If you are like most companies, by now you have come across the illustrious group known as Millennials, and seen their impact on the work place. Or perhaps you haven’t. Perhaps the negative stigmas that seem to follow them wherever they go have delayed you from taking a risk on this young enigmatic bunch. Accenture and Ernst & Young have been ahead of the curve in hiring these tech savvy individuals as Millennials make up 2/3 of their entire workforce, a trend that will continue to spread to every industry in America over the next 10 years.
So, what can you do as a HR manager or small business owner looking for some new talent and a fresh perspective? How do you avoid hiring the wrong type of person? Where do you begin to look for the ideal candidate? These are the questions you need to know how to answer because I have news for you…. There is no new magical hiring pool for you to tap into. Millennials are it. Now, I want to be perfectly clear, Millennials don’t represent the default but rather an opportunity.
So, here are some tips to help you attract the “right type” of millennial:
- DON’T USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO HIRE: Social media has created this awesome environment for us to communicate and many will tell you that you need to leverage your accounts to find new and exciting candidates for your business. But, DON’T USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO HIRE! Use it to RECRUIT. Focus all of your social media energy on developing your brand and defining your culture. A Millennial’s bottom line isn’t a paycheck, it’s doing meaningful work, having fun, and having the flexibility, and you need to communicate that that’s important to you as well. We want a supportive manager, we want to contribute, to learn and grow. You have to court this new generation and appeal to our social awareness. Make your brands social media activity exciting and meaningful. Show how your culture reflects your mission and vision in exciting and fun ways. Seek out the type of followers that you want with your content and watch your numbers grow organically. Make them want to work for you and quality candidates will be beating down your door.
- TELL US WHY? : Simon Sinek has it right, “start with the why.” This generation more than any previous generation is motivated by the “why”. Ask them to do anything and they ask “Why?”. It can be frustrating when met with this retort but I LOVE IT! It is the perfect opportunity for you to leverage the power of story. Whether recruiting or managing being able to answer this question is paramount to successfully working with Millennials. How do you communicate the importance of why you do what you do? My recommendation, tell a story. As a millennial candidate I need to know why I should work for you over the other guy and you need to tell me. You need to entertain me while you do it. You need to make me feel like I need to be a part of what you believe in or you’re going to lose good candidates to your competitors. You’re not looking for buy-in, you’re looking for enrollment and communicating the “why” effectively is your quickest and most direct way of doing this.
- OFFER GROWTH: Regardless of the generation there are still only two reasons people leave their job: Lack of upward mobility and feeling undervalued. As you begin to recruit make career development a strategic imperative. You can take steps to make an employee feel valued but often this is an intrinsic problem. Career advancement is something that you can control. Let this new generation know that you are not only interested in what they currently bring to the table but in what they will bring to the table as they grow as a professional at your company. Professional development is a great way to show employees that you want and expect them to hone their skills and learn new ones. By doing this you have the opportunity to show and tell them that you don’t want them to be in the same position 5 years from now. Often, offering diverse training and an investment in the future success of your employees leads to a culture of value. Show Millennails that you understand that they represent the future of your company and that you don’t take that lightly.
There is no one size fits all strategy to hiring those entering the workforce. They too are going through some professional growing pains and some harsh real world realizations. It will take them time to find their way and learn how they can contribute their unique skill sets and personalities to the existing employment climate, but using these strategies will alleviate some of the headaches that you will incur from working with and facilitating the growth of Millennials.