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.