4 Focus Points to Attract, Employ and Retain Millennials

Lazy, entitled, self-obsessed and narcissistic are the descriptions that are often bestowed upon this generation. Millennials (born between 1985 and 2000) are often misunderstood and criticized for their worldviews, but this is something that needs to change soon, as this generation currently occupies 20% of all leadership roles.

What sets millennials apart from other generations is their passion for equality, liberal views and their courage to question the status quo and authority. Below are the key factors that millennials look out for when considering their next employer:

Diversity and Flexibility

Gone are the days where a 9 to 5 office bound job is the norm. Millennials value companies that have flexible work environments where they have the freedom to decide when and how to work. IBM’s Oslo based office has ± 420 desks but ± 700 employees. This along with collaboration tools has increased their productivity and decreased asset costs to the company.

Millennials feel strongly about diversity and inclusion. Collaboration is greatly valued by millennials; they appreciate being exposed to strategy, weighing in on important decisions, especially those that affect them directly, and being recognised for their contributions.

Employee Development

For a millennial, a job does not only fulfil career goals but also personal aspirations to make a positive impact on their environment and community. 75% of workers under the age of 34 believe that frequently switching jobs will benefit the growth of their careers. Millennials are loyal to organisations that are committed to their job growth and 87% of them rate professional growth and development opportunities as most important. Keep a millennial engaged by developing and broadening their skills.

Work-Life Balance

Millennials value their own happiness and work-life balance over corporate loyalty and actively seek organisations that manage them by their performance and not the time that is spent in the office. Millennials are willing to prioritise this balance over job security.

Millennials want to pursue their passions in their spare time and make a living from them too with 28% between the ages of 18-26 pursuing a side hustle. Millennials dedicate more time to their families, side hustles and most importantly their self-care.


Millennials view employment as a two-way street of give and take between them and their employer. If they feel connected to the company they will be incentivized to work harder and smarter, putting in long hours and creatively solving problems. Millennials will be loyal to companies that are loyal to their growth and work-life balance. They value a culture of respectful and constructive feedback that is freely given and received.

Companies that lack flexibility and agility are most at risk of losing the millennial workforce which accounts for half of the current talent pool. Seeking to hire and retain millennials does not mean changing hiring policies of the company that have been in place for years, but simply adapting to fit the new working culture that is being designed by millennials, for millennials.

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