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When hiring new staff members, it’s always important to view each applicant on his or her own terms. While a generation of people might have a number of traits in common, you
can’t treat the group as an homogenous entity. In other words, not all millennials are the same, especially if you consider the span of the generation. It is generally accepted that the millennial generation encompasses those born between 1980 and 2000. The world was a much different place for those born at the beginning of the generation than for those born at the end. In terms of technology, that means the difference between the novelty of a Walkman cassette player and the novelty of a cell phone with a full qwerty keypad.

As you think about hiring millennials, who are part of the largest generation currently in the workforce, according to The Wall Street Journal, you need to keep this gap in mind. Enticing millennials to work for you is going to mean more than having an interesting company culture. In many cases it will mean having a benefits package that appeals to those starting a family.

Here are three tips for appealing to the whole spectrum of millennial workers:

1. Focus on career development
While millennials fresh out of college may indeed jump around from job to job as they figure out what they want to do with their professional lives, older millennials are looking for ways to advance their careers. Roberta Matuson, a market leadership expert writing for Forbes magazine, noted that training programs should be more than just platforms for onboarding – they should show new hires how they will be able to advance within your company over time. Smaller businesses may have trouble with this aspect because managers need to focus on getting new hires up to speed so they can contribute in meaningful ways as soon as possible. That’s where it could help to use an HR outsourcing company that can develop materials specifically designed to develop and retain talent.

The millennial generation isn't as homogeneous as you might think.The millennial generation isn’t as homogeneous as you might think.

2. Develop a strong sense of community
Younger millennials grew up with social networks. Interacting with their peers over the internet is commonplace, but they also understand the power of cultivating relationships face-to-face. It’s a mistake to think of millennials as only capable of networking over their smartphones. Peter Voogd, a bestselling author writing for Entrepreneur magazine, recommended cultivating a sense of community at work as a key way of attracting millennials who know the value of networking. Showcasing your workplace as a hub of communication is good because it demonstrates that your enterprise takes the interpersonal element of business seriously.

3. Provide greater freedom
Across the board, millennials are looking for more freedom in the workplace. CNN reported that members of the generation tend to look for autonomy and more control over the decision-making process when looking for a new job. If your job is focused in the online sphere, this could be a fairly easy policy to adopt. You don’t have to completely let go of the reins, but showing your employees that you respect their time is one sure way of creating a culture that’s enticing.