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Joe’s Take On How To Keep Millennials With Employee Development

This past week I was in New York City for the AWNY Advertising Career Conference, a few informational interviews, and to have a blast.

I strongly believe that a graduate should make it their mission to find the best place for them. And I’m not talking about who pays more. If you’re good, the money will come.

I’m talking about company culture. Which company’s culture fits like a glove?

After finding the right fit, come graduation time, it’s more effective to show a vested and focused interest in just a few places instead of blindly sending out resumes to everyone.

It’s like dating. You’ll just know when you find the right one because of that feeling.

Cheesiness aside, it’s not always love at first sight. Sometimes it takes informational interviews, an internship, or just plain research.

After the dust settled, Young & Rubicam (WPP Group), and Saatchi & Saatchi (Publicis) stood head and shoulders above the rest.

I think the reasons they stood out speaks to how organizations can retain the best and brightest Millennials.

Employee Development

Millennials have the desire to be seen and heard. We aren’t content with sitting in the background and being silent at meetings.

We want the opportunity for mobility, and we want to collaborate with intelligent people.

Saatchi & Saatchi has a neat training program that ends with a bang. Entry level employees have the opportunity to develop a campaign and present it to the client and the CEO. Afterwards, there is an awards ceremony to recognize the best campaigns.

This is what us Millennials love! It’s the opportunity to be a star and to be heard by the big dogs. I’m sure the champagne doesn’t hurt either.

Young & Rubicam has a really similar training program with the added benefit of mobility.

Millennials don’t just want to move up, we want to be able to move laterally as well, between departments.

Young & Rubicam hits a home run with the way their training program is done. The trainees get exposure to several different departments and learn how it all fits into the grand scheme of things.

Anything spark your interest? Y&R will let you shadow someone from that department. The opportunity for mobility within a company is very attractive for a Millennial.

In addition, Y&R’s office space is organized in a way that fosters bonding with fellow employees.

It’s done by position. So an AAE is sitting near other AAEs. It’s neat because you’re sitting around people that are going through similar experiences – again, another homerun for Millennials.

Saatchi Switch is an awesome program that is extremely appealing to me. Saatchi Switch allows you to literally switch lives with another Saatchi employee at the same level anywhere around the world for six months. At the time I was there they had switches from Saatchi Sydney!

Millennials aren’t as money hungry as we are made out to be. More than anything, we want to be happy at our new job! We want to feel important and valuable.

Y&R and Saatchi & Saatchi stood out because of their devotion to employee development and I think many companies would benefit from following their lead.

The ability to retain the Millennial stars is harder than it sounds, yet extremely valuable in the long run.

><(("> Joseph Rector

Joe is a former ><((“> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management and marketing firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit

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