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The 5 Things Gen Y Really Care About in a Job

Millennials crave purpose, growth and connection, and it has to be real.
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Most companies haven’t thought much about what our young generation really cares about, yet the best companies on the planet LOVE young talent who are on purpose and have a sense of urgency to their life. Everything has changed, and what it took to thrive five years ago doesn’t work anymore. The problem for business lays in attracting that young talent and keeping them. Up to 60 percent of millennials leave companies they work for within three years because “it’s not a good cultural fit.”

Related: How Retailers Can Recruit and Retain Millennials (Infographic)

Companies don’t succeed, people do. Without the right people your business won't reach its full potential but there are reliable tools and strategies that consistently attract top-notch talent.

1. Dynamic culture. Culture doesn’t just eat strategy for lunch, it devours it. When you have the right culture, you don’t have to persuade anybody to do anything. You have be strategic but your culture defines your company.

A meaningful mission isn’t optional anymore. Plans are failing left and right while movements are thriving. Gen Y wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves, with a tremendous upside. Your entire organization, from the CEO to the new representative, should know what the company's purpose and mission. Most companies don’t, and it’s hindering their ability to attract top tier talent. You cannot unify everyone’s thoughts, but you can unify everyone around a common goal.

2. Community and networking opportunities. People will quit a job but they won’t quit a relationship.

Our survey of more than 250 very qualified, young professionals from our Game Changers Academy made it very clear they choose a company to elevate their networks and join a dynamic community.  Networking is more important than it’s ever been. Companies that make networking a part of their community attract exceptional young talent. When you attract people who are driven by purpose instead of money, it creates a very strong bond within the organization.

3.Relevance and innovation. If you’re still trying to recruit people from Craigslist versus LinkedIn, there is a problem.

Millennials want to express their creative genius, share their ideas and have the latest technology at their disposal. Google recently was swamped by a record 75,000 applications for 6,000 openings. That's more than twice the 35,000 applications Harvard received this past year (also a record). Why? Because Google is relevant, encourages networking with other brilliant minds, has built an amazing culture and values innovation. There are reasons why they are the best.

 Is your company relevant  to the new economy? Is your company innovative? Do you take ideas from your employees? If your answer is "no'' to any of these questions, you might be on your way towards extinction. 

Related: Want to Nab Top, Young Talent? Millennial-Proof Your Office

4. Is it a catalyst? Gen Y can tell if you have their best interest in mind.

A lot of companies churn and burn through people, focusing on recruiting instead of developing to the highest level the people they already have. Retention of young super stars begins when you genuinely show them you have their best interest in mind. We have retained people for years by pledging to them, “This can be a catalyst to your future, and whether you’re part of our team for six months or 10 years we want to make sure you get the best experience possible, and use this opportunity to develop yourself so you can catapult yourself into your greatest contributions.”

Don’t be afraid to lose people. When your good people leave, do everything you can to help them in their next venture. You will create passionate advocates who will promote your amazing company to their circle of influence. Fall in love with your people, not your company or product, because it’s the people who bring a company to excellence.

People want experience that stands out, potential to create an amazing lifestyle with flexibility and freedom, financial freedom and a chance to build real wealth, and amazing memories and life long relationships.

5. Integrity and congruence from the leaders. Is what’s promoted in your marketing material congruent to the interview and actual opportunity? One of the biggest reasons for bad retention is expectations of the team member not being met or something being falsely promoted or exaggerated.

Leaders lose trust and respect quickly when they aren't doing what they promote. If you promote being on time but show up late, credibility is lost. Millennials have acute “BS meters.” Inauthenticity doesn’t set well with them. They need a clear advancement path. The "A'' players will eventually leave if they see a dead end. Don’t treat your top performers the same as your low performers. Put incentives in place based on results, innovation and work ethic, NOT age.

There has never been a better time in the history of our economy to create businesses that matter. There are so many hungry millennials striving to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It takes the purpose driven and innovative companies to attract these talented people. Remember, if you don’t adjust accordingly, you’ll end up like Blockbuster.

Related: Why Millennials Are Immature, Entitled and the Best Hire