The Millennial Problem: attracting and retaining the best talent

You’re probably familiar with the term ‘Millennial’. It’s being thrown around a lot nowadays to reflect the generational shift in workforces, as companies bid farewell to the ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Gen X’ and welcome in their place a generation who’ve grown up in the midst of the digital revolution which has sparked video games, advanced personal computers and the advent of the smart phone.

Just as smart phones have given Millennials real-time control over virtually every digital aspect of their lives, so this generation seeks greater control over – and greater fluidity in – their working lives and careers. A recent study by Deloitte[i] found that Millennials often put their personal values and development ahead of their organisations’ goals.

This in turn means that, whereas older generations were typically loyal to the same organisation for many years, Millennials are much more likely to up sticks and leave if they don’t feel satisfied or fulfilled in their current job. By 2020, it’s expected that Millennials will make up 50% of the global workforce[ii], but that by this point, 2/3 will have moved on from their present role. Even more disconcerting is that only 16% of Millennial employees see themselves as still employed with their current company a decade from now[iii]. If our calculations are correct, that’s a lot of job switching and shifting!

For recruiters and employers, the Millennial problem is a double-edged sword. Millennials’ increased affluence and career ambitions mean that it’s crucial that recruiters and businesses focus on attracting the best talent to maintain a competitive advantage. But that’s no guarantee that this talent will stay where it is. To prevent their Millennial employees from seeking opportunities elsewhere, employers have to make sure they also up their employee engagement game. But how can they score a winning point?

It goes without saying that specific candidates will either desire to work in, or be good at performing in, specific roles, and that the prerogative of the recruiter or employer is to find the perfect match between the two. This means there’s one obvious answer to both attracting Millennial employment and making sure it sticks around afterwards – and it’s to understand why a particular candidate may be suited to a certain role or environment.

This is most commonly achieved through examining a candidate’s employment history – but although this is the most widely-used method, it’s not the only one available.

Understanding what motivates and drives individuals’ behaviour could also prove useful. We all have unique desires – Unconscious Motivators – which influence how we communicate in, behave in and respond to certain interactions and situations. Since the workplace is all about communication, interaction and adapting to many different situations, our Unconscious Motivators are a key part of how we perform at work.

When our Unconscious Motivators are satisfied, we work in Best Self, and we’re productive and motivated. Judging a candidate based on their work history, skills and capabilities is all well and good – until you find that their Unconscious Motivators aren’t being met, and they’re consequently totally disengaged in their job and act in unproductive Shadow behaviour. Making sure they’re right for the job in terms of both skill and motivation is crucial, but the second is often overlooked.

PRINT lays bare individuals’ Unconscious Motivators so that you can see how a certain candidate might fit best with a specific job role. Understanding what motivates people by having candidates take part in the PRINT survey can ensure that you know how to engage them in their roles – so they won’t abandon them any time soon.

You can attract and retain the best new talent using PRINT. The PRINT survey has had a dramatic impact improving hiring outcomes and reducing hiring costs, an example being enabling a global company to cut recruiting costs by 50% (The Paul Hertz Group).


For more information on how PRINT could benefit yourself or your organisation, email, visit our website and social media (Facebook: @discoveryourprint,Twitter: @Discover_Print, LinkedIn: Print Profile Ltd) or sign up to our mailing list. If you’d like to bring PRINT’s benefits to organisations and businesses, we offer Accreditation courses enabling in-house coaches and learning & development professionals to become certified PRINT coaches.


[i] Deloitte (2016). The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey: Winning over the next generation of leaders. [Online]. Available from:

[ii] pwc (2011). Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace. [Online]. Available from:

[iii] Deloitte (2016). The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey: Winning over the next generation of leaders. [Online]. Available from: