Talent Spotter: How to attract and retain Millennials in your workplace

We’ve all said it ‘‘doesn’t that policeman/solicitor/doctor look young’’. A sure sign that we’re all getting older. And the fact is, that we are getting older, and for every year that passes in our working lives, another wave of young, fresh, technologically advanced employees enters the workforce, bringing with them fresh ideas, new ways of working, and high levels of expectations.

It’s fair to say that every business needs a good mix of experienced, knowledgeable staff, along with fresh new talent and whilst we fully value our long term employees who know our businesses inside out, the majority of businesses need to introduce a younger element to their workforce. This will keep them modern, relevant and able to keep a competitive edge. But how do we attract and retain this new breed of employees?

Well firstly, we need to understand what a Millennial is, and what makes them tick. Only then can we begin to understand how we need to shape our businesses to attract them. Of course, once we’ve undertaken the expensive task of recruiting these talented individuals, we will also want them to stick around and add value to our businesses for the long term. Given that Millennials are reported to change jobs more frequently than any other generation, this could be easier said than done!

So what is a Millennial?

There are variations to these definitions, however, Pew Research defines these dates as:

Baby Boomers: Born between 1946-1964

Generation X: Born between 1965-1980

Millennials: Born between 1981-1996

Post-Millennials (Generation Z): Born between 1997-Present

It is said that Millennials are most at home with digital technology, they are considered to be ‘‘digital natives’’ rather than ‘‘digital migrants’’. Millennials use this technology seamlessly in their personal and working lives, they’re not afraid to embrace changing technologies. Indeed they consider them exciting, progressive and will be most likely to optimise their use to help make working practices more efficient.

Why do we need millennials in our workplace?

The fact of the matter is, as the workforce ages, we lose a generation. Many Generation X’s are now moving to part-time hours or taking early retirement. In the next ten years, the first of our Generation X’s will be reaching retirement age. These roles and skills will need to be replaced within our businesses and there is a keen, hungry workforce chomping at the bit to bring their skills to the forefront.

Additionally, if you’re not employing new talent, in touch with modern techniques, your company could risk falling behind as your competitors will likely be embracing these new entrants and developing their businesses accordingly.

Ultimately, Millennials are the workforce of the now and the future. They are generally highly skilled, highly motivated, and hungry for success. They are technologically savvy, in touch with current trends and advances, so are considered an essential part of the workforce for progressive businesses.

What are millennials looking for when considering new roles?

Millennials have grown up in the age of the internet, they are used to a fast pace where everything is available at their fingertips. Due to connectivity through news feeds and social media, they have a direct insight into modern trends around the world, as well as insight into friends and connections working lives, who display success stories for all to see. They crave environments that have high tech capabilities that are flexible, fashionable and super connective. Millennials like to be efficient, so an app to control everyday tasks is appealing as they will save time.

The SmarTech shredding app from Rexel tells you when the job is complete so no unnecessary getting up to see if it has jammed. It can also tell you if the shredder bin is full or needs oil!

Another great example of smart products is the Dymo wireless labellers whereby you can control them through a simple app and be mobile at the same time. It is a cost-saving solution as multiple users can access the same machine to print labels.

There is also the new Post-it® App, where you can organize your brainstorming sessions with your phone or tablet by simply snapping your Post-it notes and converting them to various formats such as PDF or Excel to share with work colleagues and keep a digital copy. No more excuses for losing your notes!

This sets the bar very high for these individuals and drives their aspirations. They strive to work in a modern, vibrant, forward-thinking environment and want to use the latest technologies to get them through their working day.

What is the optimal environment for a millennial?

They are looking for modern environments, with a wide range of resources available instantly. Old fashioned, outdated businesses will need to rethink themselves in order to attract and retain the cream of this workforce or risk losing them to their competitors.

We’ve collated a series of new and innovative office supplies that should appeal to Millennials and give your workplace a modern feel.

Aston and James Office Supplies

Our mission is to support workplaces to work. We provide everything a workplace needs to function effortlessly.

Darren Aston

Managing Director

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