Employer branding for millennials

Research has found that roughly 50% of the US workforce is made up of millennials, with that percentage set to increase to 75% by 2030. Clearly then, employers need to be considering millennials in their hiring strategy and, more specifically, in their employer branding.

Who are millennials?

Every source will specify a slightly different age range. However, broadly speaking, millennials can be defined as those workers born between 1981 and 1996.

Any business who does not consider the needs of millennials when shaping their company culture will fall behind when it comes to scaling their business. Ultimately, millennials are the future.

So, with the need to engage millennials of increasing importance for all employers, what are millennials really looking for in their chosen careers? How can you ensure your organisation stands out in a candidate-driven market? 

What defines millennials?

Millennials can be defined by the following; according to Gallup research:

  • Millennials don’t just work for a paycheque – they want a purpose.
  • Millennials are not pursuing job satisfaction – they are pursuing development.
  • Millennials don’t want bosses – they want coaches.
  • Millennials don’t want annual reviews – they want ongoing conversations.
  • Millennials don’t want to fix their weaknesses – they want to develop their strengths.
  • It’s not just my job – it’s my life.

What can we learn from this?

Most importantly, millennials are purpose-driven. Work is no longer a means to a paycheque. Rather, it is a way of life and a way of contributing to the development of the world.

So, this means that those employers who understand this desire to matter, harness it in their employer branding and company culture.

How do they do this?

Employers who understand how to tap into the millennial mindset understand that candidate attraction is about so much more than salary. However, this doesn’t mean that salary doesn’t matter at all – of course, it does.

According to research, 64% of millennials said they are stressed about their finances. So, financial security is a driving factor in their career choices. However, what this does mean is that to stand out in the jobs market, employers need to be offering more than a generous salary. Instead, employers need to be offering an employment experience that provides a way of life and a sense of purpose.

What does this mean for employers?

This means that for businesses to continue to grow, they need to recognise and adapt to a new way of doing things. So, organisations need to cultivate workplace cultures that have a strong sense of belonging. Essential to this sense of belonging is the idea that every employee is an individual.

As such, they resent the idea that they are just another cog in a machine. So, they “prefer a collaborative environment to a competitive one.” Millennials value work-life balance, in which their personal commitments are recognised.

This does not mean that millennials are just looking for a good time and feel the need to be friends with all their colleagues. Rather, it means that they value positive communication and an environment which fosters healthy relationships and values the individual wherever possible.

How can this be implemented?

This does not mean that millennials want another ping pong table to make the workplace more “fun”.

Rather, a strong sense of culture is first and foremost built on a sense of respect for all individuals, not just those within the walls of the business. As such, organisations which recognise their responsibility to society and the environment will attract those millennial workers, who want to have a significant impact on the world.

As well as this, workplaces who recognise the need to flexible will have the upper hand. According to CBRE, “flexibility is freedom.” The rejection of the 9-5, profit-driven culture signals the millennial desire to be free.

So, millennials desire a sense of autonomy. As such, micromanagement is out the window. This is because millennials want to be valued for their contribution and “achievements, rather than the time they spend in the office.” The Global Talent Trends study found that “51% of employees wish their company offered more flexible work options.”

What does this mean for the workplace?

When workplaces implement these things, they will, in turn, foster a positive working environment. According to Forbes, “a good work environment beats out free stuff any day.” As well as this, research has shown that happy employees are more productive.

Of course, it’s not just millennials who want to feel a sense of being valued as well as being valuable. Employees of all ages want to feel that their “employers respect them and will provide them with what they need to be successful in both their professional and personal lives.”

By adapting your employer branding to work for millennials, you can create a workplace which is desirable to job seekers on both ends of the scale. So, don’t get left behind. Make sure your employer branding works for the millennial workers your business needs to succeed.