Depending on who you listen to, millennials are either lazy, entitled and impatient or hard-working, dedicated and forward-thinking – but one thing is for sure: we can’t afford to ignore them. According to Deloitte, the global workforce will be 75% made up of millennials within the decade, so change is inevitable.
It seems like every other day another article is written or study released centring on millennial talent though, so it can be difficult to know exactly what that change should entail.
Never fear. We’ve pulled together ten of the best pieces out there on hiring millennials and summarised them for you – so you can draw your own conclusions without combing the web for hours. From the benefits of hiring millennials to attracting, recruiting, managing and retaining them – we’ve got you covered. If you’re searching for the best recruiting software for your firm, check out Recruiteze today! It’s free!
Why Hire Millennials?
Let’s start with this popular piece by Sally Susman, Executive VP of Pfizer, looking at the three main advantages of hiring millennials.
- Digital communication
Many millennials, writes Susman, have broad digital and social media experience that can help brands build stronger relationships online. The diversity in voice that millennials bring to the table can be critical in finding innovative ways to communicate online.
- Corporate responsibility
As the boundaries dissolve between the public, private and social sectors, there is an opportunity for businesses to create cross-divisional programs with tangible real-world social impact. Millennials bring a fluidity in thinking that can help move corporate responsibility programs beyond static charity-only based models and into a form of entrepreneurism.
- Corporate affairs
As a relatively new area, and the critical intersection between internal and external stakeholders and the public, corporate affairs is an area Susman feels can benefit most from millennial input.
Susman’s point is this: millennials should proactively seek out opportunities to add value beyond their day job, and businesses should be prepared to let them into the fray – because the insight they bring can be invaluable.
Author Andrew Carver spends a lot of time working with in Board and Executive Advisory roles with innovative technology and media companies, so his insights are based on extensive first-hand experience of the millennial workforce.
For Carver, millennials make great hires for 4 main reasons:
- Enthusiasm & Excitement
- Confidence to take the initiative
- Digital Intuition
- Innovation vs. experience
He notes the “fresh enthusiasm” he sees in the millennial workforce. The ‘glass half-full’ approach is not only refreshing, but essential to growing a sustainable business.
Part of the millennial charm is their confidence to innovate, born of a complete lack of risk-awareness. This freedom allows real creativity without fear for the consequences, enabling real innovation.
Mirroring Susman, Carver comments on the digital awareness millennials bring to the table. He notes how digital connectivity is “intuitive”, and they’re automatically part of an “always-on ecosystem” that gives them the leg-up on less digital savvy counterparts.
Lastly, Carver comments on the need to balance experience with innovation, knowledge with optimism and ambition. Maybe a team that was just millennial talent would struggle, but a team made up off cross-generational talent in which millennial insight is given free rein: that team could really go places.
How to Attract Millennials
Dale Carnegie is a training community serving business professionals in 90 countries worldwide. They offer a broad range of courses about engaging, inspiring and motivating employees, so they know a thing or two about workplace dynamics.
This article addresses the need for organisations to create a work environment that will be attractive to the millennial workforce, in order to entice the best candidates in a competitive talent market.
There are four main ways, “beyond office space and beer in the fridge”, that forward-thinking organisations can do this.
The first of these is through building an effective work-life balance – which means something rather different to millennials than to previous generations.
Rather than wanting a balance between work and outside work, “millennials want flexibility to work and live all at the same time”. In other words, organisations should create a flexible working environment in which employees are as free as possible to choose their own hours. It’s not about working less – as one might assume – but about allowing them to work when they want to.
Which leads us nicely to the second point: creating incentives based on clear goals. The stereotype doesn’t do millennials justice. Far from being lazy and work-averse, most millennials are more than willing to put in the hard graft – as long as they’re given flexibility (as above) and, crucially, they know why the task is meaningful. So. To attract millennials, companies “must have communication tools that show employees how their jobs relate to the overall goals of the company”.
The implementation of these goals brings us to the third point: limited oversight. The worst thing you can do for millennials is to create an environment in which they’ll be micro-managed. Millennial talent wants to be shown the goals, and then left largely alone to achieve them.
The final point is about creating a positive working environment. Millennials differ from the generations before them in that “no amount of money, job protection or sweet pension plan will keep millennials in a job they despise”. Creating a positive work environment is something that millennial talent will sense from their first contact with you – and is one of the simplest (although that’s not to say easiest) ways to attract millennials.
This article is by Roberta Matuson, a regular Forbes contributor on the topic of talent maximisation. For Matuson, the 4th Annual Deloitte Millennial Survey confirmed what she’s known all along: “employers are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to hiring”. Business leaders must “reset” how they attract talent “if they want to acquire the talent needed to fuel business growth”.
Matuson outlines the concept of “purposeful hiring” as the solution, made up of three main principles:
- Focus on People and Purpose
- Career Development is More Than a Training Program
- Revisit the Types of Leaders You Promote and Hire
Let’s look at her points in turn.
The first of these ties into the Carnegie article’s point, above: millennial talent wants to do something meaningful.
Matuson suggests businesses focus on “identifying how the world is better as a result of their company being in business”, and then finding was to communicate this message more effectively both internally and externally. She recommends working with hiring managers “to ensure the conversations they’re having with prospective employees accurately reflects the partnership we are attempting to achieve”.
The second point is one well worth noting – millennials see career development as much more than a one-size-fits-all training program.
Matuson believes that “career development is a two-way street”. It’s something employees should be actively involved with, shaping their own development. One example she gives is facilitating a round-table for leaders at similar stages in their career, so they can learn and grow with each other. This is only one possible example of many – the key is to provide bespoke and multi-faceted growth opportunities.
Finally, Matuson writes of the need to evaluate the types of leaders in your business. “People work for their bosses”, she points out, and successfully attracting millennials means knowing the kind of leaders they want to work with and promoting/hiring this talent too.
How to Recruit Millennials
We’ve all read pieces on top interview questions (we’ve written about it before ourselves) but this article looks at questions specifically tailored to get the best out of millennial candidates:
For the author, Evan Burns, the biggest mistake companies make when hiring millennials is leading with competency-based questions instead of focussing on finding the right cultural fit.
Burns gives 8 questions designed to ascertain “mutual cultural fit”, in order to secure millennial hires that will be more likely to be beneficial long term.
- What are your dreams and aspirations?
- Why are you doing this?
- How have you been the creator of your world and not a victim of circumstances?
- What would your previous boss say your best quality is?
- How does this job get you to the next step of where you want to go?
- Why should someone take this specific job in this specific company?
- When did you overcome an impossible obstacle or achieve an impossible goal?
- How are you going to add to our culture and make people around you better?
Each of these questions is designed to get a sense of whether a new hire is going to be mutually beneficial. Later interviews can be dedicated to competency, but effectively hiring millennials demands a refined hiring process centering on cultural fit.
Based on feedback from recruiters and hiring managers, this article gives a series of outside-the-box recruitment tips to help hire millennial talent. Recruiting software can also help. Try Recruitieze today, it’s free!
1) Engage on social media
Maintain an active presence on the major social networks to give millennials the opportunity to get to know your company, values, products and services. “Off-the-cuff” conversations via social media are a key millennial recruitment channel.
2) Use a real name and real face on social
Millennials want to know explicitly who they’re interacting with – authenticity and real enga