How to ensure that millennials want to work for your law firm

Who are millennials, why are they said to be different and what can you do to ensure that they want to come and work for you?

Alternatively called “Generation Y”, the “Net Generation” or (rather less kindly) “Generation Me”, millennials are those born in the years between the early 1980s and the mid/late 1990s or those who reached adulthood in the early years of the 21stcentury.

According to Metro journalist Aisling Moloney: “Millennials are often cited as being more self-assured than past generations, they will also have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a healthy work-life balance and socially liberal views”. And, crucially, they belong to the generation that’s “most familiar with communications, media and digital technology”.

Attracting millennials

Millennials are believed to have entirely different workplace wants, needs and expectations, which can create challenges for employers. According to a 2017 Mail Online report by Antonia Hoyle, millennials are thought to be the “most entitled and egotistical [generation] to date”.

Others provide a less damning view, drawing attention to the potential business benefits of employing millennials. They’re said to be highly motivated, creative and more fierce advocates of employers they enjoy working for (among many other benefits).

 So, what does you law firm have to do to attract millennials? According to the WhatIs.com website: “The bring-your-own device trend is at least in part a reaction to the millennials’ near-addiction to mobile devices.”

If your law firm doesn’t allow BYOD, it’s unlikely to impress your average millennial. They favour technology-enabled working environments, mobile access from any device, modern communication and information technology that enables them to perform their duties as effortlessly as possible. They expect instant access to data, minimal admin and software that facilitates their desire to continually be proactive.

Satisfaction guaranteed

Furthermore, according to WhatIs.com: “Workplace satisfaction matters more than money and [a more favourable] work-life balance is essential. [Millennials] are less likely to put up with an unpleasant work environment – and much more likely to use social networking to broadcast their concerns”.

Millennials seek “long-term stability” in their careers – despite their “job-hopper” reputation. And according to UndercoverRecruiter.com article – 7 Most Wanted Work Benefits to Attract Millennials – traditional benefits such as pensions, company cars and bonuses simply don’t float their boat.

Millennials also “want to learn and grow as much as possible”, which is why they favour employers that invest in their training and development. By “implementing training programs, mentorships and team building courses, with the scope for promotions, you could attract the most ambitious millennials,” it argues.

Pull factors

Other pull factors include “social events and fun experiences”, flexible working (“the rigid constraints of 9-5 doesn’t resonate as well with a generation [that] champions freedom and individualism”), trust in their decisions and ability, help to repay their student loans and more days off (“millennials have a zest for adventure”).

They also want to work in a “positive social environment that blends the professional with the personal”. Millennials are reported to have a firm interest in preventative health (employer investments in this go down well). And with 20 per cent of millennials believed to suffer from depression, free mental health support from employers also “resonates well”.

Whether you’re sold on the business benefits of employing millennials or not, accountancy firm Deloitte predicts they will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. If you haven’t already, maybe you should take steps now to ensure millennials want to work for your law firm.

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