Banks need to think about recruiting and retaining Millennial employees.

According to the Bank Director 2016 Compensation Survey, about two-thirds of banks surveyed are focusing on attracting Millennials as employees, but of those that are, only about half have been successful in their efforts. The remaining 33% of banks surveyed stated that attracting Millennials was not a current focus.

The Bank Director Compensation Report reveals Millennial recruitment trends in banking.

Is attracting Millennials a focus for your bank? At approximately 92 million strong, Millennials are the largest segment of the US population, and banks should be engaging them from a hiring and training perspective. In this post, I’ll explore what Millennials can bring to banking and the reasons to focus on recruiting Millennials as employees. Hopefully, some of these talking points will encourage you to think differently about the youngest generation of professionals.

Banks need to appeal to Millennial customers, and Millennial employees can help

Since 2015, Millennials have outnumbered Baby Boomers, and many banks have begun to realize they need to capitalize on this generation and attract them as customers. Traditional banking is losing ground to neobanks and challenger banks. Many of these neobanks are overseas at the moment, but they are quickly moving toward the states. Are you losing ground? You may be failing to make a connection with your customers, many of whom are Millennials.

Today’s banking customers expect more from their financial institutions. Millennials, born between the 1980s and early 2000s, have lived a larger portion of their lives in a technology-rich world compared to older generations. As a whole, the population is more comfortable with technology and demands convenience in the form of easy-to-use mobile banking. If banks don’t keep up, they’ll be left in the dust.

Millennials relate to and understand the technology platforms today’s banks must use

It may come as a surprise to some that many financial institutions are now active on social media, and not just LinkedIn, but Facebook and Twitter too. They’re using social media to market themselves and even to provide customer service, which helps them connect to tech-savvy Millennials and the growing number of users from all generations. So, if banks are trying to reach Millennials and pursuing these social media channels, who better to help make that connection than Millennials? Millennials on your marketing team can be a great asset, and in any role, they can help drive the direction of initiatives that appeal to other Millennials.

Marketing isn’t the only area where Millennials can help out with their knowledge of how today’s customers interact with social media. Millennials in the IT field make a great asset for banks that want to keep up with financial technology. In today’s tech-dependent world, it’s vital to support customers using online banking services and provide them with a positive user experience. Otherwise, customers may flee to a more convenient banking option. Knowledge of cybersecurity is also crucial in the financial technology world; your banking customers are trusting your institution with sensitive data. Cybersecurity professionals may be members of any generation, but you’ll miss out on a wealth of talent if your bank’s technology team ignores these valuable assets.

Millennials have a different perspective than many incumbent bankers

The current bank leadership is aging, and top talent is exiting the industry as their retirement dates approach. Retirement isn’t the only reason talent is leaving; some employees are moving into other industries with fewer regulations, or they’re going to work for your competitor banks. The depletion of current bank employees makes it all the more vital to draw in the Millennials who will be the next generation of bankers—and to start now.

Beyond the simple need for new employees to replace those who are retiring or leaving the financial industry, banks need personnel with fresh perspectives if they hope to move forward. Marketing and technology aren’t the only areas where Millennials can bring new ideas to banks; every department can benefit from the input of a different generation.

Each generation has its own quirks and its own merits, and each generation comes with its own negative stereotypes. Indeed, many articles have called Millennials overly dependent on technology and cast them as lazy and entitled. Just as many articles have rebutted this position and cited studies showing that Millennials are hardworking.

Instead of pitting generations against one another, we should consider what we can learn from each other. Millennials are here to stay, so seasoned bankers should focus on the merits of the younger generation and pass on the knowledge they have. After all, while Millennials may bring a fresh perspective to banking, there’s no substitute for years of experience. The takeaway is that generations need to work together!

To attract Millennial employees to your bank, you need to offer the right benefit packages

If you’ve been hesitant to attract Millennials, hopefully I’ve been able to persuade you to join the many banks that feel otherwise. The next step will be figuring out how to compensate Millennials in ways that attract and retain them. Millennials care about traditional benefits, and they also tend to be interested in perks like flexible schedules. Additionally, many want to feel like they’re making a difference in their careers. A compensation consultant can help you determine how to compensate Millennials, and your bank can start attracting and maintaining Millennial employees that will bring new ideas and carry your bank into the future.

See data on recruiting trends related to Millennials in banking