Going by estimates, 50% of the workforce today comprises of millennials. This figure will stand at 75% by 2025. This means the majority of candidates you will get moving forward will be people born between 1980 and 2000. One of the most common perceptions out there is that younger employees are a difficult bunch, too demanding, lazy, disengaged, and extremely vocal. This is not necessarily true. Just as baby boomers share some common perceptions and characteristics on work and employment, so do millennials. Because you cannot avoid them, getting insights into how to best wrangle this new wave of employees can help you make the right hiring decisions.
The following are some things you should know.
1. They Value Teamwork and Collaboration
Millennials appreciate the opportunity to work collaboratively and remain engaged with other members of the team, supervisors, and even management. This is true for those working within an office setting and even for remote workers. However, this does not necessarily mean physical contact. Instead, younger employees favor communication through modern channels such as chat and video. This might create a disconnect with baby boomers, whose collaboration revolves around phone calls and meetings. Attract and retain millennials by having seamless communication and collaboration channels. Think about multiple outlets such as video, instant messaging, shared folders, and so on. However, it is important to find a balance between modern and traditional communication channels to account for the different generations.
2. They Love Their Social Media
Before having a no social media rule in your company, explore other options. Just how important is social media? A recent study has revealed that 1 in 3 millennials prioritize social media freedom over salary. A little surprising? Maybe not. Millennials have grown up with multiple distractions—phones, laptops, television, social media, and so on. While it might seem overwhelming to older generations, this is the norm for this age group, and they have adopted and learned how to get things done amid the distractions. Instead, communicate on expected output and timelines. You can also encourage your staffers to act as brand ambassadors and use some of their social media time to sell the company.
3. Culture is Very Important
Traditionally, people had fewer requirements of what their ideal job was. A job near home, job stability, and a reasonable salary would most often cut it. Not anymore. Millennials factor in a lot more when making career choices. The work culture is one of these considerations. It’s, therefore, important for senior management and recruitment teams to think about their organization and its culture. Without clarity on this, it becomes impossible to sell it to candidates and to identify those that would mesh well with your business culture. The better the fit, the longer an employee will stay with your company.
4. Do not Disqualify Inexperienced Applicants
Yes, skills and experience account for much when making hiring decisions, but should not always be the end all be all. When you think about it, most millennials will lack experience, and can only get it through taking an actual job. A candidate with a few solid resume skills for a role, a great attitude, and a willingness and enthusiasm to learn will, at times, outperform more experienced candidates. On the positive side, millennials are easy to teach, adaptable, and energetic.
5. Remote Working is a Hit
Given a choice, 85% of millennials would prefer to work full-time from home. If you worry about productivity, don’t. Research has shown that 77% of remote workers are more productive when they work from home. An additional 30% accomplish more tasks in shorter timelines when they work from home. With clearly outlined deliverables and good collaborative working tools, this should be easy to institute. Productivity aside, the idea of working from home increases retention rates, decreases the number of days employees take days off, and employees tend to return to work faster after taking time off for health-related issues.
6. They Seek Clear Career Paths
Unlike their predecessors, the younger generation wants to lead from the get-go. Career ascension possibilities and how to get there are two important aspects of the job. This does not mean they expect promotions a few months into joining your organization. It means they want to be in a space where they can champion causes and make an impact. With the high costs of hiring, and organizations looking to retain their hires, this is one avenue you can use to reduce your employee turnover. Work with your millennials to chart clear career paths, and you will significantly increase your chances of employee longevity.
7. Trust and Transparency are Key
Again, the lack of trust and transparency were not really reasons for the older generation to change their job. Things are different when it comes to the younger generation. Millennials care about the conversations in management, how they were arrived at, how they impact them, and how they change the organizational landscape. This does not mean they want to be involved in office politics. Trust and transparency means they value knowing what’s going on and being looped into decisions makes them feel like valued members of the team. A by-product of this is increased engagement. Employees also appreciate open and honest discussions about their performance outside of HR, with both team members and direct supervisors. While it’s challenging to make general assumptions on an entire generation, it’s important to note that growing up with technology and globalization has shaped millennials into who they are, making it easier to categorize certain traits.
The goal for recruiters here is to understand these similarities and tailor recruiting and HR strategies around what works best for both the organization and the employee.