Energy and Utilities

8 Data-Proven Tactics to Recruit & Keep Millennial Workers at Your Energy & Utilities Company

Our thoughts on the industrial workforce, tech, SaaS, augmented reality and startup culture.

Whether your company is prepared or not, millennials are now the majority workforce in the U.S. By 2025, they’ll be 75% of the global workforce as baby boomers continue to retire by the millions each year. The labor shortage will grow, and energy and utilities companies will need to work harder to attract millennial job seekers. 

Your strategy doesn’t need to be a radical, overnight change in operations. Instead, it can be a gradual shift in work policies, procedures and mission. Your energy and utilities company already has advantages built into your business when it comes to appealing to the millennial mindset, and all you have to do is make sure job seekers know about these qualities. 

What are those advantages? We’ve got you started with a list of 8 data-proven qualities you can show off to recruit and keep millennials on board:

1. Promote your commitment to social good

Close to 76% of millennials want to work for a company with a powerful social conscience. The energy and utilities industry’s mission is to provide reliable energy; it’s your job to power important institutions, including health services that save lives, businesses that keep workers employed and paid, and lastly, private residences that improve the quality of life for millions. 

In today’s society, it’s easy to forget that energy and utilities companies were built to better serve the people. Not only do you need to remind us of your original mission, but you need to remain authentic and trustworthy. Find ways to showcase specific examples of ways you’re doing good within a community by “keeping the electricity flowing and lights on” at vital locations and share those examples with potential job candidates. 

2. Develop your path towards sustainable energy

The world and energy market is hot. About 86% of residential consumers are concerned about climate change and 53% want part of their electricity supply to come from renewable energy. On top of potential revenue benefits, developing your company’s sustainability initiative can be great for recruitment. 

Here are some fast stats:

  • 70% of workers are more likely to pick a job at a company with a strong environmental agenda over another job.
  • 70% of workers would stay at a job longer if their company had a strong sustainability plan.
  • Almost ½ of all workers and ¾ of millennials would take a pay cut for a job at an environmentally responsible company.
  • 10% of those workers would take a salary cut of $5-10k.
Source: Deloitte Resources Study 2020

By promoting your authentic path towards sustainable energy, you’re not only more appealing to consumers asking for cleaner energy, but you’re more attractive to millennial job seekers looking for employment at companies fighting climate change. This initiative does double duty since it also shows a commitment to social good.

3. Be authentic with your commitment to charity and community

Just contributing to social initiatives doesn’t do anything, because millennials are skeptical of their company’s motivations when they donate to charity or participate in social service. Only 55% of millennials believe their employer’s intentions are genuine. Your desire to change the world for the better must be real and that honesty must be seen for millennials to believe you.

If you include your workers in philanthropic activities and provide them opportunities to help charities that they care about, they’re more likely to believe that you’re genuine and will demonstrate a stronger loyalty to your company.

Source: Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017

4. Implement cutting-edge mobile technology

The up-and-coming generation of workers are digital natives and drawn to workplaces that use mobile applications. As a habit, 21% of millennials open up apps 50 times a day and 30% open up apps 21-50 times a day. What’s more, workers of all ages have reported a 60% increase in their own productivity when they use an app on the job. What happens when your company doesn’t integrate apps into workflows? More than 80% of your employees might use unapproved apps to get a job done.

By making cutting-edge mobile technologies available as part of your workflow, you’ll capture millennials’ attention in the recruitment process. On the job, they’ll feel more confident during a task, have greater access to collaboration and enjoy work more...all of which makes workers more loyal to a company.

We’ll use ourselves for example. At Ario, we help energy and utilities companies stay relevant during this fourth industrial revolution by providing a knowledge-sharing solution using augmented reality. Ario’s suite of applications is user-friendly and works with the devices your company has. By working with us, your company will not only boost productivity and reduce human error, but you’ll establish yourselves as a player in technological innovation to millennials who value technology-based solutions during day-to-day workflows.

5. Let your consumers make their own energy (DER!)

Millennials want to work for companies that have consumers’ best interests at heart, and you have the ability to do that by giving more power to the consumer (pun intended). By creating distributed energy resources (DER) opportunities for your consumers like solar panel offerings, they can create their own energy and give their surplus energy back to you. When you work with consumers as “partners” instead of “customers,” you’ll foster a symbiotic economic relationship. 

Source: Deloitte Resources Study 2020

The first step is educating consumers about DER and selling, installing and maintaining DER. Once you’ve got DER strategies in place, then you can promote your DER and consumer empowerment plan to millennial job seekers who value power to the people. According to the SHRM, millennials are attracted to companies that they admire as consumers and will work where they shop.

6. Promote income equality, gender equity & diversity/inclusivity 

Diversity improves your bottom line because different perspectives and backgrounds help your company boost innovation and deliver more appealing goods/services to the diverse world. That said, it also strengthens your worker’s loyalty. About 58% of millennials working in diverse companies while only 40% of millennials in non-diverse companies believe their companies are great at attracting and retaining the right workers.

In addition to building a diverse workforce, you’ll need to foster an inclusive and encouraging atmosphere and prevent prejudice of all kinds (racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, religious discrimination, etc.).

Source: Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018

7. Keep your jobs stable & advertise slow and steady wins the race 

Millennials have lived through several global crises including the recent health pandemic and Coronavirus Recession. The stats have shifted as recent polls show that millennials are no longer job hopping but looking for reliable work. In 2020, more millennials planned to stay at their job for at least five years than millennials who planned to leave in under two years. This stat is unprecedented. When Deloitte first began asking millennials this question in 2016, 66% of millennials expected to leave their job before the five-year mark, and that stat remained consistent until now.  

Millennials weren’t job hopping to fast track their careers and increase their salary (a frequent misconception) but were looking for work at companies sharing their values (as we’ve discussed). Now that they’re slightly older, have explored the work world and have experienced wars, recessions and mass fatalities, these former job-hoppers are now being called the “Resilient Generation.” They believe slow and steady wins the race. This is your chance to show how power and utilities is a “resilient industry” that offers stability and career advancement.

8. Offer a flexible work environment

Millennials want to have more control over which hours they work and where they work. They aren’t lazy or selfish but prioritize work-life balance. If they believe that criteria is being met, they’ll stick around.

Here are some fast stats:

  • In a very flexible workplace, only 35% of millennials want to leave in two years and about 33% want to stay beyond five years. A 2-point difference.
  • In a very inflexible workplace, 45% of millennials want to leave in two years and about 27% want to stay beyond five years. An 18-point difference.
Source: Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017

Try loosening up your company’s rules on time and location. By using remote collaborative apps like Ario Connect, your workers can work from home occasionally or regularly. You can also let your workers come into work earlier/later, work 40 hours in four days instead of 5 and swap shifts through an easy subbing system

When faced with the labor shortage in the power and utilities industry, gradual change is key to attracting millennial job seekers. Focusing on social conscience and quality of work/life can help you recruit and keep millennials at your company. We hope these 8 qualities—with data to back them up—will get you started strategizing.

Once you get past the hurdle of recruiting millennials, how do you quickly and effectively train them? 

Ario is a productivity platform that helps power and utilities companies like you work with digital natives by taking advantage of millennials’ desire to use technology in their everyday lives. Our knowledge-sharing tools will help you get your younger workforce up to speed faster and enable seasoned workers to guide them:

The Ario Platform allows you to put important data and information in real-world environments with augmented reality, giving your team the knowledge and context they need to do their best work. 

Ario Connect is a two-way video calling app enhanced with augmented reality that lets you share expertise remotely by placing guiding arrows and other symbols in space in real-time. 

When you have the right tools in place to train your team effectively, it’ll be easier to attract and keep millennial workers on board.

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