HR & Management

London SMEs look to millennials to deliver business growth and success

4 min read

24 August 2015

Former deputy editor

Some 91 per cent of small to medium-sized businesses across London believe recruiting millennials is the key to achieving future business growth and success, according to Lloyds Bank Commercial banking.

Indeed, 18 per cent of SME owners in the UK capital are so determined to welcome those born between 1980 and 2000 into the fold that they’ve said they want a millennial to take over the firm one day.

The research from Lloyds highlighted that more than half of the global workforce will be accounted for by the demographic by 2020, which will effectively “shape the workplaces of tomorrow”. 

According to results, fresh ideas are the skills 76 per cent of London’s SMEs most want from millennial candidates, followed by digital skills and a different perspective at 41 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.

Commenting on power youngsters can have on businesses, millennial and marketing entrepreneur Timothy Armoo explained how communication to the demographic is key.

“As teens and millennials of today, we’ve grown up on social media platforms,” he said. “TV, print and radio are the dead media forms and YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat have become where we reside. As a consequence of this, there is a need now for brands to adapt.”

With that in mind, 86 per cent of London SMEs admitted they feel under pressure to sell themselves to millennials, which demonstrates the position of power the group now occupies.

Read more on millennials:

Meanwhile, the study found that 41 per cent of companies feel a job offer has been snubbed because the young applicant wasn’t a fan of the corporate culture. Seemingly the firms are right to worry, as 62 per cent of London-based youngsters would reject an offer if the atmosphere wasn’t right, regardless of the salary.

At 91 per cent, most SMEs are now reviewing and revamping working practices to win over millennials. The trend is resulting in small London businesses investing around 17 per cent of their annual turnover on recruiting young talent.

“SMEs in London need to work hard to recruit millennials as the future of their business could depend on having them on board. They can tap in to a range of attributes, from hard skills such as digital and technological know-how, to fresh ideas and new perspectives,” said Paul Evans, area director for SME Banking in Central London.

“Although London SMEs are beginning to invest and change their business culture to make themselves more attractive, they also tell us that they need help to find the right people.”

Findings showed that 52 per cent of millennials want flexible working hours, making it the most popular desire. Elsewhere, regular training and increased responsibility from a small entrepreneurial business was requested by 28 per cent.

A majority 85 of SMEs in London think the firm is ready to pull in millennials and meet their needs, but 53 per cent still want further guidance to make results more effective.

Image source