How Companies Are Changing Traditions To Attract Young Workers


Employers and companies large and small are changing their dynamic in order to position themselves as ‘Millenial Magnets’, according to new figures.

Millennials, according to various estimates, will make up a majority of the workforce after 2020,

At some companies the shift is even more dramatic. Consulting firm PwC estimates that by next year, a jaw-dropping 80% of its global workforce will be Millennial.

And surveys suggest these young workers are not like previous generations; they aren’t into ladder-climbing or the long time-sucking schedules of their parents careers.

Frequent promotions and raises, supportive environments, transparency, flexible schedules – things many employers weren’t exactly heeding the call of until the Gen Y invasion.

Now more and more companies are allowing workers to work around their life, with the intention of keeping young people to ‘stick around’.

“We’ve all smartened up,” said Anne Donovan a managing director at PwC and the firm’s talent transformation leader.

PwC wants associates to “expect” that their team will try to accommodate their personal needs — whether it’s going to a yoga every Tuesday or attending your kids’ weekly games.

For road warriors, teams assess whether everyone needs to be on site at the client’s every week or if the work can get done by alternating which team members have to go. Also, will the work suffer if those traveling arrive on Monday afternoon instead of Monday morning? If not, they can sleep at home on Sunday nights.

“We’re trying to create a guilt-free zone,” Donovan said.

At McKinsey, employees are allowed to take 5 to 10 weeks between projects to pursue their personal interests. It’s unpaid time but they get to keep their benefits. And it’s on top of regular paid vacation time.

So some clients of Mercer, a global consulting firm, have responded by changing the frequency with which they give promotions and salary increases.

It used to be that an employee might progress from Job A to Job B. Now instead of one big jump after a few years, it’s broken into smaller jumps more quickly: From Job A to A1 then A2 before hitting B. And the accompanying pay raise is similarly made more incremental.

“It’s administratively a little more complex. But it could be a win-win because you’re recognizing good performance and employees feel they’re progressing,” Ilene Siscovick, a partner in Mercer’s talent business.

No more “3”s please: No one likes to be a number. But Millennials specifically are not keen on getting “3”s in performance reviews even though it’s a fine rating that typically means “meets expectations,” Siscovick said. To Millennials, a “3” screams “average.”

According to the 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study, millennials will be the largest generation in the workforce in 2015. This is a group that’s adaptable, entrepreneurial, team-oriented, and super creative. They are looking for employers that embrace these characteristics rather than stifle them behind a desk or in a cubical.

On the flip side, the study found that 53 percent of the 200 hiring managers surveyed said it is difficult to find and retain millennials. Nearly seven out of 10 (68%) hiring managers say millennials have skills prior generations do not. 60 percent of hiring managers agree that Millennials are quick learners. In a rapidly growing market that is moving at a faster rate than ever before, it is important that employees are able to learn the ropes of the business much quicker than previous generations.



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