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Attracting and Retaining Millennials in the Workplace

For any company, attracting and recruiting the best talent possible is always the goal. As the Millennial generation's presence in the workforce continues to grow--it is expected that Millennials will account for 3 of every 4 workers by 2025--companies of all sizes in all industries will have to attract, recruit and retain these young people.

Seems simple on paper, however, Millennials, unlike any other generation before them, have a radically different view on what work means to them: how they do it, when they work, where they work and more. Though every generation's entrance into the workforce has undoubtedly brought about change in some way, Millennials have greater expectations of work. As more Millennials enter the workforce, companies that shift their expectations to become more in line with Millennial expectations will find themselves with the best and the brightest of this youthful and vibrant cohort.

So what do Millennials want and how can companies provide a space for them to flourish?


The first word that comes to mind when attempting to define what Millennials are looking for in a career is flexibility. Work-life balance is paramount. Whether it's more flexible work schedules, shorter workweeks or options to work remotely, Millennials thrive on having control of their schedule. Forget about the typical 9-5, 64% of Millennials would like to occasionally work from home and 66% would like to shift their work hours. Most workers want more flexibility, however Millennials are leading the charge to getting flexibility recognized by employers.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing for employers. As People Fluent's Kevin Grossman explains, giving employees the ability to "have more say in how, when and where they work, the organization can leverage the diverse skills of its team when they are needed most." By providing flexibility in the workplace, employers can harness the productivity of their employees. Identifying how different work arrangements can work best for employees and adapting current structure and policies to accomodate is a great first step in attracting and retaining Millennials and other generations of workers.

Belonging and Engagement

Not only do Millennials want more flexbility in the workplace, they also want to feel like they're making an impact. They have high expectations of their workplace, wanting employers to be fair and managers that are highly engage in their professional development. Millennials thrive on mentorship and want to build relationships with their colleagues. Most of all, they want responsibility; making an impact from day one is something Millennials crave. They want to have input on their assignments and guidance from supervisors.

According to Millennials, these workplace cultural qualities are important to their workplace happiness. Incorporating mentorship programs and professional development opportunities into company practices can benefit Millennials and other employees as well, giving older generations the opportunity to share knowledge and skills with the younger generation.


Millennials want purpose and meaning in their work life, even in for-profit positions. Sounds like a lot for employers to handle; however, keep in mind that many Millennials would trade purpose for paychecks and perks. This generation is attuned to the world around them, caring deeply for causes like the environment, civil rights and other social justice causes. According to Fast Company, more than 50% of millennials said that a company's involvement in various causes influences whether or not they accepted a job.

Social responsibility is a great way to keep Millennials engaged and something that can be integrated into your brand. It's good for the world and keeps employees engaged! Having a clear company mission that goes beyond profits and encouraging volunteerism from employees are great ways for companies to attract and retain Millennials employees. Millennials want to make the world a better place and want their companies to provide a forum for doing so.

Though it may seem like Millennials are demanding and inflexible, creating a flexible Millennial workplace can ensure the attraction and retention of top talent in the coming years. As more Millennials enter the workforce, employers have a choice: adapt or miss out on the freshest new talent out there.

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