Top Tips for Attracting and Hiring Motivated Millennials

Written by Paul Marchildon, on November 21, 2013.

What do Millennials want in their workplace? Ping-pong tables in the break room? Complimentary five-star meals and on-campus Zumba classes? Free haircuts and massages? Turns out, they do want benefits – as in health, dental, and retirement plans. They want to enjoy their work and advance in their careers. These crazy kids are much more pragmatic than they are given credit for, and they know what they want from their jobs. The good news is that you don’t have to out-Google Google with its incredible array of perks to attract top talent – you just have to know how to approach hiring.

How do you attract and hire the most promising, motivated, talented Millennial employees? Here are my top tips to entice and land top talent.

Employees Lacking Motivation?

Paul Marchildon, an experienced Leisureologist, can work with you and your team to increase productivity by incorporating leisure into the workplace.

Clearly communicate the benefits of working with your company. One of the benefits that Generation Y values most is training and the opportunity for learning and personal development. Let applicants know what your company has to offer them and that you value your employee’s growth. A reasonable budget will get them out of the office, to industry events, on social media forums, and in classrooms.

Whether it is paying for educational events, or simply allowing time off to attend, employers can help fill this need and ensure their talent sticks around. Millennials, speaking broadly and stereotypically, do not want to stagnate. If they feel they cannot grow, they will go somewhere they can.

Offer the opportunity for outside development. I once had a talented social media guy working for me at Maritz. When he left, he told me, “I couldn’t cope with being in the middle of nowhere. When I worked downtown, I’d meet with the other social media guys every Tuesday and Thursday for coffee. We’d shoot the breeze and share ideas. I feel like I’m getting dull up here.”

Would I have let him drive into the city and for coffee Tuesdays and Thursdays? In a second. Offering your staff the freedom to interact with peers and educate one another is critical. The modern day business world is about collaboration and holding intellectual property and knowledge with an iron grip will only hamper your growth. Being willing to facilitate information sharing can help you attract and keep the best of Gen Y.

Smart interviewing. The best employees I ever hired were the result of a group interviewing approach. We began by prescreening applicants through general interviews and culling the group. Then, we invited five or so in for an interview at the same time. The group atmosphere inspired a competitive feel – like only one of them would get to stay on the island. We give them some background on the company and the job opportunity and then the battle would begin.

Writing and communication skills, for instance, are critical in this business, so we might ask them a question and have them prepare a one-page response and present it. They have to put their innovation, creativity, and experience to use. From that, we get to see who is most resourceful; who has done his/her homework; who can think on the spot and overcome nerves; and who fits.

Your company does have valuable benefits to offer; they may not be free meals prepared by Michelin chefs, but freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to flex creative muscles and grow professionally are critical to Millennials. Communicating this, and seeing who can contribute to your culture, during the interview process will help you find best people to grow with your business.

Paul Marchildon

Paul Marchildon

A self-proclaimed Leisureologist and Motivational Speaker, Paul Marchildon applies his vast expertise in human engagement to help leaders create more productive, effective organizations. Building on an influential career as a pioneer in employee incentive and loyalty programs, strategic creative communications, social media and mobile marketing, Paul provides insight into the advantages of incorporating a leisure culture in the "work" place. He is past president of Society of Incentive and Travel Executives’ (Site) Canadian Chapter and founder of Atlantis Creative Group (now part of Maritz Canada). He is one of a select group of Canadians who have received the Certified Incentive Travel Executive (CITE) designation.