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Employers need to ‘think differently’ to attract millennials, says Jonathan Lee Recruitment

Competitive salaries, flexible working and continuous development are the key factors businesses must address in order to attract and retain the best young talent.

That’s according to David Woakes (pictured), group business development manager at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, who believes that employers need to ‘think differently’ and offer millennials a career opportunity rather than a job for life.

He said, “By next year, more than 50 per cent of the workforce will be made up of millennials. This is a socially confident generation with technology at the forefront of their lives. They have grown up with a very different political and economic backdrop to that of Generation X and, as you would expect, their priorities and aspirations are different.”

This generation is riding a wave of uncertainty, and this is likely to continue with Brexit still unresolved. For them, a job-for-life is an urban myth. In an ‘on-demand’ world, they are used to instant gratification.

Woakes added, “Many employers are frustrated that they have spent time and money recruiting Millennials, simply for them to move on every two to three years as a matter of course. But, it seems, this is the nature of millennials’ career progression, and rather than becoming frustrated, employers must address it head on.

“Millennials are independent, resourceful thinkers as well as innovative problem solvers who demand development. Businesses can retain them if they are shown an exciting career path. They need challenges and mental stimulation as well as the freedom to think laterally, and to come up with new ways to deliver business goals.”

There are employers who are successfully doing just that, according to Woakes, and the three key factors setting those employers apart are:

  • They attract, and engage with, a new workforce by demonstrating and delivering a career path of continued growth and challenge
  • They encourage innovation and creative thinking, whilst balancing this with learning from the wider team, creating trust and team spirit, knowledge sharing and transfer of skills

He commented, “Work-life balance is probably the most important factor to the millennial generation, that and a salary to facilitate their chosen lifestyle. They are less interested in pensions and company cars, and more interested in competitive salaries, working the hours that suit them, working from home, hot-desking and flexibility.

“Employers must look at how they can recognise the priorities and preferences of millennials and meet them halfway. It won’t be long before they are reaping the rewards of their innovation, aspiration and rejuvenation.”

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