6 Things Companies Need To Know About Millennial Talent
The millennial generation is entering employment in droves. With such a large population making up the world’s workforce, there will inevitably be challenges; especially with the infamous ‘millennials’ who are studied under a microscope. It seems like every week a new study is released that contradicts a past study.
Changes and innovation is ingrained in this generation’s DNA, so how does a traditionally antiquated industry, like real estate and mortgage lenders, appeal to this demographic that could make up 50% of the workforce by 2020?
I recently spoke with Tri Nguyen, founder and CEO of Network Capital, a leading direct mortgage lending company. He has managed to stir up a secret sauce for recruiting, training and retaining millennials, which makes him the only Mortgage Executive on Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs of 2015; and has earned Network Capital the number one spot for “Best Places to Work,” by Mortgage Executive Magazine.
#1 Demonstrate growth potential right off the bat
According to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 52% of millennials, (defined as those born between 1980 and 2000), cited “growth opportunities” as their number one motivating factor when choosing an employer.
“It’s essential to foster this generation’s ambition and drive, and we’ve found that approach extremely successful,” says Nguyen. “We recently opened an office in Miami and found many millennials working in hospitality, looking for not just a ‘desk job’ but one where growth was exponential. 90% of our promotions are in house and I believe that directly correlates with the company’s overall success.”
But it’s not just about the promotion itself; millennials want expedited timelines compared to their older counterparts. Historically, career advancement was in a hierarchical structure – promotions were earned by the time put in, not necessarily results.
Millennials see it differently. They value results over tenure and can get frustrated with the amount of time it takes to work up the company ladder.
Nguyen recommends putting emphasis on company goals so that high-achievers who show drive and potential have the opportunity to rise up the ranks quicker than traditional corporate systems.
#2 Offer Competitive Perks
In line with rebelling against corporate tradition, millennials don’t want traditional desk (or cubicle) jobs – many even have a major gripe about it. To overcome this, Nguyen recommends offering perks outside of salary.
“We have offices in Irvine, CA and Miami, FL, both young, thriving communities. This is a great opportunity for us to offer employees a bi-coastal career. They create deep professional relationships in both offices that encourage collaboration. We have also found team trips and performance-based vacations to be very successful both in recruiting new talent and retaining employees.”
Network Capital is one of hundreds of companies that offer these perks, and that’s because they work.
Gym, cell phone, travel stipends, loan repayment, tuition assistance, health care incentives and global work / travel experiences are all things millennials take into account when considering their options.
#3 Understand the Brain of a Millennial
“Over 70% of our workforce is in the millennial cohort and I’ve come to realize that our culture, the management structure in place and our approach to recruitment and retention naturally appeal to the millennial way of thinking,” claims Nguyen. “Therefore, we’re able to choose the best young talent around.”
A recent study found that 80% of millennials place training as essential to their growth within an organization. Many companies offer initial training, which is vital, but it’s the ongoing education that millennials find key to their continued growth and ultimate success.
“Consistently fueling ambition and drive through new and inventive avenues is essential to employee growth,” says Nguyen.
#4 Responsive Management Style
Millennials tend to be uncomfortable with a rigid corporate structure and are put off by information silos. This demographic feeds off of corporate transparency, rapid development, varied and stimulating career opportunities and constant feedback.
A transparent management style is one that wins. Millennials want to know how the company keeps the lights on; this gives them a sense of pride that the company they work for is making moves and also helps them determine if they’d like to stay for the long haul.
A recent survey also found that 40% of millennials are afraid their jobs will be outsourced or replaced by a robot
“As a manager you have to be responsive to that,” says Nguyen. “Making millennials, and all employees, feel valued and reassuring them they have job security is very important.”
#5 Encourage Community Engagement
The children of the 80’s and 90’s are also known as the ‘me’ generation; getting a bad wrap from their elders for being selfish. However, when it comes to corporate responsibility and volunteerism, millennials are invested.
According to a 2014 report by consulting firm Achieve, about 47% of the survey sample said they had volunteered for a cause in the past one month.
“We understand the importance of giving back. Typically, once a month, we launch a new #NetCapGivesBack campaign focused on a different charitable cause. From beach clean-ups, to school supply donations; cancer fund raising to animal shelters – it’s something our employees love to participate in and gives us a chance to contribute valuably to our community.”
#6 Dynamic Culture
The way we work is changing. Companies aren’t just revolutionizing products and services, they’re innovating the workplace, too.
In a large way, millennials are the ones who have shaped this telecommuting culture, so it only bodes well for brands to meet them at least half way. If the work is getting done and deadlines are being met, does it really matter where they perform their job?
Although, Nguyen warns, “There’s no need to go overboard with the keg room, ping pong table, massage room, and Nerf Gun fights in the office. Every managerial decision you make in your company must speak to your mission and reflect the integrity of your company. Innovate organically, we’re not all Apple or Google, but we can all work to meet millennials where they’re at.”