The WashingtonExec Strategic Human Capital Council final event of 2014 year tackled the much buzzed topic of “Engaging the GovCon Millennial Workforce.” In a declining federal spending market, human capital professionals had a frank discussion about how to obtain and cultivate hard-working millennial professionals specifically in the GovCon space.
Mary Abbajay, President of Careerstone Corporation, served as keynote speaker alongside two archetype millennial panelists, a military health programmer consultant at a large professional services firm, and a solutions architect for a mid-tier contractor that supports the US Department of Defense. The two billable panelists discussed what they believe typical millennials are looking for in an employer as well as what they believe motivates millennials to stay or leave an organization.
The importance of understanding what drives a millennial to apply and later on accept a particular job or project was emphasized to the group of 20 executive human capital professionals. In order to maintain high retention numbers with millennial workers, human capital professionals should be able to offer and articulate a variety of career paths and tracks that clearly demonstrate how to earn upward mobility within the organization. Abbajay broke down what motivates a millennial to accept and stay with an employer into five overarching factors: 1) pay; (2) culture; (3) involvement with social causes; (4) office environment; and (5) the diversity of the workforce.
Additionally, when compared to older generations, millennials have a greater and more inherent need to feel a part of a mission larger than themselves. The majority of millennials in the workforce believe that the success of a business should be measured by more than financial performance and that focusing on improving society is incredibly important achievement measure. Millennials expect their organizations to give back to the community and to be involved with charities that have a greater and meaningful impact on the world.
It’s no secret that some millennials have the tendency to frustrate, confuse, or pushback on managers and supervisors, but they are nevertheless an asset that should be valued as a partner in the growth and stability of any forward-thinking, innovative organization within the GovCon space. After all, by 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce.
Each participating WashingtonExec Strategic Human Capital Council VP of Human Capital or equivalent member nominates one critical talent individual within their organization to help develop the next generation of HR leadership through business acumen, professional development and networking programs. The Council is headed by Steve Woolwine of URS.