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3 Reasons You’re Struggling to Hold On to Your Millennial Talent

In a recent report by Gallup, researchers found that 50% of millennials in the US workforce aren’t planning on working at their current company in a year’s time, and 6 out of 10 say they’re open to new employment opportunities.

You could write this growing trend in behavior off as a lack of employee loyalty or discipline, but that’d be a costly mistake to make – it’s estimated that millennial turnover due to lack of engagement at work costs the US economy $30.5 billion dollars annually, and that number isn’t shrinking.

Identifying and understanding the reasons behind the high turnover rate of this generation (which now makes up the majority of the US workforce, mind you) is of vital importance if you’re looking to retain talent and scale your company in the modern age.

1. They’re Consumers of the Workplace

Given their proclivity for technology, millennials over every other generation are active “consumers of the workplace”. It’s a breeze to shop around for new positions on job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, while Glassdoor provides internal reviews and insights into a company’s culture long before a potential candidate considers sending in their resume.

To be fair, it isn’t always the case that these employees want to leave their companies – they just place a premium on being challenged and valued in their professional lives.  

The employees of today and tomorrow are looking for purposeful, engaging work, and they’re willing to hop from job to job until they find it. Buying a house, getting married, and having children are far-off goals for a majority of this generation, and career ambitions have been pushed to the forefront.

2. Big Boss vs. Coach Styles of Management

Younger employees are looking for jobs where they can develop professionally, and that includes fostering a meaningful relationship with their superiors.

Interestingly enough, 62% of millennial employees who feel they can talk to their boss about their lives outside of work say they plan to remain with their company a year from now – a 12% increase from the baseline statistic. Engaging with your staff on a candid, personal level could boost your retention rates and save your company a significant amount of money in recruiting and training costs over time.

Bosses who successfully retain their talent have adopted tenets of coaching management, which means they place emphasis on providing guidance and building rapport with their staff to help them reach their full potential rather than simply directing them. Most critically, they offer constant feedback and advice to their employees; information is shared rapidly in this digital age, and quarterly and annual reviews aren’t cutting it anymore.

3. Concerns about Artificial Intelligence

It’s well known that no industry is safe from AI integration, and unfortunately for Millennials 37% of their generation is at high risk for having their jobs replaced by automation in the coming decades. If you’re looking to retain your younger employees, it’s of growing importance that you discuss your company’s plans when it comes to AI and the effect it’ll have on daily operations.

Casting apocalyptic visions aside, the most likely course is that AI will not fully automate your workplace, but rather augment it, saving time here and there to increase the efficiency of your employees and satisfaction of your customers.

It may be the elephant in the room, but leaving your staff in the dark about the future of your company will spark anxiety, disengagement, and eventually turnover. Your employees are less likely to look for work elsewhere if their concerns are respectfully acknowledged and a solid plan is put in place surrounding AI integration.


Millennials get a bad rap for being entitled and lazy, but data shows that they’re more than willing to work hard for your company if you create an environment in which they can progress their careers, work to their strengths, and create meaningful connections with their coworkers.

If you’re interested in finding young talented employees but tired of sifting through endless piles of resumes, ORS offers talent acquisition consulting and customizable hiring solutions for companies in a variety of industries.

We’ve got a long track record of getting the job done right – just see for yourself.

The Gamification of Talent Acquisition

In the talent acquisition industry techniques and trends rise quickly, but can fall just as fast. Within the past year the term ‘gamification’ has become a buzzword and there is debate as to whether it is embedded into the world of talent acquisition to stay or if it is a flashy tech-trend with little staying power. The term ‘gamification’ was first introduced in 2010 when it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and defined as, “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” This concept has been applied to corporate strategies for identifying talent, selecting qualified candidates and retaining employees.

While the concept of gamification seems simple, if it is not executed correctly, it may produce minimal results. LinkedIn’s Talent Blog investigated five different companies that are successfully using gamification as a talent strategy. These five companies all utilize gamification for three specific reasons: to identify talent, to select talent and to improve talent retention.
LinkedIn cites the use of gamification to identify talent by Google and Dominos. As referenced in the blog, Google hosts ‘Google Code Jam,’ a software-writing competition, and invites developers and engineers to compete for monetary prizes. Google uses a social setting and prizes to attract talent, assemble them and then tests their skills via competition with their peers. Genius? No, just gamification of recruitment. Similarly, Dominos uses gamification to identify talent early in the job search process via an application. They utilize an application where users can create and sell their pizza creations. Dominos wants to attract fun, creative and innovate candidates and a ‘game’ does just that. Google and Dominos, while very different in their business models, both utilize a gamification strategy to attract and identify their specific talent pools.

Other companies, such as U.K Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British Intelligence and Security Agency, and Umbel, a big-data start-up, are utilizing gamification as a way to select candidates and promote self-select out of the process. GCHQ created a website where candidates are directed to crack an encrypted message. Cracking the code allows them to advance in the interviewing process. Not only does this allow GCHQ to test candidate’s skills, but also allows candidates to self-select out of the process if they realize their skills do not match the desired skills of the employer. Umbel created a gaming challenge in which amateur and professional coders fight in a first-person face-off where they code each of their physical movements. As they ‘fight’ within the game they are winning points, which factor into how far they advance in the interviewing process. Being able to see how coding skills match up against other professionals allows candidates to highlight their skill-set and self-select out if they feel they are not the right fit for the company.

Gamification also has been used for employee retention. Formapost, the French postal service, was struggling with new hire retention. When retention numbers are low for recent hires, it may allude to problems within the hiring process. To combat this, Formapost decided to utilize gamification and create a game where candidates could simulate a Formapost employee to gain a deeper understanding of that employee’s day-to-day responsibilities and duties. Creating this simulation allowed candidates to better grasp the position so if they were offered the position and assumed the role, their expectations were met and, in turn, they stayed with the company longer, meaning increasing new hire retention for Formapost.

While some argue that gamification may just be a trend within the talent acquisition industry, over the last five years its popularity as a strategy has spread to high-profile organizations, such as Google, as well as the start-up community. Utilizing gamification correctly has helped organizations identify talent, select candidates, and retain employees with proven results. The Aberdeen Group notes gamification impact in a survey stating “…organizations with gamification in place improve engagement by 48%, as compared to 28% with those who do not, and improve turnover by 36% as compared to 25%.” What gamification techniques has your company deployed to identify, attract or retain talent?