Hiring millennials can be a difficult process but the benefits they can bring to your team are manifold. So how you should go about attracting the brightest and the best?

By Jenny Williams

Hiring millennials can be a difficult process but the benefits they can bring to your team are manifold. Here's how you should go about attracting the brightest and the best.

Regarding characteristics and needs, Generation Y want:

  • New skills
  • Productive experiences
  • Short-term impact
  • Social change
  • Collaboration

I’d now like to discuss how businesses and recruiters can go about using this to better attract Gen Y to their companies.
Contribute to society:

And let everyone know exactly what you're doing and why! Gen Y want to make their world a better place and they want the companies they work for to do so too. Financial success is not enough. The company has to have a purpose. Why should they want to get up every morning and contribute towards your business? The company’s ethical practices should motivate your staff.
Many companies are actively engaged in helping their communities and promoting ethical practices but don't let people know about this. If your company is doing phenomenal work, such as changing consumer behaviour for the better, sharing skills with the local community community and supporting charities, then make sure you have adequate channels for telling people about this.
This is certainly not about doing things for the sake of it, rather it’s about communicating what is in the agency's DNA and actions, and making sure prospective employees are aware. Mindvalley, the online educational place based in Kuala Lumpa, wants to help make KL one of the top ten entrepreneurial cities in the world and run monthly educational talks in their offices. These talks have helped them to recruit talent from these events. So help develop some of the best and brightest young minds – and maybe even offer them a job.

Live your culture:

Articulating and living the culture is key to attracting them. Zappos, the American online retailer prioritises culture ahead of everything, even their customers. If they get the culture right, they believe everything else will follow. Agencies can have strong vibrant cultures too. You need to make sure potential new starters are able to experience your culture.
When it comes to loyalty, it's better to be realistic. If business is lost, people lose their jobs. If it is not quite working with an individual, then they are out. Loyalty is a big ask so there's a need to recalibrate expectations and to consider how businesses can help turn employees in to short-term sensations. This will benefit both parties.
To deal with this, Reid Hoffman, from LinkedIn suggests a ‘tour of duty’. An alignment can be found between employee and company interests. And there are various types:

  • A rotational tour is designed to enable a person to rotate around the business. This lets both parties assess their long-term fit with each other. Google hire grads onto a structured 27-month tour, which allows three to nine month rotations.
  • In contrast, a transformational tour is where the employee will have the opportunity to transform both his career and the company's. It relies on the completion of a specific mission, negotiated between the employer and employee. It usually lasts around two to five years.

Gen Y customise all areas of their lives so it's no great surprise they want to customise the way they work too. 'No holiday' policies like the kind practiced at Netflix and 7 Stars Media are great examples of this.
So, to conclude, by understanding what Generation Y need, we can tailor our offer to attract them. Time to:

  • Show how we contribute positively to society.
  • Allow them to be sensational in their roles.
  • Give them the flexibility they need. 

Jenny Williams is an experienced coach and trainer specialising in the marketing and creative industries. Check out her website here and follow her on Twitter.