So You’ve Hired a Millennial; Now What?

It’s not enough to recruit and hire a Millennial. Now you’ve got to figure out how to keep a Millennial. Gone are the days where people retired from their first job, so it’s unlikely you’ll keep someone for their entire career, but it certainly makes sense to give them a reason to stay.

The perks that used to keep employees on board have changed. However, it turns out these younger workers have some pretty good ideas, and chances are, many of the benefits they crave will appeal to the full spectrum of your workforce.

You’ve heard a lot about flexibility—that has essentially become a given on any Millennial’s list of expectations. Yet you might be surprised to understand how Millennials actually define flexibility. It turns out that Millennials judge employer flexibility beyond just the hours worked or availability of remote work options. That means even if you’re not ready to allow everyone to work from home on their own schedules, there are definitely ways you can add flexibility as an employee benefit. How? With technology.

Millennials Expect “Smart Offices”

It might surprise many supervisors to learn that 42 percent of American Millennials say they would be likely to quit a job if workplace technology didn’t meet their standards, according to the 2016 Future Workforce Study by Dell. That’s a rate nearly four times higher than for Baby Boomers. In addition:

  • 81 percent of surveyed Millennials say a company’s available technology influences their decision to take a job in the first place
  • 72 percent believe they’ll be working in a “smart” office within five years (compared to only 52 percent of Gen-Xers and 35 percent of Boomers)

Clearly, just an office desktop no longer cuts it.  But are these Millennials just tech-geeks? No; it turns out they see a clear connection between available technology and—here’s that word again—flexibility. While they may not be working off-site consistently, smart offices make doing so an option when required, such as when someone is out-of-town or unable to come into the office (think weather emergencies, contagious illnesses, childcare issues etc.).

It’s also important to provide different technology options depending on the task at hand. Most Millennials comfortably transition between desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. Encourage that dexterity through both software and hardware offerings.

Still not convinced technology-enabled flexibility is worthwhile? Then it’s possible you’ll be dismissed by the 34 percent of Millennials who report leaving a job because it lacked flexibility. Can you afford to lose one-third of your workforce? Especially given the likelihood that those leaving might be among your most talented, in-demand workers?

Bonus Benefits

Any technology-enabled flexibility you provide Millennials also sweetens your benefits offering in other important ways:

  • Seamless Communication. Millennials are careful to consider the ways companies address different work styles. More than 60 percent of Millennials expect technology to foster communication that is seamless and easy. It’s not that they don’t want to talk to anyone; they just want to do it differently and efficiently.
  • Collaboration. Despite their desire for individual flexibility, Millennials also value collaboration and teamwork. Again, technology provides a vital tool for making this happen in ways beyond a meeting room setting. Be certain to simplify group conference calling, file sharing and real-time updates.

You may be asking why MJ is sharing these tips. Number one, we’re interested in hiring and retaining the best and the brightest Millennials ourselves. We also think these ideas benefit our entire staff, not just the youngest among us. But we’re also committed to helping our clients keep the talent they have as well. After all, conscientious, bright employees remain a key element of a strong risk management program anywhere. And if you’d like even more insight about Millennials, make sure you check out our earlier blogs on the topic if you missed them. There’s lots of good things this generation brings to the table!


Ryan Michalowski

As Vice President of Learning & Development, Ryan Michalowski is responsible for the strategic oversight of all employee development, recruitment and human resource functions. He works to enhance the overall MJ experience – increasing associate engagement while developing associate and talent management strategies.