What's the No. 1 thing preventing you from attracting and retaining top millennial candidates? Surprisingly, it's not flexibility.

Staff Writer

If you’re looking to attract top millennial talent this year, listen up. That one update you’ve been dropping to the bottom of your priority list might be causing top candidates to pass you up for your competitors — and could drive existing young employees out the door.

We’re talking about updating your workplace technology.

Today’s most sought-after organizations also happen to be among the “smartest” — equipped with technology that provides better communication, offer flexibility and encourage collaboration.

And if you’re still unsure whether this really matters to the millennials in your company, the answer is it’s highly likely. According to the 2016 Future Workforce Study by Dell and Intel, 42 percent of American millennials say they’d likely quit a job if workplace technology didn’t meet their standards. That’s nearly four times as many as baby boomers.

Smart Offices vs. Flexibility

While flexibility has been touted as one of the most important workplace factors for millennials, the report suggests working in a digital workplace equipped with modern technology could be ranked even higher — 81 percent of millennials surveyed say the technology available influences their decision to take a new position; 72 percent also believe they’ll be working in a “smart” office in the next five years, compared with only 52 percent of Gen-Xers and 35 percent of baby boomers.

Enhancing Flexibility Through Technology

Why do so many millennials rate technology over flexibility? It’s likely because a smart office naturally fosters a more flexible environment.

Workplace flexibility is one of the most important factors for millennials when evaluating a job opportunity: 29 percent said they do their best work outside of the office and 60 percent said they would be more productive at home versus in an office. But what should be more worrisome for employers is the finding that 34 percent of millennials have left a job because it did not provide enough flexibility.

Smart offices value flexibility in a variety of forms, including from where employees work, what hours they work and the technology they use to get work done. Providing flexible work arrangements and the technology to make it possible (like portable devices and cloud-based communication tools) will keep employees satisfied and retained.

Enhanced Workplace Communication

More than 60 percent of millennials say remote teams and better communication technology will make face-to-face communication obsolete. When it comes to communication, millennials expect their offices to be equipped with technology to make communication seamless and easy.

This goes beyond having accessible office space for collaborative meetings. The smartest companies have also adopted video, chat and cloud-based project management platforms to allow workers to communicate however and whenever they need to. This is critical to improve workplace collaboration, especially when remote teams are involved.

Using smart technology to allow employees to connect beyond face-to-face meetings is key to attracting millennial talent, and also allows employers to source top talent from across the country — or even around the world — instead of just in areas where they have an office location.

It’s important for HR and business leaders to consider these insights as they design their workplaces and recruiting programs. With more and more millennials dominating the workplace, ensuring you have technology that aligns with Gen Y expectations is becoming critical to both attracting and retaining the young rock stars in your industry.

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