People Management
5 min.

How to Attract Millennials with Your HR Policy

Andrée-Anne Blais-Auclair
Last updated on 6 Dec. 2023
Published on 11 Mar. 2020
Managers building a new HR policy including digital processes

Millennials want active social lives. They choose their jobs accordingly, and it’s up to employers to adapt.

Table of contents

The infamous millennials, too often labelled as being fickle and egocentric, are taking the job market by storm. With them, high turnover rates can seem inevitable. A Québec study even shows that almost half of young workers see themselves working somewhere else within two to five years. This is something for SME owners and HR managers to lose sleep over.

Leveraging younger workers is in your interest if you want to retain good human resources in the long term. To actively minimize your new staff’s turnover rate, it is essential to adapt your HR policy. Baby boomers are slowly leaving the workforce, leaving their place to ambitious young millennials. Here are 5 considerations your HR policy should take into account to attract and retain future employees.

Embrace Technology

Millennials were born with technology at their fingertips and see it as a natural part of both their personal and their work lives. That means you’ll need to keep up with the latest digital trends if you want to attract and hold on to them. Where staff once communicated by phone, millennials now expect you to send them short written messages, such as emails or text messages, since they almost always have their phones with them.

To modernize workplace communications, we suggest using a specialized communications app. The idea is to a have one single, central channel for all your communications. For example, in the restaurant and retail industries, Agendrix messaging features are ideal for quickly checking schedules and punch clocks. Here at Agendrix, we use Slack, which we connected to our application to better meet our needs. This allows us to communicate instantly, without having to move or call a meeting.

Dispense with Formality

But don’t be fooled by millennials’ need have to be constantly connected. They’re also looking to satisfy a need for community and belonging. Abolish formality and hierarchy by creating a work environment where every idea is welcomed on equal footing. They want to feel like everyone is on the same team, and are simply looking for a rich and inclusive corporate culture.

On a related note, millennials don’t thrive as much in traditional meetings. The next time you meet with an employee, why not try walking meeting? In a more relaxed workspace, employees will be more receptive to your comments, especially if they don’t feel too much of a division between you and them.

Represent Diversity

Be it in your business culture, your promotion efforts or your recruitment process, diversity is to be encouraged. Millennials are very open minded and value differences in gender, ethnicity, culture, physical appearance and socio-economic background. Contrasting opinions are the birthplace of new ideas and progress. What’s more, millennials can  highlight elements that complement your existing vision.

When hiring new employees, be open to differences in culture, age and opinion.

Try to see these differences as assets that may come in handy in the future. For example, multilingualism might be useful when comes the time to connect with international clients.

Contribute to Professional Development

No matter the industry, millennials want a job that makes sense to them. They can play the long game if they’re passionate about what they do. What they’re looking for is a lifestyle, and promotions aren’t their only source of motivation. What’s important to them is what they learn as they achieve projects. They want a continual sense that they’re improving.

You would therefore do well to invest in their personal and professional development. We suggest that you offer mentoring to your staff and offer transparent feedback. Be open to enrolling them in training relevant to their work so they become even more competent. They value experiences above all.

Emphasize Quality Of Life

For millennials, telework (when possible) is one of the most sought-out benefits a job can offer. They like to feel they have the flexibility to tailor their schedule around their peak productivity hours. And it’s even better if they can work in their pajamas or at their favorite café. What really matters to them is putting quality of life, family and friends first.

However, we’re aware that not every job can be done remotely; a waitress can’t serve people over the internet. In such cases, a good solution would be to hire more part-time workers to allow you to be more flexible with your staff’s availabilities and plan your schedules according to their preferences.

Here’s another idea: why not start them off with three vacation weeks instead of two? Vacations are their way of preserving their mental balance. They want to be able to disconnect and avoid burning out like their parents. Be flexible with their scheduling preferences, which they coordinate with family needs, and limit overtime. In return, they will absolutely give their 110% when they’re on the clock.

It’s Your Move

The saying “employees quit their bosses, not their jobs” is even more true for millennials. They need constant stimulation and new challenges, or else they might quit.

It’s up to you to adopt an HR policy that promotes staff attraction and retention. It isn’t that young employees have no desire to perform well at work and remain at your organization. Besides, with the current labor shortage, it’s no longer employees, but employers, that have to adapt. Millennials are of course aware of this. They won’t hesitate to go elsewhere if there are better conditions there; after all, they are spoilt for choice.

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