In previous articles, we discussed that Gen Y workers need to feel a sense of purpose when it comes to work, and while job satisfaction is important to them, money is as well. This week, let’s discuss a few other noteworthy Millennial characteristics companies should keep in mind when it comes to hiring Gen Y workers. Consider the following passage from a recent Forbes article by Bruce Kasanoff:
By many accounts, companies have a hard time understanding Millennials. I have colleagues who call them entitled, unmotivated, and difficult to manage.
That is sheer nonsense.
The newest generation of professionals is the first to grow up entirely in the digital age, and thus their expectations are a bit different.
Example: I’ve spent much of the past fifteen years trying to convince executives that the Web – or pervasive 24/7 access to digital information – would force changes in their company’s business model; most executives drag their feet in making such changes. But Millennials see this as old news; they have the opposite problem, which is they are slow to recognize just how slow and outdated many corporate systems still are.
That’s why it’s absolutely essential that your business attract, hire and engage Millennials: if you can keep them happy, you can keep your customers happy. Millennials need the same type of flexibility that customers need. Millennials need the digital tools that customers need. Millennials grew up in the digital age, and customers want your business to act as though it is a leader in the digital age.
The problem with the naysayers and the hiring managers and recruiters that complain about Millennial workers is that like with most change, people tend to focus on the negative perceptions rather than the positives. Every generation has their strengths and weaknesses and if entitlement is an actual weakness of Millennials, understanding the digital world we live in is a strength. Love or despise – the fact is, Gen Y is the future of all business. Learning to appreciate what makes them who they are will help you attract and retain the best and brightest.
Inc.com’s Evan Burns provides what companies should be focusing on when hiring Millennials:
Recruit around your why. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” Simon Sinek said in his now famous TED Talk. When you are recruiting, lead with vision, and the people that will be passionate and motivated will follow.
Vet first for cultural fit. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” said Peter Drucker. A great culture is defined by shared vision–shared vision between an individual, a team, and an organization. When this magical formula comes together, an individual’s goal and career desires align with the vision and mission of the team, and the overall organization creates an unstoppable force.
Define the mission of the position. Mission = Purpose. A 2015 Deloitte study said 77 percent of connected Millennials, in part, chose a company because of its sense of purpose. This generation isn’t willing to compromise or work crazy hours for an organization that doesn’t align with their purpose.
Define a mission–a set of clear goals over a set period of time that, once accomplished, is a notch in the employees’ belt, a bragging right and a step forward for the organization.
If people are brought into the purpose of the organization, they are aligned with the culture; if they are committed to their mission, they are going to be successful.
Open communication and a career path focused on results over tenure seem to be key when it comes to Generation “Why.” Give them a reason to be loyal and they will be. Give them a reason to follow you and to be passionate about your mission and they may change the face of your business.
Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.