Preparing For the Boomer-Millennial Seismic Shift in Government Law Offices: Part 3

November 24, 2014

Business people working in groupIn Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we talked about effective methods for transferring and retaining knowledge and expertise when senior practitioners retire, and the technology available to help government law offices manage this process more efficiently.

In today’s post, we’ll cover another important aspect of succession planning that government should consider: attracting a millennial workforce with promising skills and value sets.

Government agencies face the challenge of competing with the private sector for top talent that can innovate and contribute to the effective delivery of legal services in the coming years.

Here are the facts:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employees younger than 30 represent 23.2 percent of the total U.S. workforce but only 8.5 percent of the federal workforce.
  • A 2013 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that the percentage of college students planning to enter a local, state or federal government job declined for the fifth consecutive year, from 10.2 percent in 2009 to 5.4 percent in 2013 (Read the full story here)

If government law offices are unable to attract talented millennial professionals, this will inhibit their capacity to deliver legal services effectively, efficiently and innovatively in the future.

Understanding millennial values and interests is key when designing a program to attract and retain a new era workforce. A 2014 Deloitte survey of 7,800 millennials with college degrees and full-time employment found the following:

  • 78 percent of millennials were strongly influenced by how innovative an organization was when deciding if they wanted to work there
  • Millennials want to be a part of organizations that develop their skills as leaders
  • Millennials prefer to acquire knowledge and apply it through discussion, debate and action
  • Millennials prefer to learn at their own pace, self-directed, and avoid overly structured programming Millennials believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, with a focus on improving society among the most important things it should seek to achieve
  • Millennials are charitable and keen to participate in “public life“: 63 percent of Millennials gave to charities, 43 percent actively volunteered or were a member of a community organization
  • Millennials have a collaborative mentality

Recognizing the needs and values of millennial workers is critical to government succession planning. Government agencies need to listen to these needs and design innovative programs that will attract, retain, and maximize the value of new professionals in their offices.

In the next post, we’ll offer several ideas and strategies that government law offices can implement to attract and retain top talent from the millennial generation.