Millennials and Gen Z: What the Next Generation of Talent are Looking for

By 2025, the millennial generation will comprise three-quarters of the global workforce. Unlike the stereotypes, this talent group doesn’t get job satisfaction from happy hour’s and game rooms. They’re looking for a career path to their vision of success, real relationships, learning opportunities, great benefits and social awareness. As an employer, where do you stand on these qualities? Research conducted by our parent company Allegis Group and published in a report titled “Employers, It’s Time to Grow Up: Engaging the Millennial and Gen Z Workforce” found that 49% of HR decision-makers are concerned with their ability to attract and retain millennial and gen Z talent. So, how do you attract, motivate and retain this talent group?

Clear Value and Vision 

When it comes to attracting and retaining NextGen talent, you have to start with the basics of understanding their views – and translating what you learn into an employee value proposition (EVP) that’s relevant to their needs. Companies need to be able to convey what gives them an edge over other employers. EVP’s should consider not only what companies can offer individual employees, but also how each individual fits in as part of the larger whole. NextGen talent want to see a vision for company growth, including plans for modernisation, such as adoption of digital practices. They also strive to understand how both their individual and team contributions positively impact the company. Once on board, they want the same messages threaded continuously through leadership communication. 

Growth Opportunities 

When considering an employer, this talent group place high value on career progression. According to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, 35% of millennial's and 33% of gen Z’s surveyed plan to leave their current place of employment in the next two years due to not enough opportunities to advance (second highest reason). In the same survey 28% of millennial's and 27% of gen Z’s would leave due to lack of learning and development opportunities. This talent group are consistently looking for opportunities in career development. They want to be challenged and respected for their contributions, and they value open communication with leadership and feedback through regular reviews and mentoring. They also appreciate training opportunities to up-skill in their chosen field. 

Variety and Balance

This talent group are looking for variety in their daily tasks. Even in smaller companies, employers can promote diversification, such as offering chances to cross-train between departments and functions. They also expect a reasonable work/life balance, with the understanding that “flexible” doesn’t mean “less.” When balance is afforded and people are performing at a high-level, it’s a win-win to allow flexibility when possible.

The Rise of Creative Perks 

Creative perks that appeal to NextGen talent are becoming increasing prevalent in EVP’s. By understanding the types of perk available, companies can explore and implement options that are right for them. From family friendly benefits including onsite childcare to perks such as gym memberships, CSR volunteer days, and on-site entertainment / organised activities. These type of additional benefits can entice, motivate and retain talent. 

Ultimately, the millennial and gen Z professional is as much an individual as a member of a generation. With fluctuating economic, political and global influences continuing into the future, the desires of this generation may yet shift again. Employers who want to capitalise on top performers will not only invest time and energy to understand trends within the generation but will also customise efforts to attract and retain the individual.

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