The days when employers determined the state of the workforce are long gone. Today, the younger generation are setting the standards of the work place because of their truly unique skills and fresh, innovative ideas. They are also highly educated, adaptable, tech-savvy and quick learners.
Their skills and attitude are crucial for businesses seeking to innovate, compete successfully and stay relevant in today’s rapidly changing, technology-driven world. However, despite the huge number of young people in the workforce, many business owners are realizing that finding and retaining the right younger talent is not easy.
The debate about the role of the younger generation better known as ‘Millennials’ in the workplace today, has been gaining traction in Kenya lately. In truth, the so called millennial offers a fascinating subject of study for recruitment and demography experts. Never before has a generations work habits been criticized and praised in equal measure.
What Is So Special About Them?
Millennials are groups of adults aged between 19-35 years. It is estimated that by the year 2020 they will account for more than 50% of the global workforce. Unlike the generations before, the key motivators of millennial employees are:
- They are technologically savvy and given then right tools can innovate
- They are very ambitious group of people who have mastered the art of a life/work balance
- They seek monetary rewards and this also serves as a significant motivator over their overall job satisfaction
- They are flexible and willing to work in various locations
Like anywhere else in the world, the number of millennials in Kenya is increasing. However, there is still a significant number of unemployed youth in Kenya. There is still a huge disconnect when it comes to attracting and hiring the right talent.
How to Attract and Retain Millennials In Your Business
Attracting the right talent from the younger generation is not only about the numbers available. You should focus instead be on tapping on their hard skills such as technological and digital know-how as well as their softer skills of having new perspectives and fresh ideas.
In order to appeal to this younger generation, you should:
- Pay Well: A huge competitive factor for the younger generation is ensuring that they have been fairy and well compensated. If you want to make your company attractive to the younger generation, ensure you offer competitive salaries matched with growth opportunities. You must foster their ambition and drive.
- Set Goals: The younger generation grew up with instant gratification in the form of internet, smartphones and text messaging. In the workplace they can easily get bored if the achievements or the next objectives seem far away. It is imperative for an organization to set goals and explain their importance as a way of building trust. Sustain the engagement but give them room to execute the goals in their own manner.
- Culture: The younger generation is not enthusiastic about working the usual 9-5 routine behind a desk. Instead they are looking for an environment that fulfills their social needs. In addition they also want flexible work places and hours.
- Leadership Style: The way you manage your team will determine how happy your millennials are. Your feedback is crucial for this generation because of their nature of seeking approval on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. The feedback does not have to be positive, it just has to be relevant. They are ready to receive constructive criticism whenever necessary. As a manager should mentor and lead as a coach as opposed to being authoritative.
- Training: A key part of being a millennial is about “lifelong learning, up-skilling and retraining” as stated by McCrindle. Employers should provide extensive training as part of the job benefits to attract top talent and retain them.
If your business may not have the perks and benefits of a larger blue-chip corporate businesses but what you can be able to offer them, which most established organizations cannot, is a significant room for growth. Most of the younger generation are motivated by opportunities that allow them to be better positioned to compete for their talent. Consider adapting a flat organizational structure that give a greater chance for them to really be a part of the business and participate in decision making.
Would you hire a millennial? Have you faced the same struggles trying to find the right ones? Please comment below and let us know what you experienced.