This millennial age group is a fascinating one to say the least, and 2015 marked the year in which millennials became the largest generation in the U.S workforce.
Due to being brought up with the likes of the internet and social media, the generational gap can often times seem extremely large. The harsh reality is a lot of companies simply don’t understand how millennials work.
For this reason, they are quick to label them as “lazy” or “entitled.” The truth of the matter is that a lot of younger workers are exceptionally talented and passionate about making a difference in the world. The trick for employers, then, is knowing how to channel these traits for the best performance. Unfortunately, a lot of companies miss the mark during the hiring process.
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This in turn leads to high employee turnover, which can be detrimental to businesses of all sizes and deliver fatal blows to your operations at critical times. With this in mind, here are four tips to help reel in young professionals for the long haul.
Lose the Stigma About Job Hoppers
The mindset of getting a job and staying put until retirement is practically non-existent with millennials. A common observation is that younger employees have no problem finding the door if they are not satisfied or motivated in their current job. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Jobvite found that 42 percent of the millennial workforce changes jobs every one-to-three years.
Executives must understand that employment is a two-way road. Salary-motivated workers know that pay increases are extremely likely when job hopping. However, most workers want more than just money. Talented millennials are typically open to taking on bigger roles than what they signed up for. If there is no clear path to advancement, you can bet they will start shopping around for other opportunities.
The sight of multiple jobs, lasting under two or three years, used to be a typical red flag on a resume. However, shorter durations are increasingly becoming commonplace. Ruling these applicants out can eliminate a good amount of talent from consideration. You needn’t keep job hoppers at an arm’s length. As an employer, your goal should always be to find ways to keep talent you have from jumping ship. People don’t leave jobs for no reason.
Your recruiting process is the first impression when interacting with potential employees. Therefore, you must be professional and organized with everything. Any small lapse in the cycle reflects poorly on your company and can cause talented candidates to slip through the cracks.
Also, company review websites, like Glassdoor, have areas in which people can write about their experiences with your hiring process exclusively. As all marketers will tell you, online reviews can make or break your business, especially when dealing with millennials.
Keeping this in mind, your HR department needs to be properly equipped so they don’t miss a beat in the recruiting process. This means keeping all role documents, employee profiles, contracts, and any other necessary information in order. The last thing you want is to be scrambling during this phase.
Your hires are only as good as the systems you employ. This concept is immediately apparent to prospects during the recruitment process. Choose your resources wisely!
Look at More Than Just the Resume
One of the greatest things about hiring millennials is that with all the educational resources at their fingertips, they are some of the most multi-skilled workers on the planet. For instance, a candidate may have been working towards a mechanical engineering degree. But, in their spare time, they taught themselves how to design and code their own website for personal blogging. Or, they use these skills to seek out freelance opportunities.
The rise of the internet has brought new life to the “gig economy.” Younger generations know they possess skills to make extra cash. This is an incredibly important factor to keep in mind during the hiring process.
Regardless of their degree, side hustles can say a lot about a person. One, they are motivated. Two, they know how to prioritize tasks. As previously stated, millennials are typically open to taking on more responsibility than what is listed on a job description. For this reason, it never hurts to ask more detailed questions about hobbies and interests.
A lot of people use websites like Upwork to find gigs. These freelancer platforms are great to get an impression for a prospect’s potential. A good strategy is to look at a candidate’s profile on these sites to get a feel for their body of independent work. Upwork is also equipped with a review function so you can see what other businesses thought of their performance.
Once they’re in the door, you can endeavor to keep them interested, occupied and focus their entire range of skills in the direction of your goals, using job management software like WorkflowMax, which lets you highlight priorities, predict workflow bottlenecks, give real-time feedback to teams, and tweak execution as tasks approach “nearly done” status.
Emphasize Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is becoming a buzzword in the business realm. Millennial employees have a pattern of wanting their company to be part of a bigger picture. In fact, a 2016 study found that 75 percent of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible brand.
With numbers like this, startups and even SMEs would be almost foolish for not being part of a social cause. Google is all about promoting efficient resources and supporting renewable power with their Google Green initiative. Patagonia is well-known for their eco-friendly products and environmentally-conscious manufacturing methods.
There’s no denying we are living in a time where many cultural issues are the front-and-center of media attention. The rise of social media has given people a voice that can be heard by the masses. Therefore, companies are wise to promote a sensitive image to appeal to both potential employees, and clientele. Just be sure what you decide upon is in line with your business model and mission.
A phase of growth fueled by rapid hiring is undoubtedly a rousing time for a company of any size. With so much young talent flooding the job market, it’s always interesting to see what specific people can bring to the table in these technologically electrifying times. Millennials are a generation that know their worth and will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams, even if it requires a leap of faith. This concept alone makes it difficult for companies to appeal to youngsters.
Remember, recruiting is sales. If you don’t give younger prospects an exceptional reason to stick around, they will not waste their time doing so.
About the Author: Lori Wagoner is a marketing and business consultant. She helps small businesses put in place growth-focused digital strategies. Lori is also a prolific blogger; she writes for Tweak Your Biz, Project Eve, Small Biz Daily, and many other business publications. You can follow her on Twitter @LoriDWagoner.