Looking ahead: what do millennials want?

Posted by Gary Duguid on 17/11/2015

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The millennials are currently the future of the workplace therefore it is key to understand exactly how to attract, retain and nurture their talent.

Attracting and retaining new talent means understanding what millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995) want. Graduate recruits at Interaction lift the lid on their career choices.

Creativity, energy, focus and a special ‘X factor’. These are just some of the qualities that both Hannah Eardley (age 24) and Zoe Parr (age 23) bring to Interaction’s team.

New talent is the life blood of a growing business, and the ability to draw in, and develop, young people helps create a competitive edge. In this Q&A, Hannah and Zoe talk about their careers – and what Interaction brings to them.

Interaction Insight | Millennials | How to use your office to attract and retain new talent.

Hannah Eardley

Project Manager

Backstory: A graduate from the University of the West of England with a First Class BSc in Human Biology, Hannah joined Interaction a few months after completing her degree in the summer of 2014.

Q: What was your career plan after you graduated?

A: At university I got good at managing people and organising events as president of the UWE’s Boat Club. I knew I didn’t want to go into a science research job or academia so looked around for roles that would use my organisational skills.

I saw Interaction’s advert for a Project Manager and that felt my skills would be a good fit – the role required particular attributes rather than industry experience.

Q: What were you looking for in an employer?

A: I didn’t want a 9 to 5 desk job. I wanted the chance to get out and about, and put my strengths to use.

As soon as I walked through Interaction’s doors, I felt a bubbly liveliness in the office. There was no formality, everyone was really friendly and when I sat down to talk with Dieter, the Managing Director, it felt like a chat rather than an interview. I was impressed that everyone put me at ease.

Q: Why did you accept the job at Interaction?

A: It was too good an opportunity to turn down. An interesting and varied role with a friendly, professional team. Right away I was mentored and I could see that the company valued its staff and gave people responsibility. 

Q: What aspects of your role do you enjoy most? 

A: It’s been phenomenal. I’ve recently led and handed over my first managed project, snag free! – And that was just 10 months on from starting here. I’ve been given responsibility from the start.

Our office culture is a reflection of Interaction’s belief that staff can produce great results from working flexibly. Last week I worked two days from home because I needed to get my head down – it’s great to be trusted to manage your work like this.

But it’s not all work either, it’s good to have the outlet of regular social events and our bar. I can honestly say that I never want to leave!  

Zoe Parr

Designer

Backstory: An undergraduate at the University of South Wales, Zoe is studying for a BA in Interior Design. Zoe joined Interaction in 2014 on a one-year work placement as part of her sandwich degree course. 

Interaction Insight | Millennials | How to use your office to attract and retain new talent.

Currently in Year 3 of her academic studies, Zoe now works at Interaction for one day a week and will join the company on a full time, permanent contract in August 2016.

Q: What were you looking for in an employer?

A: Opportunities and the chance to develop my skills. And a great place to work!

Q: Why did you accept the job at Interaction?

A: I knew from my work placement that Interaction was committed to developing staff. I’ve already become proficient at 3D modelling software and there’s plenty more training in the pipeline.

The company is also really great at integrating new people into the team with more experienced designers happy to give any support needed. At the same time, we’re also left to get on with things. Interaction gives us a lot of trust and responsibility. Plus, I love our quirky, open office.

Q: What aspects of your role do you enjoy most? 

The sociability of the office generally. Interaction’s flexible approach to work which helps to energise us all – and the chance to do really creative work with clients from lots of different sectors. 

Our thoughts:

Helping employees to reach their full potential requires a workplace that truly promotes a culture of trust, collaboration and mutual support. At Interaction, our belief is this culture is best achieved by an office that enables employees to make choices about how to work.

Empowering new employees is particularly important. The chance to make decisions, along with access to support and mentoring, helps to nurture younger team members’ talents - and retain the contribution made to the company by gifted individuals, just like Hannah and Zoe, who will then grow to be a talented and educated part of the team.

Interested in other factors to help attract and retain the millennial generation? Read our article from earlier this year on the war for talent.