Millennial Disrupters: How Businesses Can Attract and Retain Young Talent

Last month, the publication of the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey revealed that younger workers expect businesses to provide training to ready them for  Industry 4.0,  in the midst of their own uncertainties about corporate ethics. So how can businesses better support, train and retain key talents to benefit everyone?

How can businesses attract and retain millennial talent

Insights into the Millennial workforce

Businesses seeking to attract and retain millennial talent will be interested to read the findings of this year’s 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey. Young talent dubbed Millennials and Generation Z , born between 1980-2000 and 1995-2012 respectively , are expectant that their employers not only facilitate change but prepare them adequately to work with new technologies. Of the 10,455 millennials and 1,844 Gen Z respondents surveyed over half were enticed by employment that prioritised diversity, flexibility and culture. Younger workers, the survey found, are not anxious about ‘wide -scale change because of Industry 4.0’, but rather are anxious that businesses help them develop the skills they need. Also apparent in the survey was how negatively young employees feel about the motivations and ethics of the corporate sector.

technology, Training and Talent Retention

Ron Alsop, author of ‘The Trophy Kids Grow Up’ has advised employers that today ‘they cannot afford to ignore millennials because of the imminent need for talent to replace retiring baby boomers’. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce. Businesses that are slow to recognise this will fall behind. The annual PWC CEO survey this year found an increase in how threatened CEO’s feel about talent supply problems, rising from 31% in 2017 to 38% in 2018. For corporate companies thinking strategically, not having the right talent to execute key goals is a huge anxiety.

So, for employers dipping into the Millennial talent pool, the adoption of more digital technologies is a smart move. 75% of these young employees believe that access to technology makes them more effective at work. With the business landscape changing dramatically and strong evidence from surveys that Millennials are constantly considering new opportunities, talent retention is imperative. Key data suggests that almost 50% of young talent value training and development as an incentive to stay with their current company.

The GAME CHangers

But for employers who wish to harness the energy and zeal of their young employees it be may be necessary first to understand what makes them tick. Millennials are the first generation of digital natives. Their knowledge and equally their dependence on technology is striking. American researchers  from the Millennial wing of the Pew Research Centre, have found in 2018 that 92% of  Millennials own smartphones, with 97% using the internet daily. With a strong penchant for immediacy they are also much more likely to multitask while online.  For these digital natives it is unsurprising that they place a great deal of emphasis on using technology at work as 66% of young employees say they consider state-of-the-art-technology is important to them when considering an employer.

Academics agree that for younger workers the draw of a flexible career path is very important as they prioritise ‘work-life balance’ in comparison to older colleagues who prioritise their career. In the workplace Millennials value openness and frequent communication with their supervisors and research has pointed to their dependence on affirmation in the workplace, to the extent that it can feel burdensome for management. They also prefer to work in teams as they  enjoy doing so and also because they prefer to avoid taking risks at work.


For employers faced with talent shortages, recruiting energetic Millennial disrupters is imperative. So is understanding expectations of many Millennials, who value speed, efficiency and ease their concerns and needs. Businesses who embrace digital innovation can satiate the in their working environments.

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