Attitudes towards business recruitment is changing. Nowadays, millennial and gen Z talent need to be appealed to. One business making this a priority and turning it into a specialist service is Nepturnal.

In this installment of our Business Leaders series, ProfileTree Director Michelle Connolly sits down with Ellie Francis, CEO of Nepturnal, to discuss how millennials are paving new ways for recruitment practices.

To find out more about Ellie’s business insights and solutions, you can watch our full interview below or read on for the highlights.


Nepturnal’s Success Story

Founder Ellie Francis came from a background of studying Law with Marketing and working in corporate and banking industries. From this experience, she decided to take the leap in 2018 to turn her passion project into a business.

“It’s one of those things where you know you have put so much time and effort into the one path, but you get to a stage where you need to give full time to your own business. I could see the issues that my business deals with arising more and more. I just believed that the time was now.”

Millennials in Business - Ellie Francis

Nepturnal was created to solve a problem that Ellie noticed in her industry – high turnover rates among younger staff.

Ellie then made it her mission to consult and train businesses to focus on retaining millennial and gen Z talent.

“We serve our clients by empowering them to implement an organic employer branding strategy which will position them as an employer of choice both to potential and current employees. We help businesses ensure their cost per hire falls, their qualified applicants per hire increase and their retention rates soar.”

With this in mind – how does Ellie achieve this? With her unique understanding of both the business world and being a millennial – she uses her experiences to provide support with the needs of applicants and recruiters at the fore.

“We are a training consultancy firm. We offer two sides – onboarding new joiner training, and emerging leaders training, and senior management training. On the consultant side, we work with the employer brand, engaging millennials and retention.”

ellie francis nepturnal
Ellie Francis found a passion for employee recruitment and most importantly, retainment and now provides training, consulting and support to help businesses constantly appeal to millennials. Image credit: Nepturnal

How Recruitment Has Changed

Reflecting on the differences between past and present recruitment trends, Ellie signals how nowadays it is the complete opposite of what other generations experienced when they were job hunting.

“The market has come full circle. Years ago, there were more people than there were jobs – so if you got a job you were so proud to have it and you didn’t need to create that connection with the company because you automatically wanted to produce results as you were lucky enough to have a job.”

“Whereas now, we are more in a candidate-driven market – there are more jobs than there are people. Companies can’t recruit enough talent. But if your competitor wants to recruit – whoever you are trying to employ has a choice. Ultimately, they will go to the best company with the best employer brand. So companies need to impress talent.”

With this culture shift, it is so important that businesses appeal to candidates, to build hype, drive high application numbers, and get a broad scope of the best potential employees.

Nepturnal’s unique selling point is providing support to the employer to create a more robust brand. This brand is what engages with millenials and forms a desirable ‘culture’ that they want to be a part of. This is because with millenials, the period of time to stay in a business generally caps at eighteen months, incurring high costs for a business.

Within Nepturnal, there is a strong belief in creating an emotional connection between employers and their audiences. Cohesive messaging is important, as it provides a snapshot of how it aligns with certain goals and objectives, making it more appealing than a company that doesn’t have any messaging at all.

nepturnal CEO
The key to staff retention is listening and communicating, states Ellie Francis. Image credit: Nepturnal

How Can Businesses Retain Talent?

Office and company culture is a very important aspect of how businesses can retain millennial talent in their business.

Ellie explains that business culture is changing.

“Millennials are a vocal generation and will share their opinions and thoughts with an employer if asked. Businesses should look inwardly to what they could do differently if they are faced with the challenge of a high staff turnover. At Nepturnal, we always work from the inside out, because in order to create an employer brand, it must first be established within and then marketed more widely.”

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out our full Business Leaders interview with Ellie. Or, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn or else visit the Nepturnal website.

Challenges Faced by Millennials and Gen Z in the Workplace: A Closer Look

Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the workforce, but their journeys aren’t without hurdles. Here’s a deeper dive into the key challenges they face:

Financial Burdens:

  • Student Loan Debt: Both generations grapple with record-high student loan debt, impacting career choices, savings, and homeownership potential, causing stress and frustration.
  • Affordability Concerns: Rising living costs, stagnant wages, and expensive housing markets make financial security a major concern, hindering career advancement and overall well-being.
  • Lack of Financial Literacy: Many young adults lack financial education, making it difficult to manage debt, invest for the future, and make informed financial decisions.

Career Development:

  • Navigating Career Paths: With diverse interests and a desire for meaning and purpose, millennials and Gen Z often struggle to find clear career paths and mentorship opportunities.
  • Rapidly Changing Job Market: The ever-evolving nature of work and evolving skills required can be overwhelming, creating anxieties about adapting and staying relevant.
  • Underemployment and Unskilled Labor: Many skilled young adults find themselves in jobs not utilizing their full potential, leading to dissatisfaction and wasted talent.

Workplace Culture and Values:

  • Work-Life Balance: Both generations prioritize work-life balance, seeking flexibility, remote work options, and boundaries to avoid burnout and prioritize personal well-being.
  • Lack of Meaningful Work: Young workers crave purpose and connection in their roles, often dissatisfied with tasks lacking personal impact or social contribution.
  • Generational Differences: Clashing expectations and communication styles between generations can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and challenges in collaboration.
  • Lack of Mentorship and Sponsorship: Limited access to experienced mentors and career sponsors can hinder career growth and development for younger generations.

The Power of Multigenerational Teams: Unleashing the Advantages of Millennials and Gen Z

The modern workforce is a vibrant tapestry woven from diverse generations, each bringing unique strengths and perspectives. While millennials and Gen Z often get the spotlight, employing a multigenerational workforce offers distinct advantages for businesses seeking to thrive in today’s dynamic landscape. Let’s explore the key benefits:

1. Diverse Perspectives and Problem-Solving:

  • Millennials: Known for their tech-savvyness, collaborative spirit, and focus on social impact, millennials bring innovative approaches and challenge outdated solutions.
  • Gen Z: Digital natives with strong analytical skills and a focus on purpose, Gen Zers contribute fresh ideas and push boundaries, driving creative problem-solving.
  • Combined Power: When these perspectives collide, the result is a richer pool of ideas, fostering more effective solutions and adaptability to changing market demands.

2. Enhanced Creativity and Innovation:

  • Millennials’ Disruptive Spirit: Millennials aren’t afraid to shake things up, bringing creativity and challenging conventional methods, leading to breakthrough ideas and product development.
  • Gen Z’s Entrepreneurial Drive: Raised on technology and entrepreneurial examples, Gen Zers naturally seek novel solutions and have the confidence to experiment, fostering a culture of innovation.
  • Cross-Generational Collaboration: When these generations collaborate, their combined approaches spark creative energy, leading to groundbreaking products, services, and marketing strategies.

3. Filling the Skills Gap:

  • Millennials’ Technological Fluency: Deeply comfortable with technology, millennials bridge the digital gap for older generations and readily adopt new tools and processes.
  • Gen Z’s Tech-Native Expertise: Growing up with constant technological advancements, Gen Zers possess innate digital skills and can navigate complex tech ecosystems with ease.
  • Complementary Skillsets: By leveraging the tech expertise of younger generations alongside the experience and domain knowledge of older generations, businesses can create well-rounded teams with the skills needed to succeed in the digital age.

4. Improved Employee Engagement and Retention:

  • Meeting Diverse Needs: Tailoring work environments and benefits to cater to the preferences of different generations fosters inclusivity and boosts employee satisfaction.
  • Mentorship and Knowledge Sharing: Cross-generational mentoring allows older employees to share their wisdom and experience, while younger generations offer tech know-how and fresh perspectives, creating a mutually beneficial learning environment.
  • Positive Work Culture: By fostering collaboration and valuing the contributions of all age groups, companies create a sense of belonging and encourage long-term employee engagement.

5. Building a Future-Proof Workforce:

  • Staying Ahead of the Curve: By understanding the values and expectations of younger generations, businesses can adapt their culture and practices to attract and retain top talent, ensuring long-term sustainability.
  • Embracing Change and Agility: By fostering a culture that embraces diverse perspectives and encourages innovation, companies can stay adaptable and responsive to evolving market trends and customer demands.
  • Preparing for the Future of Work: By integrating the talents and values of younger generations, businesses can build a workforce that is well-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of work and technology.

In conclusion, embracing a multigenerational workforce is not just a trend, but a strategic move for businesses seeking to unlock innovation, thrive in the digital age, and build a sustainable future. By recognizing the unique strengths and perspectives each generation brings, businesses can create a dynamic and successful work environment that benefits everyone.

Engaging Millennials and Gen Z: Practical Training Tips for the Modern Workforce

Training millennials and Gen Z effectively requires recognizing their unique learning styles and preferences. Here are some practical tips to create engaging and impactful training programs:

1. Cater to Digital Natives:

  • Microlearning: Offer bite-sized, easily digestible modules accessible on various devices to cater to short attention spans and mobile learning habits.
  • Interactive Elements: Incorporate simulations, gamification, and collaborative activities to keep learners engaged and actively participating.
  • Video Content: Utilize short, engaging videos to explain complex concepts, leveraging their preference for visual learning.
  • Social Learning: Encourage peer-to-peer learning through group discussions, online forums, and collaborative projects.

2. Focus on Purpose and Meaning:

  • Connect Training to Real-World Application: Clearly demonstrate how new skills and knowledge relate to their job functions and contribute to achieving company goals.
  • Highlight Societal Impact: Emphasize how their work can make a positive impact on the community or environment, tapping into their value of purpose-driven work.
  • Offer Personalized Learning Paths: Allow individuals to choose training modules aligned with their career aspirations and interests, fostering ownership and motivation.

3. Prioritize Flexibility and Autonomy:

  • Blended Learning: Combine online modules with in-person workshops or coaching sessions to offer flexibility and cater to different learning styles.
  • On-Demand Access: Make training materials readily available 24/7 for independent learning at their own pace and convenience.
  • Micro-credentials and Badges: Reward completion of specific modules with badges or micro-credentials, promoting a sense of accomplishment and ongoing learning.

4. Foster Feedback and Iteration:

  • Regular Feedback Loops: Encourage constructive feedback on training content and delivery methods to continuously improve the program.
  • Open Communication: Create a safe space for questions, concerns, and suggestions, promoting active participation and addressing their needs effectively.
  • Agile Training Development: Use feedback to iterate and adapt training content to ensure it remains relevant and engaging for evolving generations.

5. Invest in Mentorship and Coaching:

  • Formal Mentorship Programs: Connect younger employees with experienced colleagues for personalized guidance and career development.
  • Peer Coaching: Encourage peer-to-peer coaching sessions to allow knowledge sharing, support, and collaborative learning within their peer group.
  • Leadership Development Programs: Equip leaders with the skills to effectively manage and motivate multigenerational teams, fostering understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives.

Case Studies: Companies Thriving with Millennials and Gen Z

Understanding how successful businesses cater to younger generations is key to attracting and retaining top talent. Here are some inspiring examples:

1. Netflix: Pioneering remote work, flexible schedules, and unlimited vacation, Netflix empowers employees with autonomy and trust, resonating with millennial and Gen Z values of work-life balance and personal ownership. This approach results in high employee satisfaction, low turnover, and a culture of innovation.

2. Zappos: Known for its holacracy model, Zappos empowers employees at all levels with decision-making and self-management, aligning with Gen Z’s desire for autonomy and meaningful impact. This flat organizational structure fosters collaboration, transparency, and a strong sense of community, leading to high employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

3. Adobe: Committed to diversity and inclusion, Adobe actively recruits from diverse talent pools and offers various employee resource groups, catering to the values of belonging and social impact cherished by younger generations. This commitment attracts top talent and fosters a collaborative, innovative work environment that drives business success.

4. Unilever: Recognizing the importance of purpose-driven work, Unilever focuses on sustainability initiatives and environmental responsibility, aligning with Gen Z’s desire to work for companies that make a positive impact. This focus attracts passionate talent, boosts employee engagement, and strengthens brand reputation.

5. EY: Investing in mentorship and career development programs, EY connects experienced professionals with younger generations, fostering knowledge sharing and career growth. This approach helps retain talent, bridges the skills gap, and ensures younger generations feel supported and valued, contributing to overall success.

Positive Impact:

  • Increased Innovation: By embracing diverse perspectives and encouraging fresh ideas, these companies foster a culture of innovation, leading to groundbreaking products and services.
  • Improved Employee Engagement: By catering to their priorities and values, these companies create a positive work environment that boosts employee satisfaction, leading to higher productivity and lower turnover.
  • Enhanced Employer Branding: Their commitment to employee well-being, diversity, and purpose attracts top talent, strengthening their employer brand and reputation.
  • Sustainable Growth: By adapting to the needs and expectations of younger generations, these companies ensure they have a workforce prepared for the future, driving long-term sustainability and success.

The Future of Work: Shaped by Millennial and Gen Z Values

As millennial and Gen Z continue to make their mark on the workforce, their needs and preferences will undoubtedly shape the future of work and business practices. Here’s a glimpse into what we might expect:

1. Rise of Remote and Flexible Work:

  • The desire for work-life balance and autonomy will likely lead to a wider adoption of remote work options, flexible schedules, and compressed workweeks.
  • Technology advancements will further enable seamless remote collaboration, blurring the lines between traditional office spaces and virtual workplaces.

2. Prioritization of Purpose and Meaning:

  • Driven by a desire for work that contributes to positive change, younger generations will seek employers with strong social and environmental commitments.
  • Businesses will need to integrate purpose into their core values and mission, demonstrating their positive impact on employees, communities, and the planet.

3. Lifelong Learning and Upskilling:

  • With rapid technological advancements and evolving job demands, continuous learning will be crucial for career advancement.
  • Educational institutions and businesses will need to work together to provide flexible, accessible, and personalized learning opportunities throughout individuals’ careers.

4. The Gig Economy and Portfolio Careers:

  • Traditional career paths might give way to more fluid, project-based work arrangements, driven by the desire for variety and independence.
  • Businesses will need to adapt to flexible talent acquisition models and build strong relationships with independent contractors and freelancers.

5. Emphasis on Wellbeing and Mental Health:

  • Recognizing the impact of work on mental well-being, younger generations will demand supportive work environments that prioritize stress management and mental health resources.
  • Businesses will need to implement holistic wellness programs, offer mental health support, and promote healthy work-life boundaries.

6. Rise of Automation and AI:

  • While automation might displace some jobs, it will also create new opportunities requiring different skillsets.
  • Businesses will need to invest in reskilling and upskilling programs to ensure their workforce is prepared for the evolving job landscape.

7. Increased Collaboration and Transparency:

  • Younger generations value collaboration, communication, and open communication.
  • Businesses will need to adopt flatter organizational structures, encourage cross-functional teamwork, and promote transparency in decision-making.

8. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) as a Priority:

  • Committed to social justice and equality, younger generations will seek workplaces that actively promote DE&I initiatives.
  • Businesses will need to go beyond performative efforts and create truly inclusive environments that represent diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

In conclusion, the future of work is not just about adapting to new technologies but also about understanding and catering to the evolving needs and values of younger generations. By embracing these shifts and creating workplaces that prioritize flexibility, purpose, well-being, and inclusivity, businesses can attract and retain top talent, foster innovation, and thrive in the years to come.

FAQs: Addressing Questions About the Future of Work Shaped by Millennials and Gen Z

1. How can my company prepare for the rise of remote and flexible work?

Focus on creating a culture of trust and accountability, adopt technology that facilitates seamless remote collaboration, and offer flexible scheduling options to meet diverse needs.

2. How can we prioritize purpose and meaning in our work environment?

Clearly communicate your company’s social and environmental commitments, empower employees to contribute to meaningful projects, and celebrate positive impact stories.

3. What resources are available for upskilling and lifelong learning?

Partner with educational institutions, invest in online learning platforms, and offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees pursuing relevant skills development.

4. How can we adapt to the gig economy and portfolio careers?

Develop flexible talent acquisition models, build strong relationships with freelancers and contractors, and offer project-based opportunities to attract diverse talent.

5. What steps can we take to promote employee well-being and mental health?

Implement comprehensive wellness programs, offer mental health resources and support, and encourage healthy work-life boundaries through flexible work arrangements.

6. How can we ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are core values in our organization?

Go beyond performative efforts, create inclusive hiring practices, foster open communication about DE&I, and offer unconscious bias training for all employees.

7. What are some resources for staying informed about trends in the future of work?

Follow industry thought leaders, attend relevant conferences and webinars, and conduct surveys to understand your own workforce’s needs and aspirations.

Conclusion: Building a Thriving Future of Work Together

The future of work is an exciting landscape shaped by the values and needs of younger generations. By embracing these shifts, and prioritizing flexibility, purpose, well-being, and inclusivity, businesses can create a work environment that attracts and retains top talent, fosters innovation, and thrives in the years to come.

Remember, the journey requires continuous learning, adaptation, and a commitment to building a future of work that benefits everyone.

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