How to Attract and Keep Top Millennial Talent

Posted: Updated:

At a time when Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in more than 14 years, Hoosier companies have to up the ante to attract talent. You want the best, the brightest and most innovative individuals joining your team, and many of these workers are just now entering the workforce. They’re called Millennials, and while they may get a bad reputation for being entitled, lazy and addicted to social media, they have the skills, potential and ambition to succeed in their careers and transform the workplace. This generation will make up 46 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020, so the time to understand Millennials and attract them to your company is now.

Why hire Millennials?

They are digital experts. This generation grew up with laptops, high-speed internet and smartphones. They use technology in every aspect of their life and are eager to learn about the latest tech trends. When your company rolls out new technology or software programs, you can expect Millennials to be eager to try it out and hit the ground running. And while their addiction to social media is often criticized, Millennials’ social savviness can make them extremely valuable marketers for your business. Social media is a powerful marketing tool and with the right person overseeing your social accounts, you can increase brand awareness, engage with customers and improve customer service and brand loyalty.

They give back to their communities. This age group may not have the means to make large cash donations to nonprofits, but research shows they will donate their time to give back to their communities. According to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report conducted by Achieve, 70 percent of Millennial employees spent at least an hour volunteering in 2014, and 37 percent volunteered up to 10 hours. What is the main reason this generation volunteers their time? Passion. They are more likely to volunteer if they have a personal connection to the cause.

They want to grow professionally and personally. Millennials want to work in a culture that they feel cares about them and will help them grow both professionally and personally. In fact, according to a study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the YEC, 65 percent of Millennials said the opportunity for personal development was the most influential factor in their current job. The study also found 52 percent of respondents said opportunities for career progression made an employer attractive.

How to attract and keep Millennials at your company

Offer competitive pay. To attract Millennials to work for your company, you don’t have to totally change your workplace environment, but you may have to make some changes. Offer incentives such as higher starting wages or salary, or if you have employees who are still in school, offer a tuition assistance program to help student employees pay for college.

Provide professional and personal growth opportunities. Offer programs that will help team members gain skills for personal development, such as continuing education, leadership development programs and networking opportunities.

Millennials have a reputation for being impatient and wanting to quickly work their way up the corporate ladder. A great way to offer growth opportunities within the company is through a fast track management program that allows employees to be quickly promoted, earn certifications, etc. up to a certain high-level position.

There are many benefits to having Millennials on your staff. From their experience in digital and social media to their desire to give back to the community, this generation brings a unique skillset and new opportunities to the companies they work for. To attract these ambitious, innovative young workers, it takes innovative approaches by the employer.

Tom Wiederin is director of recruiting for Indianapolis-based Crew Carwash.

  • Perspectives

    • Invest In Talent Earlier, A Proven Solution For Indiana’s Future Workforce

      As ever-changing technology and workforce needs continue to outpace advances in the classroom, the skills gap has become a widely discussed topic in the business community. Do we have the talent to fill these jobs of the future? While dialogue is important, the skills gap challenge requires real action and collaboration – most importantly, between the education and business communities. By equipping students with the skills that will be valuable to them in the future workforce...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy Paoli Peaks)

      Indiana Ski Resort Included in Sale

      Paoli Peaks in Orange County is one of many ski resorts across the country being sold to Vail Resorts, Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado. The company has agreed to purchase 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Peak Resorts, Inc (Nasdaq: SKIS). The purchase price of $11 per share is subject to conditions and regulatory review, and Peak Resorts' shareholder approval.  

    • Myers: Cummins Deal Has Phone Ringing in Greenwood

      Columbus-based Cummins’ decision to locate a $35 million digital and IT hub in Greenwood is expected to bring more than 500 jobs, with average annual salaries in excess of $100,000 to the Johnson County city. But Mayor Mark Myers says the impact will extend far beyond the high tech center. Myers says the announcement has triggered increased interest in Greenwood from companies that could diversify the city’s corporate base. "To have Cummins come to Greenwood...
    • (rendering courtesy of our partners at The Herald Bulletin)

      Feds Put Brakes on Anderson Bus Terminal Project

      Plans to build a new bus terminal in downtown Anderson are on hold for now because the federal government is requiring a third environmental impact study.  Our partners at The Herald Bulletin say the city hoped to open the new terminal next February. Now it appears the bus transit center will not be completed until the summer of 2020. Anderson Mayor Tom Broderick told the publication an outhouse was discovered during the Phase 2 environmental study.  Old glass...

    • Photo courtesy of Kouts Health Care Inc

      Kouts Business Owner Indicted

      A Hoosier woman has been indicted for failing to submit payroll taxes at her two health care clinics, Kouts Health Care Inc. and Kouts Family Health Care Inc.  between 1999 and 2015. Kathy Lynch allegedly withheld payroll from her employees’ paychecks but failed to submit over $500,000 of the withheld taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. 

    • (photo courtesy of GCI Slingers)

      Manufacturer Growing in Boone County

      Zionsville-based Gravel Conveyors Inc. has announced plans to expand. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the company, which manufactures commercial materials placement machines, will invest nearly $7.5 million to add to its Boone County facility and create nearly 40 jobs by the end of 2022. Doing business as GCI Slingers, the company specializes in building and assembling mobile conveyors and hydraulic systems and says increasing demand from its Midwest client base led to the...