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Top Tips for Hiring and Retaining Millennials for Small Businesses

Millennials for Small Businesses.

By 2020, Millennials will be the largest generation in the workforce. That means that if you’re recruiting new talent for your small business, chances are that some—if not all—of your candidates will be Millennials, or Gen Y, as they’re also referred to. But if you’ve read any business articles over the past few years, you’re likely aware that even the largest companies have difficulties attracting and retaining Millennials. In fact, according to the 2016 Gallup report titled “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” 60 percent of Gen Y workers were open to other job opportunities—mostly because their current positions didn’t offer everything they wanted. If you want top Millennial talent, it may be helpful to fine-tune your recruitment strategy to position yourself as a first-choice employer. Here are some helpful tips on hiring and retaining Millennials:

  • They want to work for employers that contribute in a positive way to the community. Many millennials have a strong sense of social responsibility and they want their employers to be socially conscious, too. If you sponsor any causes or charities, make sure to include information about those initiatives on your website.
  • They want to do meaningful work. Millennials typically want their work to make an impact on the world, so it’s important to provide context to their roles. Let them know how their efforts contribute to the company’s goals, as well as the greater good.
  • They want flexible work arrangements. Gen Y workers grew up with smartphones and hyper-connectivity, so they know all too well that a large number of jobs can be done from anywhere with an Internet connection. In addition, they want to spend time with their friends and family instead of having to deal with lengthy, stressful commutes twice a day. Creating work arrangements that allow employees to telecommute and setting flexible hours can help make your company more attractive, since it enables a better work-life balance.
  • They enjoy collaboration. Millennials typically like working with others and perform well in teams. It can be useful to invest in collaboration software so your employees can still communicate with each other when they’re working remotely.
  • They want feedback. The PriceWaterhouseCoopers article titled “How to manage the Millennials” explains that Millennials value frequent feedback. Don’t make them wait until it’s time for an annual performance review. Instead, let them know how they’re doing in real time so they can make corrections if necessary.
  • They want to advance their careers. Millennials are aspirational and want to advance professionally, so they’re looking for companies that provide clear career paths. Make sure you can offer professional development, exciting projects, and even mentorship programs in order to make your company more attractive. Since it’s often challenging for small businesses to provide these kinds of opportunities, it can be useful to see if your local chamber of commerce can help.

Keep in mind that when it comes to recruiting talent, you might be competing against some of the largest corporations in the country. However, while large enterprises can typically offer higher salaries and more perks, it’s much more difficult for them to change their company culture. As a small business owner, you have more flexibility, which means you could be in a better position to create a work environment that offers more of what top Millennial talent are looking for.


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