided.

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