• bearhr

Millennials - The New Workforce

Updated: Dec 2, 2019


Millennials are those people born between 1980 and 1996, who have started (or will be starting) their careers in the first part of the 21st Century.


This group of workers have grown up in the midst of technology and are likely to join the workforce with a far greater understanding of technology than their managers and supervisors have.


Often seen as lazy, disloyal and self-absorbed this group of workers may just as readily be labelled as digital entrepreneurs and innovators. Irrespective of the label they are given, employers must accept the fact that 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials by 2025.


Millennials typically grew up with parents in the 70's, 80's and 90's when "jobs for life" were disappearing and, although they seek job security themselves, in this digital age they are exposed to new opportunities even when not actively looking and as they are motivated by more than money, will have little hesitation in switching jobs or even a complete career change if the right opportunity presented itself.


Retaining millennial will become increasingly important as they become more and more dominant within the overall workforce and employers would be wise to review company policies and culture to ensure they are able to capture and retain the best talent.

A millennial's greatest priorities when looking for a new position are money, security and time off so consider addressing these first and rate what is offered by your business. Next in line come working with great people and the opportunity to work flexibly, as well as enjoying the job and the chance to develop their skills.


Millennials typically like to know that their contribution is valued and look for praise when they have done well - not just during an annual appraisal as you may be used to doing. They are keen to progress quickly within a business and it is more important than ever, to ensure that any vacancies are advertised to internal employees as well as any external recruitment exercises you may be doing.


Consider moving millennials to different departments or to work on different projects within the business as this will nurture their need for development and give them the opportunity to develop new skills within your business rather than leaving to get the desired new opportunities from a new employer.


Remember, millennials are likely to work longer than any generation before with retirement age being pushed back to accommodate the aging population, and it is possible they will be looking for longer career breaks during their extended careers than most businesses will have offered previously - for example, extended honeymoons, time off to travel or to study. How would your business accommodate such a request?


What can employers do?

  • Good, effective communication between you and your workforce is essential to fully engage your workforce.

  • Review your Recruitment Policy - do you do enough to attract the right candidates? And ensure that any vacancies are made available for internal promotion.

  • Review the way your induction and onboarding processes and make sure the new employee is allocated a mentor.

  • Review your Total Reward Strategy - what benefits do you offer that may set you apart from other employers.

  • Review the culture of your business and the management styles used - millennials don't respond well to traditional drivers, they like to understand why you are asking them to do a task

  • Consider work/life balance and flexibility. Can employees work remotely on occasion? Can they take a couple of hours off in the day to attend to something at home knowing that they can catch up on any work missed in the evening or at the weekend?

Please contact Bear HR if you would like more advice on attracting and retaining millennials or, indeed, any aspect of your people management.