Talent Management in the Millennial Era

In this guest blog from Dane O'Leary, we look at some tips for managing talent in the millennial era.

Victoria

Marketing - November 6, 2018

More and more industries are paying special attention to millennials, and for good reason: According to recent figures, millennials have become the largest generation in the United States. Yes, there are now more millennials than post-war Baby Boomers.

To be clear, a millennial is defined as someone who came of age at or near the turn of the 21st century. For obvious reasons, there’s some interpretation as to the specific age range that this group encompasses, but generally, millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996.

With their vast numbers, millennials are clearly an important group, and that’s particularly true for the businesses and companies employing these individuals. After all, millennials have likewise been the largest generation in the workforce since 2016.

So what does this mean for the people employing millennials? Just as the rise of millennials is changing the world of politics and the marketing industry, does a millennial-dominated workforce necessitate a change in your talent management strategy?

Why Talent Management Matters

In the simplest terms, talent management refers to how a person is steered through the lifecycle of an employee, from recruitment through training, from development to retirement. While it may seem like an arbitrary, thoughtless process, many companies and businesses put blood, sweat, and tears into their talent management, and here’s why.

A company’s success is highly — though not solely — dependent on the quality of the company’s talent. With so much on the line, it becomes crucial to invest in the process of recruiting and acquiring the right talent.

Recruitment is arguably the most important aspect of talent management because of turnover. According to Forbes, turnover is currently at a 10-year high, which is the result of more people quitting their jobs than ever before. Of course, with a workforce that’s dominated by millennials, this begs the obvious question: Why are there so many people quitting their jobs?

But hiring is just a piece of the talent management puzzle because once a person is hired, he or she needs to be trained as part of the onboarding process. Then there are employee reviews and likely some additional talent development down the road, occurring when aspects of the individual’s job description are improved or changed or evolve over time. In short, training is how you ensure that a person is prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her role and a major part of talent management.

So talent management is important because it’s a strategy that helps you to find the right employees, onboard them, and develop them as long-term talent for your company. However, even if your company hasn’t experienced a surge in turnover like many others, it’s always a good idea to re-think your talent management strategy and find ways of optimizing it for an ever-changing workforce.

A Talent Management Strategy for the Millennial Era

As mentioned above, the current workforce — which, again, is dominated by millennials — is seeing unprecedented rates of turnover. In fact, studies have shown that millennials are roughly twice as likely to quit their jobs as other generations of workers with about 42 percent of millennials expecting to quit their current jobs within the next two years. But why?

There are a number of possible explanations that illuminate this phenomenon, including that millennials are more likely to leave roles that are thankless. If they aren’t feeling appreciated and valued, millennials have no problem quitting their jobs, even when they haven’t yet found new ones. Additionally, millennials put immense value on jobs that offer them a unique, positive environment where they can establish connections with others. It’s also been found that millennials are increasingly disenfranchised, which could be a byproduct of a turbulent political climate.

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can adapt your talent management strategy to accommodate a millennial-dominated workforce.

Tip No. 1: Create a Millennial-Friendly Company Culture.

The first thing you could do to accommodate millennials is to meet them where they live. In other words, you might consider creating a more millennial-friendly company culture.

In the simplest terms, company culture is essentially the “personality” of a workplace. It refers to the general vibe of the environment, the demeanor of the people who work there, the ethics and values of the company, and even the expectations of the employees.

Believe it or not, you have quite a large degree of control over company culture. So if you want to make the culture of your business or company more hospitable to millennials, here are some things you can do:

  • Millennials love to socialize, so encourage collaboration with team-based projects.
  • Millennials are tech-savvy, so leverage their tech-savviness by innovating with mobile technology and apps.
  • Millennials don’t like to be continually subordinated, so emphasize equality over a corporate hierarchy.
  • Millennials excel when they feel valued and appreciated, so recognize their efforts to inspire productivity.
  • Millennials will invest in companies that invest in them, so give them opportunities for growth and upward mobility.

Tip No. 2: Establish Meaningful Relationships with Millennial Talent.

Millennials are inherently social creatures, valuing environments where they have opportunities to connect with others. But it’s not just about allowing your millennial employees to connect with each other.

Research has shown that millennials are a skeptical generation, especially when it comes to the corporate world. Having seen many minority and special interest groups marginalized or trivialized, they don’t trust nameless, faceless companies. As such, you should make an effort to get to know your millennial employees and form relationships with them.

By forming connections with your millennial workers, they’ll come to see your company as being comprised of individuals. In turn, this will spark greater and more positivity toward the company.

Tip No. 3: Talent Management Software is Your Friend.

Besides making an environment that’s more millennial-friendly and getting to know your millennial employees, accommodating millennials as part of your talent management strategy requires the right talent management software.

Talent management software is essential to maximizing company performance. It allows you to track each employee through his or her employment cycle and should provide insight into the employee’s skills, knowledge, and performance. With this information, you can be sure that the right people are put into the most appropriate roles, which can substantially increase revenue as a result.

In a millennial-dominated workforce, it’s crucial to be aware of each employee’s history with the company so you can make educated decisions about his or her trajectory. A talent management software tool can be invaluable for gaining big-picture insights into a generation of workers with diverse skill sets.

Once you’ve adapted your company culture, established relationships with millennial employees, and adopted the right talent management system, your company will thrive in the Millennial Era.

Contributor Bio:

Dane O’Leary is a writer, tech journalist and regular contributor to TrustRadius where he shares his knowledge on the latest trends in B2B news and technologies. He has written editorials, articles, and blog posts for some of the most popular publications on the web, including Android Authority, Phone Arena, NeilPatel.com, and Millennial Magazine while also publishing regularly on his own website.

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