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Round-Up: Recruiting and Retaining the Valuable Millennial Generation

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There’s a lot of discussion in the business world right now about the millennial generation. Who they are, what they care about, how to recruit them, how to get them to stay. And all with good reason. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials will make up 75% of workforce by 2030. That’s only 14 years away, so thinking now about the growth of your organization and how millennials can help shape that future is crucial to long-term sustainability.

Nonprofits have a key advantage when it comes to millennials. This generation has a vested interest in the social impact of their job, and believes there is a clear responsibility on the part of everyone to improve society. As a whole they want to work for organizations that have a transparent and forward-looking mission to achieve this goal. Who better than nonprofits to meet millennials’ expectations and fulfill their need for socially-conscious work?

Of course, a strong mission and dedicated staff aren’t the only things millennials need to be happy. No different from genxers and baby boomers, millennials want job enjoyment/engagement, to feel helpful, and authenticity in their workplace. On a mass scale, they are quick-thinking problem-solvers who value collaboration whether in person or via technology. And contrary to popular opinion, millennials aren’t “entitled” but rather eager and ready to grow in many directions. They will likely ask for advancement opportunities not because they feel deserved but because they want to continue learning.

With all that in mind, we have cultivated a quick “round-up” of recent articles and studies about the recruitment and retention of millennials. Below is a snapshot of common themes; but keep in mind that while its easy to view millennials as one giant mass of 20 and 30-somethings, they tend to highly value one-to-one connections with people who take the time to know them as individuals:

  • Technology: No shocker here – millennials are the most connected generation in the US workforce, and have the capacity and knowledge to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Mobile sites and social networking will be the key to nonprofit recruitment of millennials, as these are the venues most used when job-hunting.  Video resumes and video interviews allow more flexibility and opportunities for organizations and potential employees to get to know each other in an informal way. Nonprofits looking to hire this generation should pay close attention to social networking efforts especially, and use current employees to help establish an appealing online culture that is attractive to millennials. And speaking of….
  • Culture: Culture encompasses a wide range of aspects, but the key themes for millennials are work/life balance, a sense of purpose in their job, personal connections with coworkers and managers, transparent work systems, real-time feedback (bye-bye annual reviews), and novel opportunities for professional development and career advancement. As mentioned above, nonprofits tend to have the “sense of purpose” piece down pat. But the rest? Organizations would do well to look at how their internal culture meets the needs of millennials, especially when it comes to professional development and work/life balance, which come up time and time again in all the literature. Work/life balance translates into…
  • Flexibility: For millennials, the days of a 9-5 desk-saddled work life must appear antiquated and ineffective. For a generation with very little constraints around technology, the idea of being tied to a network or desk is unappealing. More preferable is the idea of giving an assignment and a deadline, and letting millennials plan how, when, and where they will work on the project. Mobile apps and cloud-based sharing has made it easy for our current workforce to engage 24/7, and this is how millennials operate. For nonprofits in rural areas especially, it is worth looking at which job positions can be done remotely or on a more flexible schedule to accommodate millennials who want to do good for the world while living in a more urban area. This is valuable to millennials because of…
  • Social impact: Plain and simple, millennials want the world to be a better place, and feel that they have significant role to play in that improvement. According to a 2015 Deloitte survey on millennials, 75% believe businesses are too fixated on their own agendas and not focused enough on helping to improve society. They want organizations – nonprofits included – to not only be transparent with mission statements and goals around social causes, but the follow-through to demonstrate meaningful change. Any lack of this will send millennials running for the door. On that note, millennials are…
  • Open minded: Millennials have a sticky reputation for jumping ship and heading for greener pastures. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t dedicated to the organizations they work for. Instead they are a generation used to change and opportunity, and as such they are excited to try new things and explore new prospects. Nonprofits can take advantage of this in smart ways that keep millennial employees happy and engaged. One way to is to ask prospective employees about their goals and how they want to grow, and then follow-through with the support and development opportunities to get them there. A second way is to really listen and adhere to the knowledge millennials bring to the table in terms of new solutions to workplace challenges, especially around collaboration and technology. These are areas of expertise for millennials – take advantage of it.

On top of all of this, compensation is still a major pull for millennials, as for most generations.  Beyond salary, millennials are looking for great healthcare and other benefits to round out their total package. Nonprofits need to search for a solution that significantly reduces employee out-of-pocket expenses to pull in and retain top talent. Contact us for more information today.

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The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. This communication does not constitute a legal opinion and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended educational purpose.

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