By Hilton Freund
By 2020, 40% of the workforce will be composed of millennials—a number that’s set to increase to 75% by 2025.
As more and more small businesses begin to hire millennials, Hilton Freund from (payday loan lender Wizzcash) offers up 5 key expectations they’ll have of your company.
1. Clear development
It’s likely that a Millennial coming in to your company will not see themselves doing the same job in 5 years. Nay, make that one year. Research shows that Millennials actively seek-out organisations that have clear career development plans and growth pipelines. They want to come into a company at which they can go places – into senior management, maybe leadership.
Research by ATD, who polled 592 business and learning professionals, shows that successful organisations are more likely to have development programs for Millennials than their less successful competitors. Ramping up your career pipeline, or setting one up if you don’t already have one, could be the key to attracting and retaining Millennial talent.
2. Commitment to corporate social responsibility
Think of Millennials as being socially-aware, responsibility-driven individuals. They want to go out into their communities and go good work – and if their employer wants to do so too, then that’s even better.
Research gathered in a white paper by Lumesse shows that 63% of Millennials donate to charity. Moreover, 80% of 13-25 year-olds want to work for a socially responsible company. Compare that to the more than half who would refuse to work for a socially irresponsible company. So, if your company’s purpose is about a bit more than profit, you’ll be attractive to the Millennial generation.
3. Help working for longer
Wizzcash’s own research shows Millennials will be working for longer than their predecessors. As a result, they’ll need some help doing so. Our Generation Debt interactive resource identifies that the average life expectancy for Millennials is 80 years of age and rising, compared to 73 years for the Baby Boomers.
How will employers meet this change? Workplaces and working hours designed for the older employee could become a major part of corporate planning.
4. Feedback, feedback feedback. Then more feedback
One thing Millennials really value is feedback. They want to know how they are getting on, whether they are contributing to the success of the business. What they are doing right, what they are doing wrong. What their successes have been. Where they need to improve. What others think of them.
This kind of ongoing support might be difficult to manage as a small business owner – but if you can manage it, you could well retain millennials. “Millennials want and value frequent feedback,” note PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). “Unlike the past where people received annual reviews, millennials want to know how they’re doing much more regularly. Give them honest feedback in real time—and highlight positive contributions or improvements on key competencies.”
5. Flexible working opportunities
Millennials place a great deal of value on being able to work flexibly – whether that’s from home, the library or the local coffee shop. So if you have a somewhat rigid, Monday-to-Friday 9-to-5 working week, you might not be all that attractive to the Millennial generation.
A PwC study shows that 64% of millennials would like to occasionally work from home and 66% would like the option to occasionally shift their working hours. What’s more, it’s easier than it used to be to let employees work flexibly. The range of technologies and public wifi services available mean it really doesn’t all have to get done from the office.
What, as a small business owner, have you found challenging about attracting, recruiting and keeping millennials? Let us know.
Hilton is managing director at Wizzcash. He regularly blogs about personal finance, technology, lifestyle and more – as well as riding his bike.