HIRING THE RIGHT MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES
Despite the differences in defined work ethics between generations, talent leaders CAN (and must) successfully hire and retain high-performing employees of this generation. Cultivating a keen understanding of millennials is the first step. Adapting company policies to their workers’ attitudes is another way to create an advantage over less flexible companies. But before you can focus on motivating these employees, you must determine how to hire the right ones.
To address the potential challenges posed by relatively fixed expectations and dispositional characteristics shared by many millennials, companies have two options:
1. First, they can carefully select employees with certain qualities. By exercising care when conducting interviews and determining which assessments to deploy (assessments can be chosen and implemented by many online websites such as http://www.mgassessments.com or http://www.profilesinternational.com), talent managers can better gauge the degree to which their millennial applicants can adapt to the workplace. For example, millennials who score higher in intellectual flexibility and comfort with ambiguity should be more adaptive than those who score lower.
One of the major ways millennials on the fast track distinguish themselves from their cohorts is how keenly they appraise uncertainty and reason inductively. Thus, talent leaders who select millennials with these characteristics will fill their ranks with employees who’ll succeed in the short run and be ideally equipped to lead when they do ascend the hierarchy. Further, selecting young workers who are self-aware and sensitive to how their co-workers perceive them means these new employees will be savvy enough to adhere to company norms as well as fit in with employees from older generations.
2. Second, companies can benefit from clearly articulating the traditional career paths through the organization. A well-designed path up an organizational chart — including what to do, how to do it, and how long it usually takes — will appeal to millennials’ preference for structure and relatively low-interest in ambiguity. Millennials tend to thrive when they know precisely what’s expected of them and how they should go about accomplishing goals. But this must be regularly communicated with clear challenges and benefits to entice a millennial worker.
GETTING THE WORK DONE
Once you have hired Millennial employees, however, the work has just begun. They’ve always felt sought after, needed, indispensable. They are arriving in the workplace with higher expectations than any generation before them—and they’re so well-connected that, if an employer doesn’t match those expectations, they can tell thousands of their cohorts with one click of the mouse…
Therefore, proper management techniques developed specifically for this generation is very important to keep and motivate Millennial employees. In Managing Millennials by Claire Raines, she defines 6 Principles of Millennial Management based on the generation's own most frequent requests:
1. You be the leader. This generation has grown up with structure and supervision, with parents who were role models. The “You be the parent” TV commercials are right on. Millennials are looking for leaders with honesty and integrity. It’s not that they don’t want to be leaders themselves, they’d just like some great role models first.
2. Challenge me. Millennials want learning opportunities. They want to be assigned to projects they can learn from. A recent Randstad employee survey found that “trying new things” was the most popular item. They’re looking for growth, development, a career path.
3. Let me work with friends. Millennials say they want to work with people they click with. They like being friends with coworkers. Employers who provide for the social aspects of work will find those efforts well rewarded by this newest cohort. Some companies are even interviewing and hiring groups of friends.
4. Let’s have fun. A little humor, a bit of silliness, even a little irreverence will make your work environment more attractive.
5. Respect me. “Treat our ideas respectfully,” they ask, “even though we haven’t been around a long time.”
6. Be flexible. The busiest generation ever isn’t going to give up its activities just because of jobs. A rigid schedule is a sure-fire way to lose your Millennial employees. Consider flexible schedules, time off incentives or even a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE).