Faced with acute technology skills shortages, Australian employers should hire more young professionals in 2018. What millennials lack in experience, they more than make up for in other ways. They are fluent in digital technology, ambitious and are fast learners.
Blending this raw talent with some experienced heads is the only way that many employers can hope to deliver on their digital ambitions in 2018 and beyond. James Dalrymple, Director for Robert Walters, Melbourne shares his pointers to help attract and retain the best millennial professionals:
1. Commit to their development during interviews
When someone is just starting out, they want to learn and develop. So, during job interviews, employers need to present a clear map of what career progression looks like and what the training and development opportunities will be. Show millennials that you want to help them build a career within your organisation.
2. Sell your technology
In a fast-changing world, IT professionals know that they need to keep up-to-date with cutting-edge technology. They will choose employers who can help them do that. If your organisation is using new and emerging technology, make sure you emphasise this when interviewing IT graduates.
3. Offer overseas experience
In a Robert Walters survey, almost nine out of ten millennials working in Australia and New Zealand wanted to work overseas during their career – but the majority of employers said they didn’t offer such opportunities. If your organisation does offer this, you have a competitive advantage in the jobs market so make sure you tell millennial candidates about this. If your organisation does not currently offer overseas opportunities, I would recommend developing partnerships and reciprocal arrangements with likeminded organisations overseas so you can open up opportunities for overseas secondments
4. Mentor (in every direction)
When it comes to retaining millennials, mentoring schemes can make a big difference. Giving younger workers access to seasoned professionals is an ideal way to share best practice and IP. Peer mentoring can also help, where millennial workers meet each other to share common challenges and solutions. And don’t underestimate reverse mentoring, where executives learn from millennials. The likes of Telstra and Nestle Australia are already realising the benefits of such arrangements to help close the digital knowledge gap.
5. Keep talking and listening
The myth still prevails that millennials are predisposed to quit jobs in a short space of time. But the fact is, regardless of age, professionals stay when they feel seen and valued. In a recent Apprenticeship Support Australia survey, only 21% of younger workers were meeting weekly with their bosses. When millennials first come aboard, it’s important that employers clearly set expectations – and then meet frequently to discuss progress. Weekly meetings are a great way to share what is going well and what isn’t, to prevent small problems growing into reasons an employee might quit.
About James Dalrymple:
James Dalrymple is Director at Robert Walters Melbourne.
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