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Hiring top talent for your agency: Millennials

Millennials (or Generation Y) are people born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Statistics show that in the near-future, millennials will make up most of the workplace. In fact, these young people are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.

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Most marketing agencies will simply not survive if they don't hire millennials now.

Flexible hours and remote working are becoming more and more common options that are offered in order to win the new generation over.

In addition to remote working, young people love technology. For many, it's an absolute must that the agency they work for has the right types of software tools or gadgets. As older generations begin to retire and the younger workforce steps in to fill their shoes, it’s important that a marketing agency is equipped to attract and retain this millennial talent. Whether you want it or not, it means shaping business environments and agency processes to suit their needs and expectations.

The new workforce not only expects change (because they are used to it), they actually make the change happen. And it is one more reason to hire them. They are often the driving force behind the technology progress, they are in charge of the changes, and they're the consumers who need the advances. It results in new devices, apps and technology that not only offers flexibility and better communication but also allows each to manage day-to-day marketing agency’s tasks more easily and effectively.

Millennials can pick up new technologies quickly. They expect frequent and the latest updates of software and services, and are able to stay on top of the changes easily. But it is not only the latest technology that young people want.

Below are a few options to consider for your next hires.

What millennials look for in work

1. Purpose - Young people are more likely to take a job that gives them a sense of meaning. Having a strong brand and culture helps attract millennials to your marketing agency and will keep them engaged. It must have a clearly articulated mission that includes a higher purpose than simply maximizing profitability.

It is also important for agencies to promote health and wellness of consumers and employees, as well as encourage environment care. For example, it can be a good idea to celebrate Earth day in the office with organic foods or implementing a recycling policy.

2. Skill development - A job that helps develop and grow useful skills attracts millennials. Their desire to learn and grow is an important trait that separates young people from past generations in the workforce. Regular training for employees and new skills that are useful for marketers,  will be much more appreciated and should be mentioned during the hiring process.

3. Coaching - The younger workforce wants their managers to be more supportive and developmental (who wouldn’t?!). Training and one-on-ones with the manager should help a millennial employee feel engaged with the organisation.

4. Feedback - Millennials appreciate regular feedback that helps them evolve. Feeding back criticisms and timely praise will ensure young people stay motivated and engaged. For this, regular meetings are needed - both one-to-one and for teams.

5. Work-life balance - Instead of separating work and personal life, this generation believes that their job isn’t just a career, it’s their life, too. Millennials need positions that integrate into their personal schedules easily. Flexible hours and remote work possibilities are usually very attractive options.

6. The desire to collaborate - Millennials are team-oriented. They enjoy not only working with teammates but also building friendships with their co-workers. This has been a rising change for marketing agencies who create open concept offices and build collaboration spaces. Regular team-building activities will help keep spirits high and encourage collaboration.

7. Social connection - Young people often judge a company by their social media presence, and will not interact with a company that, for example, has a poorly managed Facebook account. Use social media to post and promote job openings and the vision and values of your organisation, letting millennials know not only what you want from them but also what they can expect from you and your marketing agency. In this way, you are more likely to attract the best candidates.

8. Automation - Technology has become completely integrated into the everyday life of millennials. They no longer ask for sufficient technology at their jobs; they expect it. Often, this expectation has been wrongly labelled “entitlement”. In reality, it is often caused by millennials’ desire to have the tools they need to do their job efficiently. Less mundane, manual work, more time for creativity. How to achieve it? Automate!

One good example of such a mundane task that should be automated is regular client reporting.

Working hours should not be wasted on manually building reports for clients, they should be filled with interesting creative work - building strategies, tweaking marketing tactics, designing campaigns. Of course, unfortunately, there is always the need for some routine daily work. But if you don't minimize it by automating client reporting, you will see young people leaving your business and joining competition who got that balance right.

Selecting the right tool is also important. For example, using Octoboard - an automation platform for marketing agencies worldwide - and mention the fact during an interview, you'd likely 'sell' your job position to the candidate much better.

Octoboard dashboard to attract millennialsIf you show how report automation works (a few printouts of a screenshot would do) you will impress your future millennial employee. It will demonstrate that your agency is trying hard to replace routine work with something more interesting and creative - just like any young person would.

Understanding how to engage young professionals can be difficult because they are changing the rules right now. Companies must learn to play by new rules or risk losing out the bright and creative millennial workforce. Be prepared to let the change in and offer your potential candidates more freedom, flexibility and, above all, modern automation tools to attract them to your business and attain them as loyal employees to lead your business into the future.

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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