In today's complex and challenging labour market, organisations are having trouble attracting good-quality talent for their workplaces.
Generation Y employees are the key to an organisation’s future growth. They provide energy, enthusiasm, and a different approach to problems, which can give their organisation a head start over others.
However, attracting and retaining Millennials is a challenging issue that most companies face now.
What is Generation Y?
Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, is the generation of people born during the 1980s to the early 2000s.
Members of Generation Y are often referred to as “echo boomers” because they are the children of parents born during the baby boom.
The members of Generation Y are shaped by technology and grew up with it. Some, like Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, made fortunes from it.
Hence, companies have started turning to social media and the Internet to market their products, raise awareness about their companies and hire potential employees.
Some traits of a typical Generation Y person are:
- Tech-Savvy – Millennials grew up with technology and rely on it heavily to go about doing their work or their everyday lives. The majority of them, if not all, have some form of social media and are active on it.
- Family-centric – As most of the Millennials grew up seeing their parents working long hours with little family time, Millennials are naturally averse to long working hours and in favour of jobs that have a work-life balance.
- Achievement-oriented – Generation Y employees tend to be confident and ambitious, and have high expectations of themselves and their employers.
- Team-oriented – Most of the Millennials prefer working in teams to working individually, especially now that most educational institutions place more emphasis on team projects and assignments.
- Attention-craving – Generally, Generation Y people like receiving feedback and guidance. By being kept in the loop about current affairs, they feel recognised.
Why do companies need to understand Millennials?
With the rise of technology and new inventions constantly being churned out on a daily basis, there is a need to keep up with the trend.
One of the best ways to stay ahead of the game is to attract talented individuals that are aware of the current technology and trends. Naturally, some of such individuals would be from Generation Y.
Due to their early exposure to technology and the Internet, Millennials have a lot to offer companies in terms of the direction that the company should go into, and how it can stay ahead of the competition.
Without a constant stream of innovation and ideas, companies run the risk of being outdated.
How can companies attract Millennials?
Gone are the days when traditional methods of recruitment yielded high application rates.
In the past, some of the ways that companies hired were through recruitment agencies and press advertising. However, as Millennials are more tech-savvy, some of them are likely to find their jobs through the Internet.
When it comes to catching up on the news, some of the sources that they are likely to go to are Facebook and Twitter.
To help attract Generation Y workers, it is important to keep up to date with technology. Ensure that your company has an online presence.
This can be in the form of a corporate website, LinkedIn profile or Facebook page. Many Generation Y employees are hired through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Another way your company can help attract Millennials is to spice up job descriptions and offer remunerations such as vacation time or more maternity leave to appeal to these groups of people.
Millennials might have a bad reputation for lacking loyalty and being hard to work with, but they might just be the people that your company needs to get ahead of your competitors and stay relevant in an ever-changing industry.
Article contributed by Looi Qin En, chief brand and marketing strategist of Training Edge International.
Learn how to attract and retain Millennials to your organisation at the “Workplace of the Future: Millennials, Innovative thinkers and High Performance Diverse Teams” workshop organised by STJobs. Find out more at stjobs.sg/seminar.