Do we need Millennials in banking? The answer is yes.Businesses everywhere are looking for ways to capitalize on the Millennial generation (typically defined as anyone born between 1980 and the early 2000s). These businesses must adapt to appeal to Millennials, who represent a large portion of the consumer base, and banking is no different. Many banks, both local and national, have acknowledged that they need to attract Millennials customers by offering convenient solutions that fit their lifestyles.

Not as many banks are on board with the need to attract Millennials as employees, and those that are aren’t necessarily sure how to do it. Banks who aren’t even trying may be under the impression that the Millennial generation just doesn’t fit with the culture of their banks, or they may not have even considered hiring Millennials. Here’s why you need to attract this generation to your bank’s workforce and what you need to know about what they want from banks.

Recruiting Millennials: Where the Banking Industry is Now

The 2016 Bank Director Compensation Survey made the state of things clear: Only one-third of respondents reported that they had a satisfactory plan for attracting millennials as employees. Another third said they were trying to recruit Millennial talent but having difficulty doing so, and the remaining third said hiring Millennials wasn’t a current focus for them.

Banks that want to attract Millennials but haven’t been successful cite two major reasons for their failure; many believe that Millennials aren’t interested in working for a bank or consider their bank’s culture to be too traditional.

Why Banks Need Millennial Employees

The banking workforce is aging, and the industry isn’t training the next generation of banking executives like it used to, which should alarm banks a bit. Beyond that, if you’re looking to attract Millennials as customers, who is best equipped to understand their needs? Millennials are the very people who will bring new ideas and innovation to the banking industry. In this digital age where financial technology is widely built by and used by Millennials, this generation is crucial to the success of the industry. After all, next generation ideas rarely come from the current generation.

Banking executives who say Millennials just aren’t interested in working for a bank need to change their strategy and position their banks as environments where Millennials can work and grow.

What Millennials Need from Banks

The compensation strategies banks have relied on in the past to attract top talent may not work on Millennials. For instance, a retirement plan may not be the most enticing perk for a Millennial who is more interested in other incentives and benefits—such as helping them pay off their student loans. Some banks have been successful with bringing the younger generation into their workforce, so what are they doing right? According the 2016 Bank Director Compensation Survey, 71% of respondents who have been successful attracting Millennials credit a culture that Millennials feel comfortable in as the reason for their bank’s success. The second biggest reason Bank Director survey respondents cited for their success with Millennials was a clear path for advancement.

Millennials want to know they can grow in their careers, and giving them that path for advancement will encourage them to develop their skills within your bank’s environment. Beyond that, Millennials generally can’t be kept at a workplace by money alone; no doubt it’s important, but many Millennials are looking for something more. Those that are talented can find that “something more” along with a competitive compensation package elsewhere if not at your bank. A common sentiment among the Millennial generation is wanting to be a part of something bigger, which may be why a strong company culture is a positive drawing point. Community banks in particular may be a good fit for Millennials looking to make a difference in the world; they are institutions that help their local communities prosper. This fits right in with the desires of many Millennials and should be highlighted in the Millennial recruiting strategy of any local bank.

Develop recruiting and retention strategies that make sense for Millennials in banking

Along with building company cultures that make Millennials feel at home, attracting and retaining Millennial talent requires compensation packages that appeal to them and their specific desires. If you’re not sure where to begin with creating compensation strategies that will attract and retain Millennials, talking to an outside consultant who specializes in compensation can help. Once you tackle attracting talented Millennials to your bank, you’ll be able to reap the benefits this generation can contribute.

 

See data on recruiting trends related to Millennials in banking