You can’t attract 21st-century employees with 20th-century strategies, says Tracy Brown, president of Diversity Trends L.L.C., a Dallas, Texas, consulting firm. At the 2007 National Symposium of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Brown outlined the characteristics, key interests and concerns of under-30-year-olds (Generation Y) in a presentation titled “High Tech & High Touch: Attracting & Retaining Millennial Employees.” 

WHAT THEY LIKE:

Multimedia Internet: process, research, culture. Text messaging. Paperless process. Podcast. Social networks.   

Money: Now and lots of it; I deserve it. Can leverage less money with greater time flexibility. Frequent salary increases (or bonuses or awards).   

Make Me Feel Special: Personalized recruitment materials. Maximum communication. Minimize forms. Include my parents in the process. Inquire about my unique talents and interests and show me how I can work in your organization and use/enjoy same.   

Mentor Me: Mentor me through the process with a step-by-step guide. Don’t assume I know about résumés, what questions to ask, etc. Explain what to expect and what you expect of me. Involve my parents in a mentoring way.   

WHAT THEY WANT:

Respect Want, expect and need options. Flexible scheduling to respect personal priorities. No parent-to-child conversations; treat as a partner.    

Responsibility Movement (up, down or sideways). Opportunity to have tangible impact.

Creativity and Innovation Do something new or revamp something old.   

Recognition High-potential tracking. Mentoring one-on-one. Make it clear that you think I am special. Lots of personal (and personalized) feedback.   

Resources Provide me with technology I need.  Access to information and people must be easy, direct and no hassle. Just-in-time access — especially to data or info.