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Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

There’s a Wealth of Young Talent in Oneonta... Here’s How to Keep Them Around

There’s a Wealth of Young Talent in Oneonta... Here’s How to Keep Them Around

Here in Oneonta, we have not one, but two institutions of higher education… which means we have quite a bit of talent being developed locally. In 2016, 2,003 degrees were awarded by our local universities - and one of the most popular majors, Business & Managerial Economics, provides a resource that can assist in making educated business decisions. It only makes sense that businesses around Oneonta would want to keep this kind of talent around.

The question therefore becomes: how to convince these promising potential employees to stay in the area?

Understanding the Millennial Employee

A millennial is someone who was born between 1980 and 1994, which means that they are currently between 25 and 39 years old. In their eyes, wealth tends to be measured in experiences and life lived more than it is in dollars and cents - rather than building up a nest egg for the future, the millennial is more likely to live in the moment.

On a related note, a position’s salary and additional benefits rank under being passionate about their role in an organization. Most crucially for an employer, a millennial is much more willing to leave a position, regardless of the pay, if that passion isn’t there.

Bucking the stereotype, working millennials aren’t nearly as fragile as people might believe. While many assume that the average millennial can’t handle criticism, the truth of the matter is that most millennial employees seek feedback almost constantly, looking for a transparent game plan that they can contribute to.

Furthermore, many millennials are seeking a workplace that allows them some level of independence. Reports have shown that the generation’s high levels of debt and the adversity to risk that this financial reality brings with it have prevented many millennials from starting their own businesses. However, if placed in an environment where they have some ownership of their work, even when working for someone else, the millennial is able to come into their own.

How to Retain Millennials

Returning for a moment to the millennial’s infamous tendency to job-hop, a Deloitte survey took the accounts of over 10,000 millennials from 36 countries and developed some insights. As many employers may find alarming, 43 percent planned to leave their current job within a two year span, with just over a quarter planning to stay over five years.

While many may assume these shifts are for financial reasons, they would be mistaken - the survey suggested that the employing company’s ethics were the real cause. Millennials want to dedicate their loyalty to a company that provides a positive impact to the community at large, rather than exclusively focusing on its bottom line - again, tying back to the passion-over-pay tendencies that Generation Y exhibits.

Despite the relatively short-term employment that many millennials exhibit, if you can attract some of that loyalty to your business, you’re likely to have gained a valuable employee for quite some time. It isn’t that millennials are flighty, they’re just looking for the right spot for them.

This means if you’re serious about recruiting and retaining millennial talent, you need to roll up your sleeves and take their philosophies into consideration. Here at Directive, we’ve been doing just that.

What We’re Doing

We’ve implemented a variety of programs and benefits that a millennial seeking a job might be interested in. For instance, considering that student debt makes up 69 percent of everything the average millennial owes, we felt that our employees could use some help with their student loans - so we’re offering them that help. We’ve also begun a retirement fund for our employees to help them plan for their futures. We make sure that our employees receive the training they need to be successful from the very start, and we’re involved in our community, which means our employees often have responsibilities that serve a greater purpose.

This is on top of offering many of the perks that millennials are often scoffed at for looking for: a work environment that encourages employees to push their own limits while being welcome to ask questions, a company culture that celebrates teamwork and camaraderie, little perks, like a stocked kitchen, company lunches, and a pet-friendly office. We celebrate holidays and anniversaries and birthdays and the occasional just-because day… because why not?

Crock-Pot Thursday Meal
Crock-Pot Thursday at Brooks
Puppy Tuesdays
Halloween Costume Contest

There are many ways that you can attract millennials in your hiring process, as well:

  • Highlighting Perks - You could offer your employees the greatest working benefits that anyone has ever offered… but if nobody knows about them, they aren’t going to help your recruitment efforts. Try including some of your benefits and company culture efforts in your help wanted posts - if anything, you’ll attract a wider pool of talent to select from.
  • Simpler Application Processes - I want you to put yourself in a job-seeking millennial’s shoes for a moment. You’re looking for a career. You’re working service jobs - likely multiple - to make ends meet, and you’re trying to schedule interviews in every spare moment you have.
    This isn’t the person who is going to fill out a lengthy application, especially if they’ve been battered by the process and are losing confidence. That’s why it’s often better to initially make your application process very straight-forward, so that you won’t scare away promising candidates before they’ve committed.
    At Directive, we do our best to keep our application process as comprehensive and casual as possible. While your resume is important, we want to make sure you’ll be a good fit - that’s why we give you an honest and comprehensive look at what life in the office is like.
  • Sufficient Onboarding - Regardless of how talented your new hire is, there’s going to be an adjustment period as they acclimate to your company’s processes and policies. Without the onboarding process, there’s a greater chance of your new hire feeling alienated and becoming inclined to leave. Here, we take the time to make sure you’re prepared for your responsibilities, with your team there to support you.
  • Using All Avenues - If you want to draw from the widest talent pool possible, you’re going to need to leverage multiple sources of applicants. Don’t just put your available positions on your website - use employment websites, the local paper, staffing services, and again, educational institutions. Talent can be found anywhere, you just have to look.

Another effective way to attract millennials? Using effective and productive technology to accomplish your business goals. Directive can help you with that much. To learn more about our IT services, reach out to us at 607.433.2200. Interested in working with us? Check out our available openings and apply!

Don’t forget to check out the benefits of hiring other age groups as well, including the Baby Boomers!