Want to Hire and Keep Millennials? Do Less

This article was contributed to Huffington Post by Brian Scudamore.


Everyone is talking about millennials: How do they work? What do they want? How do we hire them? How do we keep them happy?

All these questions are for good reason: in a decade they will make up three quarters of our workforce.

But if your plan is to win them over through "cool" incentives -- like egg-freezing, pajama parties or Segways -- think again. This group is likely to avoid anything that seems phony.

Over the past ten years, our team at O2E Brands has grown to over 50 per cent millennials and we are currently in the process of hiring 200 new staff -- the majority of which will be from this age group.

If you're in the same boat, I have one simple piece of advice: do less.

Here are some simple ideas that have been instrumental in helping us hire and retain the right people -- who happen to be millennials.

Define the Big Idea

While it may seem surprising, many businesses do not properly communicate to their staff the why behind the work. In a recent survey, only 31 per cent of workers said they know what their company's mission is.

If you are clear from the outset about what you do and why you love doing it, you will attract employees who share your passion. Here at O2E Brands, it's all about people. It's the philosophy we all live by -- it's written on the wall at our head office and the driving factor behind everything that we do.


A recent study showed that 44 per cent of millennials were ready to leave a job because it lacked skill development opportunities, and two-thirds wanted to be their own boss. Clearly this generation places priority on controlling their own destinies.

We encourage our rockstar employees to take advantage of our flexible and autonomous work environment and to present innovative ideas to make our company better. It is often these staff members who work their way up the corporate ladder, or into first-time business ownership. We encourage and support this kind of professional development, and it keeps people around.

Work Hard. Play Hard.

Millennials do not mince words when it comes to their desire for work-life balance. They place higher value on spending time with family and friends than previous generations, so it's no coincidence that they are flocking to companies that offer autonomy, flexible schedules and generous benefits.

In the end, the most attractive trait a company can have is authenticity: people will gel with your culture if it's real. Millennials will align themselves with a company with core values that mirror their own. So remember that while the superficial won't get this generation through the door, substance will make them stay.