Millennial Employee Life Cycle: Part One

Employee Retention
Published on
March 31, 2016

As consumers, millennials are used to having a product for every niche or idiosyncrasy, and they expect the same level of customization as employees. As a result, at every stage of a Generation Y's career, there is ample opportunity to engage them more fully to benefit both their own experience and the business’ bottom line.TALENT ACQUISITION"Compensation" is only the fourth most important factor in attracting millennials, with "culture," "career," and "work-life balance" taking precedence. And surprisingly, "company mission" ranks sixth after "challenge." Therefore, the focus in advertising an employer is to first highlight people and second growth potential.The same survey found another surprise: as much as companies’ efforts have turned to social media and on-campus recruitment, millennials are in fact more likely to hear about a company through their friends or on job boards.So again, showcase the quality of people in your organization and the work they get to do, but do it authentically and use online channels like virtual info sessions, blogs, and responses on Quora or Reddit. Creating a positive impression and supporting employees such that they are likely to recommend your company are two key tactics to drawing in top millennial talent.Millennials are less interested in perks and swag than many assume. Choose instead to engage candidates with an emotional pull addressing the things that matter to this generation: how interesting is the work and how does it contribute to something meaningful?


Millennials crave discovery and there is no better time to satisfy this curiosity than in the first three months with an employer. Make their initial experience special by providing them the opportunity to be mentored by a senior leader in the company. In addition, set them up with a peer who they can approach at any time for more practical guidance on corporate culture. A simple way to set up these relationships within companies is by having specific roundtables (groups) set up for new hires on the MentorCloud platform. This allows the new hires to get questions answered quickly and enables them become part of the conversation earlier.Millennials have learned that following certain paths will lead them to surefire success, so they are surprisingly eager to understand specific expectations. Provide concrete examples of best practices and give them the direction for success, and they will take it.On-demand training tools can be very helpful. However, it’s important for millennials to have the ability to access the training on all devices, most especially mobile. That being said, eLearning must only be a supplement, as millennials place coaching and experiences far above classroom and online training.


Millennials want frequent real-time feedback to keep learning and progressing quickly. They even place training, mentoring, and flexible work arrangements as priorities above financial benefits – and mentoring is well and above their preferred way of learning. In fact, 75% see mentorship as crucial to their success.Yet only 51% of Gen Y women surveyed by LinkedIn said they have had a mentor. And Deloitte found only 7% of companies have programs in place to build millennial leaders. Take a close look at your mentorship program to ensure it is accessible to millennials. They want to be able to choose their own mentors and establish an authentic relationship with transparency, and they want to communicate in a variety of ways, from in person or video chat to emailing articles or texting for on-the-spot guidance. Does your program have these facets, and if not, what tools are you using to address that gap?

If this topic is interesting to you, be sure to check out next week's post where we continue through the millennial employee life cycle. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for a demo of our amazing platform. Your workforce wants to be mentored; now you just need to show them that you hear what they are saying.

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