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Win the battle for the Top Millennials Talents

Marek Balis is attracting, hiring, and developing top talents on a global scale. Marek talent expertise and experience comes from Coca Cola HBC, Telefónica, IBM and Accenture. Marek shared with us his experience in acquiring and retaining top Millennial Talents.



Mr. Marek Balis smiling in and sitting on the bench


Q: Attracting, hiring, and retaining top Millennials Talents is a frequent topic on professional forums. How to win the battle for the talents of the millennial generation?

I'm mentoring and coaching the Millennials, and I am supporting startups founded by Millennials. I think the reality may differ a little. Of course, companies must start to #reinvent themselves and become #attractive to this generation. A typical Millennial generation candidate wants to work for a perfect organizational culture and is therefore not satisfied with ordinary advertising on a job board or advertising on networks. Of course, they want more. They do not have confidence in classical recruitment methods. They want to know that they are in high demand, and therefore they are interested in being "hunted "by the companies.


Q: Many companies, in the fight for Talent, focus mainly on attracting and hiring top talents. It this enough ?

I often get this question as a Talent Manager and Talent hunter. It's not just about hiring Talents but also #retaining #Talents in the company. Today, it depends on how the Talent connects with its overall ecosystem - organizational culture. Of course, the #Leader plays a significant role here, and the mutual "chemistry" between the Leader and the Talent. In the age of information technologies, much information, even professional information, is freely available on the Internet. To #cultivate Talents, it is vital whether the Leader can #motivate the Talent and how the Leader can put all this information into practice.


Q: Is there a best practice you can share on how to attract and retain the Millennials?

Offer fascinating job and fair reward. In short, this could be called one of the six ways that I will develop in a moment. The company leadership must ask itself which department is ready for this generation. Recruit Millennials to departments with little motivation and where the Manager doesn't even have time for himself? It's not a good idea. The best approach is to explore the employee satisfaction survey and recruit #Millennials to those departments with #highly #motivated and #engaged people.


Q: Is the Millennial generation that different?

When you think about them, they are not as different as we are. Many companies say that it is challenging to retain this generation of employees, that it desires career promotions but is not willing to invest enough time in it.


We should offer Millennials the #opportunity to work on real projects. Stop sending them to various expensive and often inefficient training. After all, the very principle of education and development says that we acquire 70% of knowledge on the job. We should allow #Millennials to become part of the project teams. From my personal experience, several generations working together as one team can create exciting products or services much better. Often, the Millennials bring innovations, and older generations help them get to know the corporate world and its complexity.


However, I also have a much more #straightforward guide on how to involve the Millennial generation in real business and retain them. Recently, I talked to a successful leader who regularly (once a week) organizes meetings with his team. He leads a large group of the Millennial generation, frequently analyzes what has happened in a given week. From a positive perspective and also areas where there is an opportunity for improvement. Including his performance. The Millennial generation and the others greatly appreciate his #transparent approach and #immediate #feedback. Everyone wants to be in the picture and have the opportunity to express their opinion or ask a question. Let's involve the millennial generation in the business.


Q: Traditional organizational hierarchy. Transparency. How does these influence the Millennial generation?

An important chapter is #transparency. The Millennials are highly skilled with the newest technologies. Then why not bring already approved information for your younger employees through modern corporate social networks such as Yammer or others?


Millennials are sensitive to the hierarchy. Of course, this does not mean, for example, in banking, that all banks will start behaving like Zappos, which has abolished all managerial positions based on a new phenomenon – the holocracy. Unlike the standard corporate hierarchy system, holocracy allows employees to act as #entrepreneurs and manage their work #independently instead of reporting to managers who manage their work and set goals for them. But what any organization can do is that its #CEO will also use its social network for a regular blog. For example, the CEO will have breakfast from his trainees (often university graduates from 0 to 2 years of experience).


I also see a certain laxity here. Executive managers are often invisible in ​​the active support of startups or education. I can also often see the naive ideas of our university students about the reality of the corporate environment. In the past, I have continually supported implementing the concept of ​​a semester program managed directly by senior management. We #connected the academic and corporate world and created post-semester projects and job offers for the most skilled graduates.


Q: Startups. How to help the Millennials running their first startup?

I would recommend #mentoring from senior managers. Their #knowledge and #experience can help startup companies #progress and develop new products or services, for example, banking services. Honestly, many companies now provide various financial grants or know-how, but I do not know any bank that would offer a startup a banking or investment advisor. My personal experience from Wayra CEE (startup incubator) is that most startups would welcome financial advisor support.



Mr. Balis in the suit explaining how to attract the Millenials
Q: How does the Millennial generation perceive the Employer brand?

This generation believes the brand has to have a purpose and a positive impact on society. Being number one on the market for this generation does not mean the same as for previous generations. Perhaps because this generation has seen the "fall" of large brands such as Kodak, these brands have accompanied the older generations at every turn. Grab the Millennials' attention with your #story. Why should they be interested in you? An inspiring story about your brand's business success can be more attractive to them than the media's statements about uncertainty in the labor market or the general business.


Q: Is the Employer branding a new HR domain?

Let's be honest. There are not too many HR Marketing experts. This area should be in the company's interest. #HR, #marketing, #communication, #external_relations, and others should work together.


Q: Can a strong brand win the battle for Millennial Talent?

Being a #successful and very well recognized #brand does not mean that you are an employer of #choice for the Millennials. Of course, you have a higher chance. Still, without an excellent organizational culture and "enlightened" leadership that leads to its positive impact and can share its success in the #digital world, it will not work. You need inspiring leaders, an innovative approach to HR, and engaged people to build a strong Employer brand.


Thank you Marek.


About Mr. Balis


Marek Balis is an experienced Human resources expert with extensive talent acquisition, people development, talent engagement, and retention expertise across geographies. Marek worked at Coca Cola HBC, Telefónica, IBM, and Accenture. Marek is a certified executive coach. He co-piloted projects in Europe, Qatar, Brazil, and the US. Marek holds a Master's in Human Resources at the King's College in London. He graduated in international management from the University of Ottawa in Canada.



A series of MENITY Leaders Talk interviews.

Interview with Mr. Balis by Mr. Janik, a partner at MENITY.

Pictures © MENITY.