How to Recruit and Retain Millennials at Your Workplace

How to Recruit and Retain Millennials

As more and more millennials enter the workforce, this younger generation of employees seems to be perplexing some managers challenged by how to recruit and retain them. Also known as Generations Y and Z, they have been criticized for being overly reliant on technology, lacking the drive of previous generations to put in long hours, and job hopping.

But how about looking at the glass as half full? Aren't strong technology skills, appreciation of work-life balance and trying different jobs to broaden one’s skill set all good things?

Read Work-Life Balance as Part of an Employee Retention Strategy and see the results of our study on work-life balance.

Clearly, millennials — those born between 1978 and 1999 — are unique from their predecessors in many ways. They may require a modified management strategy as a result. Read our six expert suggestions for improving upon your plans for how to recruit and retain them:

Syed Hussain1. Provide regular feedback

“Millennials are accustomed to, and appreciate, steady feedback and guidance from authority figures,” says Syed Hussain, vice president of Robert Half Finance & Accounting. Make sure your Gen Y employees know they’re on the right track, he adds, or offer course corrections by giving them the feedback they thrive on, via email, informal chats and even weekly recap meetings.

2. Empower your millennials

Recruiting and retention plans should involve empowering this cohort to stretch beyond the basic job requirements, Hussain says. Have them work on projects that leverage their strengths, such as leading a social networking task force to promote the company’s products or services. 

3. Give them professional development opportunities

“Millennials rank ‘opportunities for professional growth’ and ‘job title’ higher than Generation X or baby boomer employees,” says Hussain. To improve your recruiting and retention while reducing millennial turnover rates, provide opportunities to obtain professional certifications. Engage them in conversation about their desired career paths, and discuss their level of satisfaction with their work at your organization.

4. Provide regular training

Millennials are accustomed to, and appreciate, steady feedback and guidance from authority figures.

Syed Hussain


This generation places a lot of value on skill development. If millennials feel they aren’t receiving adequate opportunities to maximize their skills or acquire new ones, it can drive them to job hop. By offering regular training and professional development opportunities, you will inspire your employees to learn, help them grow professionally and establish roots in your organization.

Put all the pieces together with The People Puzzle: Building and Retaining a Talented Accounting and Finance Team.

5. Offer a variety of work

Generation Y members derive a sense of purpose and satisfaction from new experiences, which give them opportunities to apply their skills in different ways and make them more well-rounded employees. Vary the projects they work on, as well as the teams they work with, so they’re constantly learning new techniques and methods.

6. Offer flexibility

Millennials value work-life balance. You may need to rethink the perks you’re offering when formulating your recruiting and retention plans. In addition to competitive salary, consider perks such as telecommuting, flexible hours, comp time and more vacation days.

So in short, in spite of the air of mystery surrounding this generation, millennials can be catalysts for change. They seek out roles in which they can develop professionally, and they are technologically astute. Once you know what makes them tick, and the work scenarios in which they flourish, you’ll have an easier time recruiting them, managing them and retaining them.

Looking for more hiring tips? Visit Robert Half's Hiring Finance and Accounting Staff page. See what our clients have to say about their financial staffing experiences with Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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