Millennials make up a large segment of today’s workforce, and bring a unique set of attributes and preferences that are quite unlike earlier generations. Corporations and organisations are finding that they need to relearn established practices to attract and retain millennial talent in a competitive labour market.

By 2025, millennials will comprise 75 per cent of the workforce. According to a 2018 Deloitte survey, 43 per cent of millennials plan to leave their current jobs within two years, and only 28 per cent consider staying beyond five years.

Why is this such a pressing concern? Because it sets companies back a great deal every time they lose their employees.

The Society for Human Resource Management reported that the cost of replacing an employee can range from six to nine months of their salary. For someone drawing a salary of AED10,000 ($2,723) a month, the turnover cost can be anywhere between AED60,000 ($16,338) and AED90,000 ($24,506). In addition, it takes a few months for a new employee to become fully productive and operational.

Given this context, companies that want to stay on top of their talent strategies must understand and eventually factor in the demands and preferences of the millennial workforce. Undoubtedly, hiring the right millennial talent for your business can be a daunting task.

So, how can companies attract and retain the best millennial talent to help the business thrive? LinkedIn’s Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate report offers some useful tips for recruiters to keep in mind to achieve this goal.

1. Show them around so they can explore the space

According to the report, 51 per cent of millennials found visiting and touring a prospective workplace to be the best way to gain a snapshot of and familiarise themselves with the company culture.

This strategy works well for interviews taking place within the office. Giving potential candidates a tour could help improve their opinion of the company, enhance the overall interview experience and give them a sense of the environment first-hand.

2. Have fruitful conversations in order to connect with them

Introducing candidates to their potential teams, managers and the management is a good way to go. Survey data has demonstrated that millennials prefer having conversations with their potential colleagues to get a sense of the people they might end up working with. Millennials have often highlighted that important conversations with potential co-workers play a vital role in their decision-making process.

Millennial candidates’ preference is to get all their questions answered and connect with recruitment managers in order to feel comfortable. As well as emphasising the importance of the position and how it fits into the larger strategy of the company, managers should highlight the specific tasks potential candidates would be responsible for and the role they would play on the team.

3. Make the time to onboard and train new recruits, and maintain a constant feedback loop

Organisations should prioritise an onboarding process, which is essential for getting their best hires interested from the get-go. But the buck does not stop here. Companies that implement ongoing structured learning and development programmes clearly demonstrate their emphasis on growth and upskilling. They are also more likely to be perceived as committed employers that keep the best interests of their employees at heart.

Millennials love feedback and seek out managers who provide continuous coaching and constructive criticism. According to the LinkedIn survey, 47 per cent of those polled say feedback on their personal growth leads to a sense of belonging in the workplace.

Feedback sessions that occur once a month or more often encourage a sense of accountability and keep the employee feeling valued and engaged. Meanwhile, the organisation stands to benefit from continuous improvement in performance.

4. Highlight scope of growth and development opportunities

Whether it is a potential candidate or a millennial employee the company is trying to retain, 42 per cent of respondents surveyed said they opt for roles because the company in question offers more opportunities to advance their careers. Therefore, companies with development programmes and training courses can use these to their advantage, and inform the candidates about them.

Equally importantly, recruitment managers must highlight workplace initiatives to candidates, such as lunch-and-learns, employee mentorship programmes, office workshops and guest speaker sessions. These initiatives will show the young candidates that the organisation is invested in their growth and professional development.

About the author

Ghassan Talhouk is head of LinkedIn UAE–LinkedIn Talent Solutions