Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Why Can’t You Attract + Retain Millennial Talent?

As baby boomers retire and foreign workers leave the UK it’s never been more vital to attract millennials to work for you. But younger workers are disloyal, unproductive, social misfits, right?


The Millennial Problem


The media have a love-hate relationship with millennials (people born 1980-1995). Their tech habits are marvelled at (with some derision), while they’re dubbed everything from disloyal to oversensitive snowflakes. Problem is as the UK workforce continues to age and then retire, more workplaces are realising that their business futures lie in the hands of these same millennials – not just as consumers but as employees.


Cue: panic. In fact one 2018 survey found that the millennial recruitment, retention and productivity problem is seen as the biggest threat to the workplace by nearly two-thirds (63%) of employers. So what’s all the fuss about?


Who are Millennials really?


Yes, predictions claim that millennial employees will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, but the term itself is a sweeping generalisation referring to anyone aged between about 23 and 38 (in 2019). That’s men, women, parents, graduates, and more.


So, let’s get a bit of perspective here and look at some popular workplace complaints often attributed to this particular cohort:

  • Millennials are job hoppers
  • Millennials are demanding and lazy
  • Millennials lack key skills – like communication


Millennials are Job Hoppers


Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey claimed that well over a third (43%) of millennials were considering leaving their current job in the next two years. What’s more, only 26% planned on staying for over 5 years. Stats like these make employers uneasy. And, with the average cost of employee turnover (based on the average UK salary) at around £11,000 per person, it’s no surprise! But remember, some staff churn is natural, if not necessary for business health.


On the other hand, something is going wrong for many millennial employees. The term: “Why do we work so hard just to die?” was searched about 2,200 times in the UK in 2017, according to employee engagement platform Perkbox. Not great, eh!? So, how do you retain your millennial talent?


Angel Solution


A good place to start is to understand why people are leaving your organisation. That sounds like an oxymoron, but letting people leave without an effective exit interview will cost you both money and valuable knowledge. Knowing where your business could be lacking in the eyes of your employees will help you not just recruit better, but retain great employees longer.


Combine this with the support of a consultant who really understands the demands of your sector – ideally because they’ve worked in the industry themselves like our Angel consultants – and you’ll be best placed to start attracting and retaining the right millennial talent for your business.


Millennials are Demanding & Lazy


While productivity has slowed in most western economies since 2008 a recent FT report emphasises: “But Britain’s slowdown has been more dramatic … . Annual growth in productivity has plummeted from average annual rates of about 2.3 per cent before the collapse of Lehman Brothers to 0.4 per cent in the past decade.”


The reasons are numerous, but easy answers make media headlines. Economist Douglas McWilliams, author of Flat White Economy, told The Times that nearly a quarter of the UK’s productivity problem is down to millennials’ desire for work-life balance and the rise in the so-called lifestyle economy.


But, look a little deeper and you’ll see what most people are really asking for is flexibility. As HSBC’s recent productivity study shows:

  • Almost one-in-five (18%) cited a poor work-life balance as the reason for leaving their last job – more than limited opportunities for a pay rise!
  • Yet, less than a third (30%) of UK businesses offer flexible working to their employees!


Is your inflexible approach driving staff away?


Angel Solution


Realise wanting flexibility isn’t just a whim. Older millennials are often working parents, so the desire for remote working or part-time hours is a necessary part of life as a working family. While for the younger, digital native, millennial working on the move wherever, whenever is a fact of life many employers haven’t yet caught up with.


Increased flexibility – for both candidates and employers – is just one reason we’ve created Angel Angel Academy of Excellence (AAE), a rewarding progression scheme designed to attract, retain and employ the very best people who want to work on temporary contracts.


Dependent on a combination of client feedback and our ongoing assessments AAE cultivates temporary candidates with the very specific skills and capabilities your business needs, while employees get the purpose, flexibility and ongoing development they crave.


Millennials Lack Key Skills – like, communication


The pervasive idea that millennials lack key work skills is compounded by the likes of the Barclays Lifeskills 2018 study which found:

  • Only 4 in 10 millennials (25-34) were able to display all of the core skills needed for the future world of work – the worst rate of all the generations!


While a Bank of America report recently claimed that nearly four in 10 millennials (39%) say they interact more with their smartphones than they do with their significant others, parents, friends, children or, yes, co-workers.


But are workplaces doing enough to really interact with their millennial cohort? A recent survey by TechSmith revealed that:

  • Millennials are twice as likely to want to use more visual communication methods at work compared to baby boomers.


Younger people are using screen-based tools to communicate in their own time and most platforms, from Instagram to Facebook, use large amounts of visual content, yet many workplaces are doing what they’ve always done.


As the CEO of TechSmith says: “With millennials making up the largest generation in the workforce and Generation Z now moving through organisations too, it’s time leaders sat up and adapted to their new, image-hungry audiences.”


Angel Solution


The millennial candidates with the skills you want are screen-friendly, which is why it’s vital to utilise more visual communication tools, like video, to reach them. And, that means incorporating these technologies into your recruitment process.



Millennials want to work for a company that make a difference to those they are supporting and to gain additional interest within on the vacancies you have create a specially designed brand video that shows what your company is all about. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become the next YouTube pro. Angel’s recruitment video solutions are designed to showcase your opportunities in a way which speaks directly to those elusive millennial candidates you’ve been looking for.



An ideal way to speed up the recruitment but still ensuring you are as thorough as you need to be is to adopt video interviewing. Candidate videos allow time-poor employers, like you, to get a more effective feel for potential hires than the traditional CV or application could ever give. So, it’s a win-win! Angel have a system that would streamline this process and take that responsibility off your shoulders, we can make it complete bespoke to your interviewing method so that nothing gets missed.


What Now?


Understanding the needs of your workforce is essential to thriving in this ever-changing climate. And, implementing more ways to attract and retain millennial employees is key to your future success.


Above are just a few ways we can help employers, like you, attract millennial talent to work for them. Choose Angel HR and your designated consultant can advise you on all aspects of creating a solid dream team – from that initial job ad to onboarding, training, and beyond.


Contact your local branch to discover how we can help your business, recruit better, save unnecessary expense, and become more millennial friendly today.