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Industry Secrets: Recruiting (and Retaining) Millennials

On20/ 06 /19

Millennials, also known as ‘Generation Y’ or ‘Gen Y’, are defined as the section of the population who were born at any time during the early 1980s to the mid 1990s, reaching "young adulthood" during the early 21st century.

The popular belief is that the millennial generation grew up in an electronics-filled and increasingly digital and ‘socially networked’ world. Since this segment of the population was surrounded by technology from childhood, these millennials are thought by some to be an invaluable asset to any organisation working digitally. This is because they are more likely to more quickly and naturally adapt to this kind of environment - compared to their older counterparts.

However, while some may deem Generation Y employees to be an essential part of enabling business growth, others argue that this generation’s confidence and natural aptitude with all things online can spill over into the realms of entitlement and narcissism; potentially making them into quite demanding candidates when it comes to a recruitment process.

In this blog post, we share five hiring secrets you should take on board today if you plan to recruit and retain more millennials at your organisation.

recruiting and retaining millennials



First and foremost, if there is a shortage of millennial candidates who are interested in working for you, it might be time to revisit your benefits package

If you are looking to attract top Gen Y talent, you might want to look beyond the traditional benefits of pensions, a company car and even bonuses (yes, really!). According to the recruitment site Undercover Recruiter, top benefits millennials are interested in include:

  • Learning and career development

  • Social and off-site events

  • Flexible working hours

  • Student loan repayment assistance

  • Extended holiday allowance

  • On-site amenities including entertainment and gym

  • Health and well-being support

Unlike previous generations who were happy with the standard one-size-fits-all health insurance programs and retirement saving options, the millennial generation is more dynamic, adventurous and flexible with their careers, and this is what generates the greater demand for a more diverse set of work benefits.

For example, you’ll find that 70% of millennials are keen on taking up a role which offers flexible working as an option.

To attract more millennial candidates, you should also pay attention to what your organisation offers in terms of ‘wellbeing’ benefits as part of the package. High levels of employee wellbeing in a company usually translates into improved performance in terms of quality of work delivered, productivity rates. This all contributes massively to the overall financial performance of the business. It’s also no secret that employees belonging to this segment of the population have higher expectations when it comes to their wellbeing at work. This is in direct correlation to them being more willing to go the extra mile for their employer too.


There is nothing worse in the workplace than experiencing a lack of trust from the boss or senior management team. Whether a role is at junior, middle management or senior executive level, and unless trust is actively broken, all employees should be afforded the opportunity to take pride in their performance, and demonstrate what they can do, without micro-management or too much interference from a line manager. Building trust also means letting your staff make mistakes, whilst letting them learn from them too. This is very important when it comes to building a more engaged workforce. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and by making your employees afraid to be wrong you are simply limiting their abilities to grow and progress.

Opportunities to grow

One of the biggest myths about millennials is their lack of interest when it comes to professional development. In reality, generation Y is keen on making a real difference, and they mostly strive to get better at whatever they do.

According to a survey conducted by Robert Walters, 91% of millennial professionals consider career progression a top priority. In addition to rapid progression and formal plans for career development, the research also revealed that millennials value regular formal feedback from their employer; with over 60% of respondents admitting that they would like to receive formal feedback every three months. In contrast, 38% reported that they only actually received feedback once a year, or sometimes even less often. No matter which generation your employees belong to, you could easily argue that this simply isn’t good enough! If you are about to conduct the appraisal meetings with your staff, have a look at our checklist of things to prepare In addition to regular performance reviews, you should also support your millennial employees with their professional development. You can do this by offering your staff the essential training they might need in order to nurture their skills, and perhaps even expand your business offering.

It’s all about culture

Encouraging a good company culture is something all employees are looking for - not just millennials. A positive company culture is crucial to all employees because workers are more likely to enjoy their time and stay with a company longer when the organisational environment is right. But it’s not just about having company values plastered on the walls, or the office fruit bowls, it’s not even just about the style of leadership. A good company culture is all about how the people in your organisation interact and work together. It is all about a shared set of benefits, values, attitudes, standards and behaviours.

Coach, don’t micro-manage

Millennials better value their line manager when they’re acting like a coach - and not an autocratic boss. And while managing your staff can be a tough challenge, dealing with millennial workers in a professional yet supportive manner can do wonders to the overall performance of your organisation.

Remember that millennials seek an approachable manager - someone who is a role model whom they admire and seek to emulate.

According to Tim Gallwey, author of a series of books on this topic, “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  It is helping them to learn, rather than teaching them.”

This is a very important point, especially in light of the ‘trust’ point we mentioned earlier.

In a nutshell, taking all of the above into consideration is bound to help you improve levels of staff loyalty, as well as retention.

Do you need help with recruiting more millennial employees to grow your organisation? Here at Bucks & Berks, we have extensive experience of supplying top-calibre employees at all levels, so why not contact our Thames Valley recruitment specialists today?

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