Career

Four Ways to Attract Millennial Talent in a Digital Economy

11 April, 2019
  • Nuno Gomes

    Principal, Talent Business Leader Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Mercer

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“To retain talent, companies need to offer a wholesome experience, sense of purpose, well-being, a differentiated career, and competitive compensation & benefits.”

The UAE is going through a transformative phase. The 2021 Vision has chartered a plan to diversify the economy and move away from oil dependency1. Automation and new technology is a crucial part of this vision. This imperative is driving the advancement of digital technologies, big data and machine learning across the country.

As a result, organizations have been investing heavily in technology to stay ahead of the competition. The increase in digitization has created a demand for relevant skills, resulting in a surge of new jobs in the field.

In a region where 60 percent of the population is young, traditional and new companies in the GCC are increasingly asking how they can tap into this technology-savvy demographic while competing against tech giants and disruptors globally.

We’ve seen a big shift in the expectations and career goals of the workforce over the years. Previous generations tend to place a higher value on security and tradition while millennials and Gen Y are more motivated by personal happiness, achieving life aspirations and recognition. Working with a sense of purpose is becoming paramount in employment choices. Autonomy and flexibility are essential to these generations who also place a heavy emphasis on work-life balance.

These employees are increasingly communicative about the expectations of work arrangements and career development. Employers in the UAE and around the world should recognize the importance of these needs to millennials and tailor the culture and career opportunities to meet these needs or risk losing them to the competition.

What are the most important factors that make organizations employers of choice for millennial talent? Here are four we believe are critical.

Keep Your Promises

 

First and foremost, keep your promises. Employers should be accountable for the promises they make during the recruitment process. In today’s world, it’s hard for companies to get away with not delivering on their commitments. Meeting the status-quo isn’t sufficient either. Companies that deliver on valuable experiences, go beyond what they promise, and communicate those actions effectively, find more success in attracting talent in the new age.

Listen (Actively)

 

Just as companies actively listen to customers and design solutions to tackle their issues and needs, they should also be willing to listen and crowdsource ideas from existing employees. What differentiates a talent value proposition from the others is actively engaging current and potential employees to shape the workplace together.

Actively listening and learning also leads to understanding both the surface needs of employees and what drives their behaviors. Companies equipped with this information can identify the right resources in building propositions that support and align with employees’ values and purpose.

Align Value Proposition with Career Interests

 

It is also essential to align the company’s proposition with the career interests of the young workforce, to keep them engaged. HR functions are based on old principles and processes like annual salary reviews and performance cycles. Employers who want to attract millennials must challenge these norms and adopt a more holistic and modern approach to people management.

Create an Open and Diverse Environment

 

Employees also need the freedom to be authentic and creative. A thriving work environment allows employees to bring their true self to the workplace, share ideas openly and deliver their best. They want their voices to be heard and to know that they have made a difference through their work. Presenting them with opportunities that enable this will keep them engaged and motivated.

To successfully retain talent, companies need to offer a wholesome experience – a sense of purpose, well-being, a differentiated career, and competitive compensation and benefits. This must all align with the company’s vision, business strategy and operating model. The millennial population in the UAE is becoming increasingly technologically savvy, globally aware and operationally agile. Creating an effective talent value proposition is crucial for tapping into this talent.

In this rapidly changing landscape and increasingly connected world, the only way to gain a competitive edge is to deliver experiences that are personalized and responsive. A company’s workplace culture and recruitment process can shape its reputation. To stay ahead of the talent game, it’s important to act now, before it’s too late.

To learn more about attracting millennials and adopting more holistic and modern approaches to people management, visit us here.

1https://www.vision2021.ae/en.

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