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By 2020, almost half of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials, followed closely by Generation Z. From Saturday Night Live to viral YouTube videos, Millennials and their so-called ‘entitled’ workplace behavior have been the brunt of criticism and jokes for years now.  Is the negativity warranted, though?

Several studies on Millennials in the workplace conducted over the past three years shed some light on this – and you’ll be surprised at the results. Read on to learn the top three things you need to know about hiring and retaining Millennial talent in your business.

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1. Work/Life Balance

Consistently at the top of the list of what Millennials are looking for in their career is work/life balance. In a study by E&Y of 10,000 adults ages 18-67, they found that what makes Millennials unique compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are that they are more likely to have a spouse who is also working full time. This means that family responsibilities need to be worked into employment schedules, not to mention commuting, healthcare management, and more – without being penalized financially or stigmatized at work.

What can your organization do to support your workforce? Start with evaluating your telecommuting policies. Then consider whether your employees have flexibility with scheduling. The reality is that competition for top talent is fierce and your business might very well need to adapt to meet the needs of the largest segment of the working population. Need help? RAI Resources can help your business become an employer of choice.

2. Create Meaning for Your Employees

More than any other generation before them, the driving force behind Millennials and Generation Z in the workplace are finding meaning in their efforts followed by compensation and other financial rewards. In looking at the economic context, this makes sense – wages for young workers have been stagnant since 2000, yet prices for health care and college tuition have been consistently rising.

SHRM has found that 94% of Millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause. And this isn’t just to volunteer on their own – the same study found that 77% prefer working with groups of fellow employees rather than performing independent service projects. Beyond volunteerism, Millennials and Gen Z are often aiming to make the world a better place by working for organizations that are compassionate, sustainable, and innovative.

Does your business clearly communicate your “why”, your sense of purpose? Do you support local community initiatives? Understanding and communicating your “why” will not only help you attract the best candidates to apply; it will help you attract the right buyers. A great resource on this topic is Simon Sinek. If you need support in this area, we can help! RAI Resources has decades of experience supporting small and large businesses succeed through intelligent human capital management.

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3. Investment from the First Day

In a study completed by Deloitte, they found that just under half of Millennials have “one foot out the door”. While this might seem alarming, there are some strategic benefits that your organization can consider to help make your business not only more competitive while recruiting, but also help increase retention efforts.

Keeping in mind the economic landscape that Millennials have inherited (high student loan debt, lower wages compared to previous generations, higher housing costs), it’s no surprise that Millennials want a robust benefits package that includes options for health insurance, vision, dental, etc.

More importantly, this generation responds well to professional development programs. Continuous growth can signal to Millennials that their career success is important to them as a person, as well as to the future of the company. Whether it’s training offered internally or upskilling, investing in your employee learning has been consistently shown to positively contribute to retention.

With nearly 76 million in the workplace, Millennials are the largest percentage in the workforce today. In order for your business to thrive and succeed in the years to come, it is vital that your employee recruiting and retention policies evolve to meet the shifting priorities of the new workforce majority.


Do you need help with some of your HR functions? RAI Resources are an experienced HR consulting firm that brings your business the real-world experience it needs across manufacturing, engineering, construction, and professional services. We offer practical solutions and provide comprehensive support to help you recruit and outplace talent, effective workforce planning, and more.

RAI Resources services  in Lehigh Valley, Delaware Valley, Eastern PA, and Central New Jersey. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help protect your employees and your business.

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