Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996, according to Pew Research) will soon fill a majority of positions in property and facilities management as Baby Boomers continue to retire. But many would-be employers still have no idea how to attract and retain younger professionals.
An upcoming panel at the annual BOMA International Conference & Expo, “Attract and Retain Talent: Hear Directly from Emerging Professionals,” will tackle the problem head-on with actionable tips for recruiting millennial employees and helping them thrive at work.
“Employers should know what the recruitee’s goals are, what their ambitions are, what they want out of life and what they want out of a job here,” says panel participant Theotto Lillard (pictured), a property manager for Hubbell Realty and chair of BOMA International’s Emerging Professionals group.
“What do they want out of working at the company? To know that and know how they can support them or what it is they’re looking for is one key way to further recruit them and know whether they’re able to meet their needs,” he continues.
[On topic: Attract Millennials and Gen Z to Facilities Management]
5 Things Millennials Want at Work
Millennials tend to look for five key things from employers, Lillard notes.
For millennials, flexibility at work could mean shifting hours—for example, the ability to go to a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day and then log in from home later to finish working. They also appreciate being able to work remotely whenever they need to, not just during emergencies.
Like any prospective employee, millennials weigh benefit packages when assessing possible employers. Health insurance, a good 401(k) package, paid vacation and parental leave for mothers and fathers all help attract millennial employees.
[Register Now: 2019 BOMA International Conference & Expo June 22-25, 2019]
On-site daycare can also be an attractive option—parents love it because they don’t have to make an extra stop on the way to work.
3. Growth opportunities
Millennials are looking for opportunities to grow and advance—in other words, a career, not just a job. Seasoned employees who are willing to mentor new recruits are a valuable resource for career growth. “Leadership opportunities within the organization to build your skills are important,” Lillard says.
“They don’t have to be limited to leadership within the company, either. Another thing that’s a must for everybody is compensation, whether it’s a structured bonus program or a raise increase structure based on performance,” he states.
[Related: Tips to Attract the Next Generation of Property Managers]
A positive work environment is crucial. Millennials also appreciate transparency and the opportunity to collaborate at work, Lillard explains.
5. Trust and support
Millennials like to feel valued for their contributions at work. A supportive work environment where they have opportunities to prove themselves is an attractive prospect for millennial employees.
Fostering Connections Between Generations
Seasoned property managers who have been in the field for a long time can help newer millennial employees succeed by mentoring them and generally being available for questions.
“One idea is that maybe older professionals could make an effort to schedule coffee, tea or lunch with a younger person in the office once a month,” suggests Lillard. “It’s saying ‘Here, I’m opening the door for this.’ On the flipside, you still have to have a younger professional say, ‘You opened the door, now let me walk through it.’ You also have to put the responsibility back on the younger professional to continue to reach out and tap into their expertise. It can’t just all be on the seasoned professional.”
BOMA chapters can help nurture some of these connections. Reach out to the executive board of your local organization to find longtime managers who can help nurture your rising stars. As your younger employees gain experience and responsibility, encourage them to mentor people who have just joined the field.
“We think that only our seasoned professionals can be mentors, but we can be, too,” Lillard says of his generation. “We just have to realize that and be willing to make time for it.”
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