24 Feb How to Hire Millennials
Everyone under 40 is entitled. Or is it ambitious? A self-starter? Or addicted to social media? If you want to hire millennials, you might have to get past the sound bite and learn more about this segment of the workforce. What motivates them, what value they bring, how to engage them might not be as intimidating (or frustrating) as it sounds.
If you want to hire Millennials, consider this:
More than 50% of hiring managers say it’s difficult to hire and retain Millennials. That’s not exactly encouraging. But – the trick could be in knowing what you’re offering and what this fast-growing segment of the workforce is looking for and how they see the world.
Managers as mentors, not experts. Gen X and Baby Boomers tended to see bosses, and corporations as sources of authority, career guidance counselors – the people who held the ultimate truth. That makes sense in an era before you could Google and Wikipedia information.
Millennials are used to a lot more self-directed access to information, and consequently, they respond better to opportunities where they can have an opinion and share knowledge as opposed to ceding the floor to whomever has the most years on the job.
They’re educated, but unemployed. Not surprisingly, the general forward progress of opportunity for women and minorities who have historically had lower college attendance means that the youngest group of workers are more and more likely to have post-high school education – especially women Millennials.
[bctt tweet=”But even though Millennials are quickly catching up with Generation X (who are the most educated), they are not finding jobs as quickly.”]
They are not as employed as their Gen X elders. Mostly this is just poor timing – they entered the job market at the height of the recession, have struggled to get relevant work experience, further prolonging their sustained employment. This means there’s a potential pool of valuable talent available to savvy hiring managers who know where to look.
They are great in groups. Millennials – unlike the latch-key Gen X kids – grew up highly supervised with parents who monitored play dates, team activities and other extra-curricular activities. Unlike their older peers, they were not set loose with a bike and dinnertime curfew.
Less individualistic? Perhaps. But great at team dynamics because they were never let loose on their own. They understand the importance of compromise and group goal-setting.
They are diverse. Not just racially and ethnically – they come from single-family homes, same-sex parent homes, all kinds of unique backgrounds. So they tend to be more open-minded and more accepting of different lifestyles.
So what does all this mean if you want to hire Millennials?
Offer them opportunities to collaborate, since they are comfortable working in teams. Find ways to encourage their use of technology, including social media, since they grew up with these tools.
Be open to alternative work arrangements like telecommuting, since they have less traditional ideas about ideal work environment. And be sensitive to their need to get information on their own, instead of yielding to an older manager, because their Internet age sensibilities make them feel empowered to get answers on their own terms.