What can professional service firms offer to entrepreneurial millennials? How can they inspire and retain the best talent?
Attracting and retaining the best millennial talent is not just about having the right approach to technology. It is crucial to recognise and harness the entrepreneurial spirit of millennials too.
With a recent survey finding that 30% of millennials aspire to start a business in their lifetime, and 14% intending to do so within the next five years*, this is a key challenge for professional services firms.
The millennial generation is more open to entrepreneurialism, perhaps because it is so much more visible now through social media. For millennials working in professional services they are also likely to be acting for entrepreneurs their own age, which must have an impact on them.
The big question for professional services firms is: how do we harness this entrepreneurial spirit? And how do we retain the best talent by making careers with us more attractive than the lure of leaving to start their own business, or work for another entrepreneurial start up?
It is crucial for professional services firms to create space to allow their people to engage in entrepreneurialism.
Millennials want to work for organisations with a purpose they can identify with and it is important to give them a forum to share their ideas and, crucially to actually listen to their ideas and give feedback. As well as that you need to look out for projects that will excite and inspire them, beyond the usual day to day work they do for you.
This is a particular challenge for mid-sized law firms, but it is not insurmountable.
I helped to create nuBright, a joint venture between Stephens Scown and a technology company designed to deliver data protection and cyber security services. One of Stephens Scown’s talented young associates was involved in the planning stages and given the time and space to develop the strategy. He has now been given a place on the board of this new company. He is combining his work with nuBright, with his work as an associate in Stephens Scown’s intellectual property team.
By giving your people an outlet for their entrepreneurialism you will earn their loyalty and keep them with your firm. Not only that; really listening to them will give you some great ideas that could improve your business in ways you haven’t thought of yet.
*Millennial Money Survey by F & C Investment Trust, which surveyed over 4,000 people aged 18-35.