The millennial generation makes up the largest proportion of the US workforce, and organizations are now saying that accommodating millennials is a business imperative. A lot of research has gone into uncovering the differences between millennials and other generations, and the brunt of this research reveals that the wants and needs of all generations really aren’t all that different. However, millennials do have slightly different priorities when it comes to work and careers, and these key differences can be harnessed by employers looking to hire and retain them.
One difference that has emerged is the desire for a job to provide them with career mobility and job growth opportunities. In one survey, the need for career mobility was one of the biggest divides between millennials and other generations, such as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. This priority may not be “generation-specific” but age-specific. Millennials are in the earlier stages of their careers, so it makes perfect sense that they’re prioritizing job opportunities that set them up to advance their careers.
Employers looking to attract and retain millennial employees should keep these priorities in mind. After all, the research also suggests that millennial workers who don’t get the career development they seek will leave the company for a new opportunity. The “millennials are job hoppers” stereotype is partly true, at least compared to other generations – a report demonstrated that millennials are the generation that is most likely to look for and change jobs. Millennials are at the start of their careers, and they aren’t afraid to take a leap for a new opportunity if they aren’t feeling fulfilled in their career trajectory.
What does this mean for employers? Companies can adapt their strategies both in the hiring process and on an organizational level. First, to attract job seekers, companies need to convey that the role provides opportunities for career growth. This can be as simple as including an extra line in your job description or communicating it during an interview.
Second, once candidates are hired, companies need to follow through and implement ways to promote career growth within the organization. There are a lot of ways to do this, but some examples include setting up mentorship programs, establishing new training opportunities, encouraging employees to attend classes or conferences, and creating paths to promotion within the company.
This doesn’t just help your employees grow their skills and become better at their jobs; it also helps to reduce turnover within the company. And not just any turnover – employees who leave your company for growth opportunities are often your best and most ambitious employees. Why risk losing them when you could create new opportunities to leverage their skills within your own organization? Creating opportunities for all your employees (not just millennials) to grow their careers is a great way to promote an environment where your employees can thrive in the long run.
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