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How startups can attract the most talented millennial employees

Posted by Kanika Sinha

June 6, 2016

Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the United States’ largest living generation. Millennials, defined as those ages 18-35, now number nearly 80 million.

What does this mean for your startup? It means that you've got quite a large pool of Millennials to choose from, but that does come with some challenges.

Let’s look at how startups can attract the most talented Millennial employees.

First, let’s look at the common characteristics of the Millennial generation.

Millennials bring to the work environment a unique outlook along with innovative ideas. For the most part, they are highly educated, quick learners who thrive on technology.

If your startup wants an innovative, creative-thinking workforce, Millennials are a good choice. You’ll also find they are quite adaptable to today’s ever-changing technology.

Yet, many startups along with hiring managers are finding it difficult to attract and retain Millennial talent. Here’s how startups can appeal to and keep the most talented Millennial employees.

Allow flexible schedules

Basically, just ditch the 9-5 schedule. Millennials want a flexible workplace, and in fact, they demand it.

A work-life balance is incredibly important to this large section of the workforce. If they don’t have balance and a flexible schedule, you can’t count on them to stick around for long.

Encourage an environment where employees can work with their managers to create a flexible schedule. What might this look like?

Perhaps they’d work in the office three days a week from 11-7, and then they’d work from home the other two days. Or, maybe they want two hours off each day to help out in their child’s classroom.

The possibilities are endless.

As long as the work is getting done, work towards flexible scheduling as it is one of the top things Millennials are looking for in a job.

Give them a sense of purpose

Many Millennials will choose their next job based on the sense of purpose it gives them. They want to know that their job contributes to society as much as it does to the profits of your startup.

Millennials will be quick to turn a job down, or balk at a job assignment that conflicts with their value system.

To attract Millennials, you want to tell them upfront what your purpose is. They want to be inspired by your mission statement.

You can bet that Millennials who aren’t fulfilled by their jobs won’t stick around long.

Bring on the perks

We already discussed the biggest perk of all – flexible scheduling – but Millennials are encouraged by another set of perks as well.

While they do enjoy the perks we’ve seen coming out of creative and technology firms such as free food, yoga classes on site, nap rooms, pet-friendly policies, and extended vacation time, Millennials consider another big perk to be the team atmosphere.

The people that surround them matter to Millennials. If you create a tight-knit, family-type atmosphere, you’ll have an easier time attracting the most talented Millennials.

Coupled with their desire to do something purposeful, they want to feel connected with their co-workers. Create a culture of team work, and you’re on your way to attracting top talent.

Show the road to progress

For the most part, Millennials are driven to succeed.

So, to attract the most talented Millennials, show them a potential chart for their progress through your company.

Layout your promotion schedule and when and how often you provide salary increases.

To increase the likelihood of Millennials progressing through your company, consider smaller job jumps instead of larger moves. This allows you to recognize good performance more often and gives Millennials something to strive for.

Final thoughts

It can be tricky to attract and retain the most talented Millennial employees if you don’t understand what drives them.

Once you do understand their though process, you can create a hiring and retention plan that meets both the needs of these talented employees and your startup.

Create a community that encourages creativity, purpose, and freedom to attract the best talent and keep them into the future.

You’ll find that when you provide this type of atmosphere, your Millennial employees will be loyal and happy working for you.

Are you a new startup? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your finances, payroll, HR duties and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

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