Patrick Antos

Attracting and Retaining Millenials isn’t about bells and whistles…it’s about you and your culture

Patrick Antos |

There’s been a lot of talk about how to attract and retain millenials in 2015 and frankly, that conversation won’t be ending anytime soon. By 2025, they will make up 75% of the workforce…which means it’s time to take a look in the mirror at your organization and ask yourself if you are ready to attract millenial talent. How about retaining that talent after you hire them? For the most part, that answer has been "no" from the people I work with, which led me to put together this list of tips about how to help your organization not only attract the best millenial talent but also retain it.

  1. Tell the truth. What do I mean by "tell the truth?" If you tell a new hire during onboarding that your organization looks to promote from within and gives employees the training and development necessary to be successful, then do that. If you tell them you allow for flexible schedules and working from home, then let them do that. If you fail to do these things, there becomes a major trust issue with the company and the employee. Imagine if you told your kids that they can play outside after school as long as they finished their homework, and every time they finished their homework you kept telling them they weren’t allowed to go outside? They wouldn’t believe you anymore and would be pretty unhappy that they were being sold a bill of goods that they could never get.
  2. Lose control. Many folks are very scared to allow other people to take on projects and execute on them. All you are doing as a company is being dictatorial and not giving anyone a chance to make a difference. If you actually did give the project away and lost some control, this would free up your time to do what you are best at as the owner/CEO/VP of your organization. It also gives the person running that project the ability to show you they are ready to make an impact for you and your customers. Let it happen; it’s very freeing! Millenials want to make a difference and feel like they are making an impact.
  3. Show your face. Step out of your office once in a while and go have a chat with people at your company. This isn’t a novel idea, but it seems that people have forgotten what it’s like to just say thank you or ask about someone else's weekend plans. Millenials need a hug once in a while and it could be as simple as remembering the name of their son or daughter or that they are huge fans of whatever football team they watch every Sunday.
  4. Consistency. Lastly, be consistent and intentional with your emphasis on an open environment that breeds creativity and autonomy. The minute you stop doing that, all of the trust you built with your crew is gone. They won’t believe you anymore, destroying the utopia you’ve been working to build over the years.

Millenials want to believe and work towards something that is bigger than them. In order to attract them, you need to have your culture in order and it has to be from the top down. The old order was step in line, like a manufacturing organization - keep your head down and you’ll be rewarded in 30 years with a pension and lovely retirement. Those days are over and if you aren’t willing to take a long look at what you’re currently doing, then you’ll never be able to retain the best talent. If that occurs, you only have yourself to blame for not making the changes to grow your company through your people.