As millennials continue to enter the workforce, systems, processes and work cultures are transforming at a rapid rate. For HR leaders, managing millennials is a whole new ball game. So, how exactly does one attract and retain the mighty millennial who changes jobs every few years, if not months. This was the theme of Shine Talent Talks, the second recruiter meet hosted by Shine.com, India’s 2nd largest job portal. Titled ‘Decoding the talent strategy for millennials’, the conference, held in Mumbai, opened to a packed house of talent acquisition and HR professionals from the city.
Recruiting millennials: Keep it simple and straightforward
The agenda at the Shine Talent Talks conference revolved around the recruitment, retention and management of millennials. The panelists joined the audience to form small groups which would carry out in-depth discussions about important aspects of a millennial-focused talent strategy.
After the engaging discussions, Shalabh Chaudhary, Head HR-Sales & Recruitment, Future Generali summarized his group's point of view. He said, “To truly attract millennials, we need to define job roles. We must make sure we are upfront about our expectations from them. As recruiters, if a job demands 16 hours of work, we cannot mention that we will give you work-life balance. At our company, when someone comes in for an interview for a role that demands long hours, we are upfront about it and ask them if they can clock in so many hours every day, and then go on to ask their names.
What I’m trying to say is, millennials are empathetic people and understand the world around them. They also know themselves well. If we tell them that the job will not offer work-life balance, but will give you a work environment that you love, they will join the team. So, it is up to recruiters to create precise, open, and upfront job descriptions to attract the right talent. Define the kind of people you want to hire, engage them and finally, add them to your team.
"Technology has truly revolutionized the hiring ecosystem. Today, we can match jobs with candidates by using online job portal platforms that leverage machine learning and data analytics. However, if Job descriptions and resumes are not correct, machine learning will not be able to deliver accurate results. As recruiters, we must ensure that our job descriptions are accurate and only then will quality hiring happen for us,” he added.
Further speaking on the role of technology in hiring millennials, Biplob Banerjee, Chief People Officer, Allied Blenders & Distillers Pvt. Ltd, “It can do HR teams a world of good to leverage data mining to understand the needs and challenges of current and potential employees. The organization should also adopt a technology tool to reach out to people. For instance, if an organization gets 1000 applications and hires 60 of them, the rest usually end up in the HR files. However, an automated tool can, without any human intervention, send reminders to the rest of the applicants, reminding them of the opening in the organization.
Further, organizations should also adopt chatbots that can answer basic questions that candidates have. The efficiency of replying to candidates improves with chatbots and enhances the brand image of the employer. It is also important for organizations to adopt data analytics tools that can help them analyze the heaps of candidate data that they collate over time. Finally, social media plays a huge role in recruitment today. Instagram and Facebook are especially crucial as they can act as hiring tools for passive candidates."
Employee engagement and retention in the context of millennials
Chinmay Mohanty, Deputy General Manager & Head - Sales HR, Admin & SFE, RPG Life Sciences Ltd., then took the conversation forward by talking about retaining millennials in a workplace. He said, “Millennials demand respect and appreciation. They do not like to be told about their weaknesses. The key to retaining them is by working on their strengths.”
Citing an example from his own workplace, he said, “Our organization has a career progression chart, through which employees can see what they can achieve in 6 months or 1 year. This information is available to them frequently – not just once a year or once a month. This works for millennials as they believe in transparent work culture. Plus, this keeps them constantly motivated as they know that they are working towards a goal.
Another great way of keeping millennials engaged - Connect with their family. In our industry, we have an attrition rate of more than 30%. We now ensure retention by connecting with our employees' families. When we hire someone, we send their family a welcome letter highlighting key things about the organzation. We also notify families when a high performer achieves something extraordinary.
Further, we make sure employees that relocate to work with us feel welcome. They are inducted by line managers in respective locations with trips to nearby holy sites where they are presented with their offer letters. These are just small ways to maintain employee connect so they do not feel disengaged. We also celebrate all the festivals such as Holi and Diwali together at work so everyone feels like family. Through these celebrations, people can also showcase their talent and stay motivated.
I would like to conclude by saying millennials will stay if they continue to learn. They don’t want bosses, they need coaches.
Speaking along the same lines, Ruhie Pande, CHRO, Godrej Properties Limited said, "How do you engage and retain millennials? Give them instant gratification and faster results. These are impatient individuals. Give them growth every one or two years. Don't try to bind them with many rules, rigidity will never work with them. Things like, you have to come on time and you have to adhere to this dress code will definitely disenchant millennials.
Here's a quote that I truly believe in - 'You find comfort among people who agree with you, you find growth among people who don’t. ' Millennials will not agree with you. As someone rightly pointed out, they are fearless. They will call a spade a spade. If you want a millennial to stick around, you cannot demand their respect just because you are their boss. Be someone who they can respect by adding value to their work. If not, they will leave you. Millennials do not have political agendas. They bring their whole self to work. If you let them flourish and get their job done, they will not leave you. "
Further speaking about employee engagement, she said, " One word that works for all millennials - Mentoring. Give them an emotionally mature mentor who can manage their expectations well. Millennials are bright, fast and quick, but do not possess emotional maturity. A mature mentor will be able to show them their succession plan from the bottom up and tell them that the organization will give you skills but growth will not be instant. Therefore, they will have to curb their desire for instant gratification when it comes to career growth.
Finally, they want a purpose beyond numbers. Along with their regular work, give them a cause through which they can contribute to something larger. Tell them there is a cause to work towards, they will come in on a Saturday! Your engagement, as a result, will definitely shoot up.
Millennials join organizations and leave bosses. Does the boss give them an environment where they can question him or her? If not, then mentoring and training the boss is also critical. In conclusion, I'd like to say that millennials are very intelligent and smart. If managed well, they can add huge value to organizations ."
How to reduce attrition in your organization?
The discussion then steered towards attrition. Millennials are considered unreliable as they change jobs too quickly. Thus, it is important to understand how attrition can be reduced. To that end, Yogesh Kr Sharma, General Manager - Talent Acquisition, Thomas Cook Group said, "We have thoroughly studied the attitude of Millennials and realized that they are very straightforward. They have short term goals. When they are given a project, they will look at what's in it for them and try to quickly achieve it. Attrition among millennials is high only when they are unattached to a company, when they don't find a connect. They change jobs not just for more money but also to learn and do new things. They are fast decision makers, once they decide they're out, they really are.
How, then, do we manage millennials? We need to create short term jobs with high pay and rewards. Programs such as these must be created at all leading organizations. Further, millennials need a positive work environment. We spend a major share of our day at work so we don’t want colleagues, we want families in the office.
Additionally, there should be a culture of rewards and recognition to keep millennials motivated. This combined with opportunities for continuous learning will reduce attrition rates for sure.
Finally, organizations must offer millennials physical and mental wellness opportunities. Outdoor and indoor games, yoga, exercise, etc. will definitely keep millennials happy. These are the things that will make them feel connected enough to a company.
Commenting on event, Neha Kaul, Marketing Head, Shine.com said, “After the success of Shine Talent Talks in Delhi, we are thrilled to replicate the same in Mumbai as well. We witnessed highly engaged discussions on the challenges and opportunities in the recruitment sector today and gained a lot of insights. We will continue to host such unique events that bring the game-changers of the industry together to introduce and discuss new concepts that will revolutionize the Indian HR sector."
In conclusion: How should companies attract millennial talent?
Offering his two cents on the topic, Sumit Sabharwal, Head of HR, Fujitsu Consulting India said, “Millennials expect more than just money from companies. To truly attract millennials, organizations must offer role clarity, freedom to express oneself, learning culture that broadens one's horizons and stability.
Further, we need to transform the entire recruitment process to suit the needs of millennials. For instance, numerous companies are gamifying the recruitment and onboarding process through dedicated apps. These apps allow candidates to learn about the company and its culture through an engaging game. This enhances the candidate experience as it caters to their inherent ambition and attracts millennials towards the organization.
It is also very important to make the interview process an overall amazing experience for millennials. Small things like inviting them for a chat over coffee and biscuits, and a casual conversation can make an organization more attractive to candidates.
Finally, millennials want to learn and grow. Gone are the days when companies used to look for a cultural fit. We are not only looking for people who will fit into the existing culture but will thrive in it and ultimately become an integral part of the work community."
Simply put, when millennials find the interactive, engaging and learning culture that they are looking for, then and only then, will they stay loyal to a company. The company, in turn, will the numerous benefits that the millennial workforce has to offer. "
Company :-Value 360 Communications
User :- Ankita Sharma