The Other ERM: Enterprises Recruiting Millennials

Millennials will significantly increase their proportion of and importance to the enterprise workforce over the coming decade. They bring with them different expectations about the nature and structure of work, the use of technology, and work-life balance issues than preceding generations.

Enterprises recruiting millennial workers

Image credit: ITU Pictures

Yet many organizations remain woefully unprepared for this influx. According to recent research from Randstad Technologies, reported in CIO magazine, one-third of enterprises haven’t addressed the technology needs of professionals in any formal way—and many of the other two-thirds are still in the stage of formulating plans.

But the clock is ticking. Millennials already account for nearly one out of three workers,  and will represent three-quarters of the workforce within 10 years.

According to Randstad VP Alisia Genzler, “Millennials have grown up in a digital society and technology has been everywhere in their lives…they expect that when they enter the professional sphere that the same rules will apply. A lot of companies are talking about how to support and engage millennials, but there are so many that are not even close to doing so, and those who don’t are at a major competitive disadvantage.”

There are many moving parts to addressing the technology needs and expectations of millennial workers. Here are a half a dozen identified by this research–and where an enterprise request management (ERM) strategy can help.


Per the Randstad survey, “78 percent of polled IT leaders have seen an increase in their organization’s mobile/remote workforce; 70 percent of respondents rated mobile technology as necessary to support millennials in the workforce. Additionally, 60 percent of IT leaders plan to increase investments in mobile within the next year, at least in part to support this growing demographic.”

As noted here previously, an ERM portal can support BYOD policies and practices by simplifying device registration and triggering remote installation of required software, as well as providing a mobile-friendly portal interface that gives employees an “” experience for requesting any internal service, product or resource needed to do their jobs, in addition to reporting IT and maintenance issues.

Communication / Collaboration

According to CIO, along with mobility, “More than half (57 percent) of respondents view communication and collaboration tools as essential to supporting the millennial shift, and 43 percent say they plan to increase investments in these technologies.” More senior contributors who work remotely or as consultants benefit from these tools as well.

To facilitate collaboration among widely dispersed teams, enterprises are investing in a range of tools for purposes as simple as sharing large files to those as complex as virtual critical response rooms for resolving large, urgent enterprise problems.

Information Security

Though data security is a near-universal concern, particularly in light of increased remote and mobile access by employees, Randstad’s Genzler states that “Millennials don’t think about security issues…they just expect that antivirus, antispam, patches, all of those measure will just happen without effort on their end. Companies need to make sure this happens.”

Task workflow automation software can play a key role in data security by automating remote installation of software updates and patches to desktops, laptops and mobile devices using third-party tools.

The ERM approach can also be used to automate employee offboarding as readily as it facilitates new employee onboarding. ERM helps protect an organization’s data when an employee leaves for any reason by coordinating and automating the process of shutting down his or her systems access and business-related mobile apps, deactivating security badges, forwarding emails appropriately, etc..

Cloud Computing

Enterprises are embracing cloud-based business applications for a number of reasons: cost, automatic upgrades,  ease of supporting remote and mobile workers, and to address changing workforce dynamics.

But most organizations today are operating a hybrid cloud infrastructure (mix of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud resources),  and for security and governance reasons, want to maintain control over how and which cloud offerings are used. An ERM portal is ideal for presenting employees with approved options—along with the capabilities and costs associated with each—as well as automating deployment and monitoring service performance.

Recruiting and Hiring

Savvy employers are recognizing the value of technology not just for use in managing the “nuts and bolts” of recruiting and hiring processes,  but also in attracting and retaining talent.

According to the authors of The Decoded Company, “Using the latest technology is a big priority for talent…(a recent) Accenture study revealed that 88 percent of executives surveyed believed that employee use of consumer technology can improve job satisfaction.” ERM can play a key role by providing employees with a single intuitive portal for requesting any goods or services they need from IT,  HR, facilities, finance or other departments in order to do their jobs.


SAP’s Jewell Parkinson is quoted in CIO noting, “We want to make getting work done easier for all our people through cutting-edge tech, through easier access from any location, through our mobile device strategy. For us, looking at ways we can remove complexity and obstacles to productivity is a huge part of this strategy.”

Similarly, Forrester Research noted in their webcast Rewriting the Rules of Service Management that employees reach their highest state of creativity and productivity in a cognitive state they call “flow.” Technology and support processes should be designed to enable this state,  rather than creating distractions or disruption.

Requesting a service or resource,  or reporting a technology issue, necessarily takes employees out of their normal workflow. An ERM strategy minimizes such disruptions however by enabling employees to submit requests or report issues quickly and easily from a single portal, with just a few clicks,  then return to their tasks at hand.


Writer Sharon Florentine concludes her CIO article stating “Implementing successful workforce strategies and leveraging cutting-edge technology won’t happen overnight, but by doing so, businesses can more effectively compete in a fast-paced, ever-changing IT business landscape.”

Implementing an ERM strategy is one step that can begin to provide benefits quickly, and then expanded over time. As  one component of an overall technology plan to attract, engage and retain millennial workers, applying the ERM approach to employee provisioning is an excellent early-stage step.

Download the white paper Enterprise Request Management: The Process to find out more about how to get started.


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