A recent survey undertaken by HR search specialists The Three Partnership has found that less than half of HR Directors feel that their organisation’s talent strategy is millennial ready – a worrying statistic given that a report by PwC estimates millennials will make up half of the global workforce by 2020. And while part of being millennial ready involves having a more agile approach to work patterns, such as home or flexible working, over a third of respondents to the survey saw no value in adopting such an approach. With disruptive alternative working models coming to the market such as Ziferblat – shared working spaces which charge by the minute with a capped day rate – agile working is obviously a growing phenomenon. Additionally, only a third of organisations had adopted a more informal approach to personal appearance.

“Part of attracting and retaining millennials is how your talent strategy focuses on organisational values and ethics,” says Sarah Barwell, Director of Three Partnership. “There is no doubt that competition for the best talent remains intense – and so those organisations that are not adapting their talent strategies to appeal to this group risk not only losing out on the best people – but also severely damaging their employer brand. There is no doubt that future leadership teams are going to look very different as millennials progress through an organisation and talent strategies need to evolve rapidly in order to appeal to what is a very different mind-set.”

On a more positive note, over two thirds (68%) of respondents said that social media played an important part in their organisation’s talent attraction strategy signalling a realisation that that millennials use newer channels when looking for opportunities such as Glassdoor to check out employee ratings, corporate Instagram accounts to get a sense of the organisation’s goals, values and corporate culture. Even Snapchat has now become an employer branding tool as it allows potential talent to see what really goes on behind the scenes of companies they may be interested in.

“It’s all very well knowing where to look for these people – but if there is a disconnect between what millennials want – and what your talent management strategy delivers, then arguably all your attraction efforts could be a waste of time. Understanding what motivates and inspires this future talent is really important and often that’s around a commitment to flexibility and work-life balance; a recognition that reward isn’t just about pay; a demonstration of social value and access to varied opportunities. And in an era where organisations could feasibly be looking at five different generations in the workforce, it’s about having a strategic people plan that addresses different generational needs and wants.”