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Haines Watts Manchester Phone icon 0161 832 6413

In recent months, I have frequently found myself having the same conversation with clients about how their workforce is changing. Some of my clients feel that when they hire young talent, they find that the new recruits can arrive with surprising and different expectations.

It seems there is a gap emerging between the new starts and older generations’ approach to life and to their careers.

These are two groups of people who have had very different life experiences, and that has steered them in two directions.

People my age expected to leave school, go to university, qualify, get a job and focus on their career. Younger talent, by contrast, is getting a tertiary education and qualifying – only to prioritise life experiences over a career for life.

And good on them. They have realised how important it is to achieve a work/life balance. That means Millennials are taking their time to find an employer who offers the flexibility – and remuneration – they need to achieve their sporting, volunteering or travel aspirations.

Value is about more than extra cash

And what does this mean for the SME owner? A small business may not be able to compete with large corporates that have the resources and flexibility to entice with the best pay or benefits.

But all is not lost. It seems, from what my clients tell me, that while remuneration is still paramount, this is a generation that needs to be valued, to have ideas heard and be given meaningful work from day one in the job.

This is why schemes such as Employee Share Ownership Schemes are likely to continue to be a valuable tax incentive. Think John Lewis on a smaller scale. If your employees own a ‘piece’ of the company, they feel incentivised to think of their job as a long-term investment.

For more information on how to attract and retain young people with the talent you need to take your business forward, talk to us.

How do you attract and retain talented young people into your workforce?

Want to know more? Call us on 0161 832 6413 or email

About the author

David Fort

David specialises in advising expanding owner-managed businesses and offering bespoke services to company directors as their businesses develop, particularly in areas of wealth creation and asset protection. Having worked as an FD for a company that grew very rapidly, David also has practical experience.  David deals with companies starting up to those that are well established and who may just need a guiding hand with strategic and operational matters.

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