Michigan businesses: Embrace company culture to attract Millennial talent

As Detroit emerges from bankruptcy and begins to build a thriving business landscape, a key element will be the region’s ability to attract and retain Millennial workers. In order to establish a stable economic foundation and grow bustling communities, Michigan business leaders, hiring managers and entrepreneurs need to take note and understand the changing expectations of the workplace, and to embrace the challenges and opportunities of managing the Millennial workforce.

Now that young, motivated and savvy Millennials have outpaced the Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest working generation, several rapid and widespread changes are taking place in the workplace. Young professionals are shaking off old traditions – and the 9-5 office schedule – to drive their careers based on what fits their personality, values and lifestyle.

At the end of the day, most businesses say that people are their most valuable resource, however, it’s time for business leaders to take that understanding and translate it into company policies, hiring strategies, and internal and external management philosophies. It is a necessity that companies make this a reality. For as critical as it is to have good management and a strong business plan, a company relies on its team to execute the work, gets results and build up a loyal base.

In order to attract and retain the best people, companies need to offer competitive benefits – such as a flexible work schedule, generous paternity leave, or unique leadership opportunities. The best way to identify the right options to offer? Listen to your team. By creating an open dialog with your team, you are involving them in the process, ensuring that they are invested in the future of the company, and showing them that you value their opinions and goals.

The strategy to hire for fit and train for skill – is now becoming a competitive differentiator for companies. The right candidate may not have the right words, precise certifications or specific degree on their resume, yet still may be the best person for your team. Investing in a candidate with the right “soft skills” is an advantage that allows employers to build good work habits and their own brand of on-the-job training for other necessary skills.

Today’s professionals want more than a paycheck, and are willing to turn down job offers and wait for the right fit. Yet with a track record of changing jobs every few years, Millennials have made it difficult for employers to get a pulse on what they really want. As a group, Millennials are in a position and of the mindset to wait for the company whose culture and values reflect their own – and are not afraid to leave their current role when they no longer feel these needs are being met.

Some of the most desired characteristics that Millennials are seeking in an employer include:

Supervisors that act as mentors, not bosses. Young professionals seek individual experiences, guidance and feedback. They tend to value experiences and enjoy learning from a respected senior professional.

Clear opportunities for advancement. Millennials are savvy about their career, and want to see the time and effort they have invested in their career pay off with promotions through the company.

Professional development and continuing education programs. Higher education, keeping up on technology and industry trends and the opportunity to learn new skills are crucial to Millennials.

Today’s workplace is undergoing a significant evolution, and as a result, traditional recruiting is doing the same. It is no longer realistic to hire a young professional and expect them to stay for their entire career. If they want to keep young talent, companies must evaluate their culture and recognize the different values and aspirations that Millennials bring to their work.

With a great deal of growth in industries projected to flourish – such as technology, medical and aerospace – Southeastern Michigan is primed to develop into a competitive business destination. By taking a practical and local approach to national hiring trends and placing an emphasis on company culture, Michigan companies will have a huge advantage in drawing in young talent and building a strong professional base of Millennials.

As Michigan looks to become a more attractive business destination and drive a healthy workforce, Michigan leaders are looking to experts to help businesses attract and retain Millennial talent, and to understand and embrace these changes they have made to the way we work, live and connect.

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John Q. Public
Fri, 08/28/2015 - 7:09pm
I have a mistaken feeling of deja vu. Mistaken, because I really HAVE been here before. This theme--that millennials are so talented that employers should genuflect in the presence of their resumes--is repeated over and over and over by that generation in the desperate hope that someone will believe it. Having worked with many of them already, I've experienced that some are supremely talented, most are pretty average, and others are complete duds. You know, just like the generation before them. And the one after. YAAAAAA-WWWwwww-nnnnnn. Turn the page already.
Sun, 08/30/2015 - 12:24pm
She's emphasizing the top talent and where they CHOOSE to be located.
Sat, 08/29/2015 - 6:39am
Shouldn't the headline read "Embrace millennial culture to attract talent" ?
Sat, 08/29/2015 - 4:54pm
The shell game here is that we should be courting young Millennials because they are good employees. Bullfighters! That’s not what is needed. We need new industries, but these facile, shallow college grads are not risk takers, innovators or the sort that will hunker down for decades building wealth, but rather are docile followers who want a small paycheck and bigger bennies. We are to believe that young technologically adept, caring and sharing millenials will create jobs; clearly this is pie in the sky. They will likely move to places that are ideologically compatible, funky places with walkable communities, bike paths and bars that look like a Super-Bowl beer commercials (like in the report on Portland Or. which was featured in the NYT some months ago) where they will be hired for a minimum wages, live on trust funds and fail to found families. These folks, indoctrinated in public schools and in elite universities, militantly will not start new businesses. Give me the ambitious 40 or 50 year old with a gritty past, who has dreamed, saved, worried and prepared himself in marketing, finances, management and the technical aspects of an enterprise, and then takes the plunge. We don’t need more employees, the unemployment rate is sky high already. We need ambition, greed, even avarice, the qualities of soul that come with age and a hard life, but character traits that have unfortunately been hectored out of millennial youngsters during their fashionable and politically correct toilet training.
Matt G
Mon, 08/31/2015 - 8:37am
Because the post WWII generation had a "hard life" and that's why you see yourself as having so many amazing qualities? Which amazing qualities are the ones responsible for the current political climate in the country? Wanna take a crack at a generational blame game with that one also?
Jeff Salisbury
Sat, 08/29/2015 - 7:15pm
Since 2005 the unemployment rate in Detroit, Michigan has ranged from 10.2% in April 2015 to 27.8% in July 2009. The current unemployment rate for Detroit is 13.1% in June 2015. ---- that seems to fly in the face of this theory... "As Detroit emerges from bankruptcy and begins to build a thriving business landscape, a key element will be the region’s ability to attract and retain Millennial workers." (Data source - http://www.homefacts.com/unemployment/Michigan/Wayne-County/Detroit.html)
Sat, 09/05/2015 - 10:00am
Has anyone else noticed this irony?"The right candidate may not have the right words, precise certifications or specific degree on their resume, yet still may be the best person for your team. Investing in a candidate with the right “soft skills” is an advantage that allows employers to build good work habits and their own brand of on-the-job training for other necessary skills"Is coming from the CEO of a company that offers..."...a web-based recruiting method that connects job candidates and companies based on cultural compatibility."Which short-circuits the entire notion of her suggestion altogether.