4 Things Your Company Can Do To Attract Millennial IT Talent

by Anastasia C. Valentine on February 18, 2014



With the IT unemployment rate at 2-3% in most states, many companies are facing the most challenging times in managing an IT workforce since the late 90s. To confound current market conditions, you have to attract and hire from a pool of three diverse generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. While Millennials are often noted for being a challenging bunch, you have to properly integrate them into your current workforce and foster a unified work environment for all three generations.

Understanding the key differences between the three generations is a great starting point to help you facilitate a cohesive workplace. According to Vivian Giang from “Business Insider:

  • Baby Boomers are loyal, hardworking, team players.  They place importance on healthcare and retirement.  They also are the least adaptable of the three generations.
  • Generation X are effective managers, adaptable, great at solving problems and put an emphasis on workplace flexibility.  However, they have the least executive presence of the three.
  • Millennials are tech savvy and enthusiastic about their jobs.  More than the other two generations, they want to know how and when they can get promoted.  However, they’re not big team players.


Now that you have some more insight into the different generations, let’s look at 4 things you can do to better recruit technical Millennials to your company.

1.)    Corporate Culture and Responsibility
Millennials have a different view than Baby Boomers and Generation X of what corporate life should be.  They don’t want to be a piece of a big corporate puzzle.  They want to feel that they are making a difference in the overall business.  In your own IT department, you should show your employees how the projects they’re working on help the organization as a whole.  Millennials also want infrastructure to get the job done – with technology and connectivity, not cubicles and lunchrooms.  Corporate social responsibility is also something that Millennials value.  According to a recent Towers Watson study, 71% of Millennials want to work for a company that encourages some form of global or community social responsibility.  Your company should be communicative about their role in the community and what organizations they support.

2.)    Flexibility and Mobility
Where Generation X finds flexibility important, so do the Millennials.  The recent Millennials and the Future of Work report found 84% of Millennial workers in traditionally well-paid corporate roles would quit in order to pursue more flexible options.  IT Millennials have gone through college wooed by stories about start-up companies with flexible work schedules.  Also, being the first generation to grow up with PC’s and the Internet, this tech-savvy generation has the capabilities, equipment and knowledge to successfully work from home.  If you don’t have one already, consider a flex-time plan and a work from home policy.  Implementing these two things could have a meaningful impact on your recruiting efforts not only for Millennials, but for Generation X as well.

3.)    Inspired to Learn
A recent survey conducted by JobBuzz found 27% of Millennial workers most wanted their boss to be a good motivator.  They value someone who is understanding, encouraging and hands-off.  Millennials in IT want responsibility and the opportunity to wow their leadership.  Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot, says “I take these young kids and I give them huge responsibility.  Sometimes they mess it up, but more often than not they get it right.”  When hiring, make sure you communicate not only the types of responsibilities they will have, but also what they can expect to learn from you, as a manager and their role in the department.

4.)    Opportunity to Grow
Tech Millennials want to grow their careers just as much as any generation.  Baby Boomers and Gen X are established in their careers paths and know what they want to get out of their job.  Millennials are still finding their way in the corporate world and could change their direction at any time.  Many firms have taken to implementing certain programs and policies in order to help attract and retain Millennials.  For example, Hubspot makes sure that there is a certain percentage of employees changing departments or jobs every three months to keep their Millennial employees interested in their work.  When recruiting, it’s important to give your IT Millennials insight into the various aspects of technology at your company and give them the opportunity to change their career path if so desired.

Some employers have expressed concerns that Millennials expect too much from their workplace.  That concern has made many companies research Millennials to learn how to best manage them and to also understand how to make Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials understand each other.  For example, Goldman Sachs hires actors to portray Millennials in the workplace and then has management analyze the generational differences.

By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be the Millennial generation.  In order to attract them and keep them committed to a stable career with your company, the most important thing you can do is to understand them. Knowing their strengths, weakness and what is important to them will help you develop a cohesive, blended workforce and attract this new generation of workers.