Building Capacity By Attracting Millennials

August 14, 2015  |  Future of HR, Technology Disruption

A lot of conversations have been had regarding the millennial generation, the brilliant, selfies-taking generation raised on the comforts of technology and the discomforts of a hyper-connected world that renders privacy all but a thing of the past. The next generation of the workforce, many articles have been written about what motivates them and how to attract them into your workplace. The future capacity of every company depends upon their drive and determination, yet they seem mercurial and hard to attract. Exactly what can bring them into your company?

Well, it’s as easy (or, not really that easy, to be honest): look at the top companies where they want to work: Google, Microsoft rank highly overall, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ernst and Young excel for business students. The threads that connect them might seem a bit simple: large corporate entities, lots of money in the coffers, stock options, and powerful brand names. But look a bit deeper, and you’ll see there are two common threads, recently identified in a piece on Bloomberg BusinessWeek: purpose and a chance to innovate.

This is the shift that needs to be made to attract this brilliant generation of tech-savvy world travelers.

If you stop to look at what you can offer your current employees, how often does the word “innovation” come up? I’m not talking about creative problem solving; I’m speaking of a larger opportunity to craft something from nothing, a product that has never existed before, and a solution that seems groundbreaking and not even a little scary. Putting this generation into cubicles punching the same time clock position all day, miring them in monotony is not going to get it. It won’t suffice with companies big and small giving them a chance to show what they can do, clearing a pathway for them to come in and contribute by changing the game. Try to release the reins a bit and give them a chance to create something great. They’re driven by innovation. Give it to them.

They’re also driven by purpose. This isn’t a generation that’s appeased by a paycheck. They’re frugal. They don’t want the debt of their parent’s generation so they’re more financially agile. They won’t stay at that desk silently suffering so they can put food on the table. They’ll leave and look for an opportunity to change the world. We must give them a purpose greater than profits and job stability. What causes are supported by your company? How will your work change the world for the better? Are your employees contributing something greater to the next generation? Think on this before your next recruiting efforts.

In my forthcoming book, Unleashing Capacity: The Hidden Human Resources, I speak a lot about building capacity, the ability for a company to move beyond mere profits and into longevity and powerhouse branding. The ability to build such corporate agility lies squarely with our ability to attract this generation of workers. Innovation, purpose, creativity, and contribution: these are the factors we must proactively inculcate into our cultures now.  We must pave the path and create the workplace of the future, for Millennials are the way to our next decade of corporate greatness.


Rita Trehan is the Founder and Principal of Rita Trehan, LLC, a change management and leadership advisory firm focused on corporate leadership, emerging technology, and cutting-edge organizational design. As a seasoned top executive that has successfully transformed organizations at the Fortune 200 and beyond, she has extensive experience working with CEOs and top corporate management on process and organizational improvement for maximum profitability. A soon-to-be published author, Rita regularly speaks at industry conferences around the world. You can contact Rita on twitter at @rita_trehan and connect with her via LinkedIn. Rita’s blog can be found at

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