The “how to” guide to millennial talent: Thought leaders share their views on the HR profession and its direction for the future

Joyce Russell (Adecco Staffing USA, Jacksonville, Florida, USA)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 10 October 2016



Russell, J. (2016), "The “how to” guide to millennial talent: Thought leaders share their views on the HR profession and its direction for the future", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 231-232.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Attracting and retaining Millennial talent is a hot topic right now. The trick to finding and keeping the best talent is to understand what drives them personally and professionally. This year, Adecco conducted two major pieces of research to provide insight into how best-in-class companies attract talent and to learn the perspectives that Millennials and Gen Z have around the workplace.

Here are five ways you can more effectively recruit and retain the ever-popular Millennial generation.

Recruit with focus

Move quickly

If you are looking to recruit recent graduates, recruit with focus. Move fast and meet them where they are – students expect to find a job within five months of graduation. Plus, two-thirds of Millennials would rather have a stable job lacking passion than a passionate job lacking stability. Wow!


It’s no secret that Millennial’s are social media savants. Are you? Plug-in and make sure your company posts new positions on your social channels. Best-in-class companies are 45 per cent more likely to share content and job postings across social media to recruit candidates. (According to our proprietary research found in the Definitive Guide to Building a Better Workforce.)

In fact, of the top three recruiting best practices across all organizations surveyed for our Definitive Guide to Building a Better Workforce, two were digital –

  1. social sourcing;

  2. referral bonus program; and

  3. digital advertising.

If you and your business aren’t already taking part in digital conversations, start now!

One great thing about digital recruiting is you can find the best talent regardless of where they are currently located. Gen Y and Z are looking for stability in their jobs, so they are willing to move for a job that provides that stability and growth.

As a company, consider offering relocation assistance for young and talented candidates.

Retain like the best

While the willingness to move has led to a perception that Millennials are disloyal job-hoppers, that’s not always the case. More than half of surveyed Millennials believe that someone should stay at their job for two to three years.

Additionally, despite having seen a roller coaster of an economy, Gen Y and Z are surprisingly positive about the job search. They describe themselves as feeling “determined” and “optimistic” about the job search.

Here are some great ways to maintain that positivity and keep Millennials in your company.

Provide training

The majority of recent college grads (76 per cent of respondents) felt that their college failed to prepare them for a job. That’s an incredible number, but it shouldn’t come as a shock to employers. The skills gap has been the number one concern of human resource professionals for a while now. This is actually a great opportunity for investing in your talent, which will keep them around!

Millennials, who are eager to learn and grow, want to feel like their companies invest in them. Of entry-level employees, 36 per cent identify the opportunity for growth as the most important factor in selecting a job. If you increase company training opportunities, you will not only ensure employees have the critical skills necessary for their roles, but your talented employees will know that you are willing to invest in them.

Challenge them

One myth of Millennials is that they feel entitled to high pay. Not so. More than 35 per cent of students expect to earn less than $35,000 a year in their first job, and 75 per cent of students expect to earn less than $55,000 a year.

Millennials and Gen Z desire jobs that provide growth opportunities and that challenge them. In fact, they are also more likely to commit to their employers when they are challenged by their work.

Open your doors

In the end, the most important way to learn how to hire and retain Millennial talent is to encourage open communication. Ask your Millennial employees what they want and then listen. It’s the only way you will be able to develop a workplace that benefits everyone involved.

Just like every other generation, Millennials step into the workplace with certain expectations. Stability, security and room to grow are the most important to the emerging generation of talented employees, and they are feeling positive about entering the workforce.

By incentivizing them with stability, competitive pay and a clear progression path, you can improve Millennial retention.

For more information about our Millennial and Gen Z survey, or our reportThe Definitive Guide to Building a Better Workforcevisit

About the author

Joyce Russell is President at Adecco Staffing USA, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

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