How to Attract Top Millennal Talent

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Adecco Way to Work careerathon

By Scott Westcott

What’s it take to attract millennial talent? More and more employers are asking that question as the 18-to-33 year-old age group fast becomes the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce.

Yet employers are finding that it takes more than simply posting open jobs to attract talented Millennials, who bring with them unique working styles and expectations that are considerably different than those of the baby boomer generation. Progressive companies are focused on developing a culture and working environment that allows Millennials to flourish and encourages them to stick around. Here are some steps that smart employers are taking to attract workers from Generation Y.

Talk their language

To many millennials, e-mail is already old school. Talking on the telephone? Only when absolutely necessary. To attract the Gen Y generation, you need to talk their language, and communicate on the same platforms that they do — in short, social media, smart phones, text, instant messaging and just about any technology that allows them to communicate quickly and stay connected. Yet millennials still value face-to-face communication and the opportunity to interact and share ideas.

Schnake Turnbo Frank Public Relations in Tulsa, OK, recently published a post highlighting ways to recruit millennials and emphasized the importance of communicating in ways they are familiar with.

“Millennials want to feel connected online and in real life. To not leverage technology puts any business at an immediate disadvantage for recruitment,” says Bill Handy, vice president of digital engagement and past visiting professor at Oklahoma State University.

Workplace FlexibilityOffer flexibility

For many millennials, few working scenarios are as unappealing as being stuck in a office cube working 9-to-whenever every day. Millennials watched some of their parents burn out in that environment, and want no part of it.

Studies have consistently shown that millennials are hard workers that will put in long hours if necessary. Yet they don’t want to log all of those hours chained to the same desk. Smart companies are offering flexible working arrangement and hours focusing on results and productivity rather than simply watching the clock.

Generational expert Sherri Elliott-Yeary says millennials seek flexible leaders that advocate flexible policies

 “Millennials understand the importance of balancing hobbies, sports, and volunteer activities with work,” Elliot-Yeary says. “So offering the ability to telecommute, for example, is one great way to attract top millennial talent.”


Challenge them

Millennials will only endure boredom for so long. They have grown up in an era in which they spent nearly every waking moment engaged with technology, activities or other people. They often value experiences over money, which means jobs need to  be structured in a way that challenges them and taps their creativity.


Don’t cling too tightly

The idea of working for one organization for your whole career  is all but dead — and that’s fine with millennials. According to Forbes Magazine, job hopping is the “new normal” for this generation. In fact, 91 percent of millennials stay in a job less than three years – meaning they may have 15 to 20 jobs or more over their working lifetimes. Employers need to work to retain talent, but understand that many high performers will eventually move on. Yet it might not mean goodbye forever. If employers are wise enough to allow millennials to seek new opportunities with grace and without guilt, that same employee may end up coming back some day with even more skills, experience and expertise.

Are you searching for top talent? Our specialized recruiters help to connect you with the talent in your industry.


As of January, the unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds was 13.1%. When you include the 1.7 million young adults who stopped looking for work, it was 16.2% – double the national average.

We want to change these numbers, and change the lives of young professionals throughout America. That’s why, on April 30, every Adecco office will be hosting Adecco Way to Work™ careerathons where we’ll be offering valuable resources about resume writing, interviewing, networking, your digital footprint and other critical topics.

To sign up and learn more, go here.

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