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This guest post is contributed by Square 1 Group, a company specializing in real estate web design.
Millennials may be the most-analyzed generation in modern history, but many employers are mystified as to how to attract, cultivate, and retain them. As a company specializing in real estate web design, we’re always appreciative of new, tech-savvy talents. In this post, we’ll share some of the concerns we’ve encountered from Millennial employees, and share our insights into the approaches these younger professionals tend to take when evaluating a job prospect.
A Home Office
Millennials were the first generation to grow up with internet-equipped computers at home and at school – and as soon as they emerged into higher education and professional adulthood, they had smartphones and other mobile devices that allowed them to stay connected around the clock. Telecommuting is a natural fit for Millennial employees, and they see it as a no-brainer.
If you want to attract Millennials, it’s smart to consider allowing them to work from home. Many employers worry about this arrangement, either from an office culture perspective or from a management perspective, but fear not: the same technology that allows them to keep in touch allows you to keep an eye on them. If you’re still reluctant, offer work from home on a part-time or trial basis, or use telecommuting as an incentive for your highest performers.
A Flexible Schedule
More than older generations, Millennials tend to cite work-life balance as a high priority. They value free time and social activities and recent long hours and draining commutes. As “mobile-friendly” employees, they also scrutinize conventional wisdom about time and productivity, and they tend to believe that they can be most efficient when they are allowed to work on their own terms.
You can respond to this bias towards flexibility by allowing employees to adjust their calendars for the best personal fit. Offer to let them come in an hour early or leave an hour late, to take a longer lunch (maybe fit in a yoga class at a nearby studio?), or to come in on weekends. Millennial employees will also feel appreciated if you allow them to offer input on the best way to set team schedules, particularly if you incorporate suggestions for remote and technology-assisted engagement.
A Supportive Benefits Package
Millennials are sometimes stereotyped as the generation that refuses to grow up, but they’ve also had the misfortune to start their working lives in a tough job market, where solid professional opportunities were hard to find. Now many Millennials are aging into maturity, as well as a stronger economy, and they’re seeking opportunities to settle down.
Millennial interest in greater stability applies to personal as well as professional development. They’re looking ahead to raising a family, purchasing a home, and even planning for retirement. You can appeal to this increased concern for long-term security by offering a healthy benefits package. You can make your business especially attractive to younger people in a recovering economy by offering ways to make up for missing savings and equity – matching 401(k) contributions, for example.
A Chance to Contribute
Millennials are more likely to feel comfortable in team-based, collaborative working environments. This can be great for cooperative projects and open-ended creative activity, but it’s also important to consider this interest in term of professional development. Millennials tend to see team tasks as an opportunity to learn – different approaches, specialized skills, and even managerial techniques. They thrive in collaborative environments in part because they see collaboration as a professional advantage.
You can build on this highly constructive professional tendency by offering formal opportunities for skill-building in addition to a strong teamwork component. Conference presentations, event hosting, even something as simple as a series of blog entries for the company websites – look for ways your Millennial employees can explore new roles and specializations. Whenever possible, ask them for their input – chances are, they’ll have creative ideas for how they can help you.
A Sense of Recognition
Another important element of professional opportunity is formal recognition. Official forms of praise – awards, online profiles, competitions – are a great way to build team cohesion. However, it’s also important to consider employee recognition in terms of resume enhancement. This is particularly true for Millennials – younger employees in a competitive economy, who may have missed out on early opportunities to gather credentials and accolades.
You can help solve this problem by establishing avenues for professional development and awards that extend their work into a wider sphere. For example, what about contributing an article to a trade magazine, or designing a website for a targeted group of prospective clients, or preparing a report on potential new markets? Your Millennial employees will be grateful for any chance to test and display their skills.
Millennials aren’t so different from other generations – they want the chance to participate in their company’s activities and grow as professionals. If you keep those basic parameters in mind, you should have no trouble convincing your Millennial hires that your business is a good fit for their ambitions.
About the Author: Square 1 Group is a boutique web development team based in Los Angeles, California. Our design and digital marketing expertise makes us an ideal fit for real estate agencies looking to expand their business online. We provide all our clients with individualized support and maintenance, online marketing services, and content creation, and we are passionate about delivering premium quality at an affordable price.