Recruiting Millennials Means Putting Values in the Front Seat

What if I told you that according to Statistics Canada, millennials make up 50% of Canada’s workforce? As baby-boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) retire, organizations that aren’t prepared to understand millennial needs will have a hard time hiring and keeping them. Period.

And, given the current Great Resignation, you’re probably in the market for new, likely millennial, talent.

“Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20 per cent between 2020 and 2021,” Ian Cook reported in the Harvard Business Review. “Many of these workers may have simply reached a breaking point after months of high workloads, hiring freezes, and other pressures, causing them to rethink their work and life goals.”

Recognizing these trends puts your business in a position to make positive changes to your process. Millennials are a generation of employees who, when they don’t feel appreciated or part of an authentic environment, they leave. Therefore, establishing and communicating core values during recruitment is imperative, as opposed to promoting “cool” incentives or random, unnecessary so-called perks.

Your core values should recognize that employees are people first and foremost, and that their value is not based on how willing they are to devote their entire life to a job. People should not be expected to break their backs for an entry level salary and a beer fridge.

Consider communicating your dedication to ensuring work/life balance by implementing flexible work hours – if the work gets done, it shouldn’t matter when it happens. Communicate to potential new hires that their wellbeing, and their life outside of work, matters as much as it does on the job. It also comes down to acknowledgement – no, not a pat on the back for every little victory – just recognizing people for what they’re contributing to the team and creating opportunities for meaningful input. Someone who feels involved and appreciated and seen is more likely to show up and do an amazing job over someone who feels like they’re just another cog in the wheel.

The extended health benefits you offer can make a big difference between saying it and proving it. Hopefully, you’re providing a progressive benefits package: health and dental foremost, but also long term disability, access to health & wellness programs, and RRSP matching. Setting themselves up for their futures and long-term goals is becoming increasingly important to the millennial population.

As the millennial workforce steps further into the forefront, we’re given the opportunity to grow with them. Organizations, and more importantly hiring managers, need to recognize that all people really want is quality of life as much as quality of work – happiness, wellbeing, stability, and appreciation. Employers that recognize that will win the day and watch your new employee job satisfaction soar.

When hiring new talent, consider your company’s core values – consider your why.

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