• Wonolo

As part of an ongoing guest blogger series, we have a piece that will be useful for any (every) company looking to strengthen their core asset – talent. Read on for more and stay tuned for further guest posts on The Future of Work. 

Follow Jessica on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect on LinkedIn.

Millennials often get a bad rep, described as lazy or entitled. In the workforce, however, they can be an asset to any company or team. They’re passionate, independent thinkers, entrepreneurial, and tech savvy—all of which are important skills for employees to have.

Whether you love them or hate them, by 2025 millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce, according to Forbes. The challenge to business owners and human resource professionals is no longer, Should we attract millennials? Rather, How can we attract, hire and retain millennial employees? To help you do just that, we’re sharing insights about what millennials are looking for in the workplace.

Millennials Value Passion and Purpose

While some professionals have abandoned the idea of finding their passion in exchange for a steady salary and benefits, millennials continue to actively seek meaningful, fulfilling work. According to Undercover Recruiter, millennials prioritize meaningful work over higher pay.

Keep this in mind from the recruiting phase, all the way through to the interviews. This is the time for communicating the company’s mission and highlight how the candidate’s desire to find value and purpose, in work and life, fits into this. “A purpose-driven company attracts purpose-driven people… like Millennials,” says to Brian Scudamore author with Forbes. “Get these employees connected to your company’s higher purpose and prove you’re ready to help them achieve their bigger-picture ambitions, too.”

Allow Autonomy With Flex Hours

Millennials are the first generation to actively pursue a work-life balance. They value time with family and friends and prefer jobs that provide them with a schedule to make these other areas of their life a priority as well.

If you can create a sense of autonomy, where employees feel some level of control over their schedule and their work, you can attract these younger workers: “The data shows that as employees gain more control and autonomy in their positions, job satisfaction rises in tandem,” according to a study from The Office Club.

Some ways to offer flex time for employees include one work from home day each week, flex hours (as long as they work 8 hours, they can come and leave when they want), or Fridays off once a month or every other week.

Don’t Ban Social Media

Some companies restrict the use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in the workplace. Turns out, some millennials will reconsider a job if they’re not permitted to use social media during the work day; one in three millennials prioritized social media freedom over higher pay, as reported by BusinessInsider.  

Use this data to your advantage. Encourage social media use and ask millennial employees to be social advocates for your company or brand. They can use their knowledge and personal experience to attract new fans and increase brand awareness. When used correctly, social media freedom can be a win-win for you and your millennial employees.

Revise Your Recruiting Process

Your one-size-fits-all interview and recruiting approach isn’t going to work for millennial candidates. Starting with your online job description; don’t just list job responsibilities and requirements. Provide insight into company culture, your mission statement and actual data that will help job seekers determine if they are a good fit. Consider creating a blog post or site page about company culture, complete with photos and employee quotes.

See a few awesome examples below:

You may also need to shift your language and verbiage during the recruiting and hiring process: “To hire and retain the millennial who has the core competencies and values that ‘fit’ with the job, most organizations and managers must shift how they interview and engage the employees,” writes Bruce Mayhew from The Huffington Post. “They also need to consider what strong millennial candidates look for in an employer and what their organization has to offer.”

Millennial job seekers are on the hunt, but attracting hiring these forward-thinking employees can be challenging. With some minor tweaks to your hiring process, you can attract, acquire and retain this demographic, which will be the majority of the workforce in not-so-distant future.