Close this search box.
Close this search box.

How Companies are Successfully Attracting and Retaining Millennials

Companies are finding increasingly creative ways to attract and retain millennials—while not forgetting to offer the essentials, such as a decent paycheck.

GettyImages-481292765-compressor“Old-school” tech giants like GE and IBM are investing heavily in “employer branding” to better market themselves to younger workers as proven “purpose-driven” organizations.

The company started by running a TV ad campaign encouraging millennials to give the “digital industrial” giant a second look. The ad worked and visits to the GE career site went up eightfold. Then IBM, with the aid of recruitment firm Uncubed, created videos “in which pierced-nose, flannel-clad hipsters talk about working at Big Blue,” helping the firm land 73 new engineers.

Career consultant Elaine Varelas has said companies can avoid claims of age discrimination by not targeting younger generations outright, but more subtly by focusing on specific media channels they’re likely to frequent, such as virtual job fairs, watching videos about companies they like on LinkedIn or Facebook, or seeing messages on Twitter from people they follow. Recruitment messages, she said, should focus on the specific skills required for the job and the kind of potential candidate who is most likely to be a good fit based on that.

“Companies should target specific skills and appropriate media outlets rather than focusing on the millennial age group outwardly.

In addition, employers wanting millennial workers should focus on instilling a healthy culture—which means not having unsupportive colleagues, excessively demanding bosses or constant ill-treatment, all of which can increase risk of heart disease, depression and high blood pressure.

Employers such as payments company Yapstone have implemented well-being initiatives, such as flexible time off policies that give employees “the trust and freedom” to manage their own time off. Millennials also are attracted to employers that provide training, fun perks and the ability to work from home.

Some companies like social media research firm Fizziology give their employees yearly stipends to travel—and not just for business meetings, but to find “inspiration,” according to speaker and workshop facilitator Stan Phelps. Then, after an experience staying in an Airbnb, employees give presentations at an all-staff meeting. Fizziology founders Ben Carlson and Jen Handley told Phelps that the program has engendered loyalty and a sense of gratitude among the team, and as a result, no one has left the Indianapolis company in two-and-a-half years—a rarity for many millennials.

Of course, companies wanting to attract younger people should never forget the biggest recruitment tool: offering a substantial market value salary “that reflects not only who they are, but who they might become” via a robust training and development program.

A key point to remember, however, is that millennials aren’t that different from older workers. Everyone wants to be treated well and fairly, work at something that is fulfilling and enjoyable, and to be made to feel “like partners in the company they work for, not just like hired hands.”


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.