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How to attract and retain millennials in the workplace?

Published September 20, 2022 (last updated on April 19, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

millenial employees meet in workplace

There has never been a more complicated workforce in existence until now. Nearly four generations of employees are co-existing in the workplace. The diverse range of employees can complicate management for employers. This can create struggles in understanding how to communicate and attract diverse talent, especially millennials.  

Workers are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic and using this opportunity to rethink priorities. They are no longer comfortable with the blurring lines of work and personal life. They want a work-life balance and are not afraid to move on from roles or employers that don’t adapt. Understanding the values and motivations of multi-generational employees can help you pivot and adapt. By recognising what drives millennials, you can also gain a competitive advantage while recruiting and hiring.

Defining millennials

From a business perspective, it is explicitly clear that businesses should be able to define millennials.


Born between 1980-1994, millennials were a part of the major generation that became comfortable with the internet and social media. As a result, they are tech-savvy, innovative, and visual learners. They value workplaces that are collaborative and diverse.

Understanding millennials

Millennials are set to make up 75% of the Australian workforce by 2025, which indicates their presence and value to businesses. They are the most racially and ethnically diverse adult generation ever seen in the western world. Older millennials are beginning to progress to senior management and leadership roles. Their approach to employment and career progression is driving a revolution in businesses.  

The perception among other generations about millennials is vague and superficial. Some key facts that can help employers understand generational traits:

  • 73% of millennials report working more than 40 hours per week

  • 28% of millennials are actively seeking a new role

  • 38% of millennials say they would rather be unemployed than be unhappy in a job

  • 48% of millennials wouldn’t accept a job with a business or an employer that doesn’t align with their social values

Attracting and retaining millennials

How can employers become attractive to millennials? In a competitive market already struggling for limited resources, how do you stand out?

52% of Australian CEOs say it’s more difficult than ever to hire in their industry due to a lack of skilled workers.

The first thing to remember is that generational differences do exist. Businesses make the mistake of lumping Millennials and Gen Zs together. They have similar traits, but they are not the same. A one size fits all approach may cause more harm than good while hiring.

Being inclusive

46% of millennials said they wouldn’t work for a business that wasn’t actively trying to be diverse and inclusive. Managers are now working with diverse teams, and they must understand the mindset of each employee to manage them efficiently. If your workplace is inclusive, you have access to a wide range of skills, perspectives, and traits. You also gain a competitive advantage over other businesses as your work culture expands and grows to keep up with the world.

Having a sense of purpose

A bigger cultural shift has been brewing among workers. They want a sense of purpose and values that align with something to make the world a better place. Companies that can capture this essence and offer a valuable sense of purpose to employees will have a higher chance of attracting millennials. But what if your business is without a higher purpose and simply practical or economical?

All jobs are meaningful and have purpose.  What millennials are seeking is a path of progress (within the role). Do their actions have meanings? Is the career path clear and transparent within the organisation? If your employees feel they can apply their skills to solve problems, help consumers, or achieve targets, they can gain a sense of purpose.


Flexibility is more than a buzzword now. It is not even a perk; it is practically a necessity at this point. However, we are talking about organisational flexibility here.  What can you do to help your employees feel supported and do their best? Flexibility also implies considering alternative and innovative strategies to recruit. Is there anybody within your company who can do the job instead of a new hire? Are you willing to upskill and train your existing employees? Do you conduct exit interviews to understand motivations of employees who leave? Companies that use regular surveys, check-ins, and also rely on feedback to understand employee morale can be prepared for any situation.

Organisational flexibility is the need of the hour for small business owners who need a stable workforce and skilled staff.

What can we do for you?

Employsure has worked with 30,000 businesses across Australia and New Zealand. We understand the daily challenges affecting small business owners and employers. We can support you with advice, documentation, contracts, and work health and safety. Call our 24/7 Advice line today to get all your tricky questions answered.

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