Businesses today face an almost unprecedented hiring challenge. With the Millennial generation rapidly reaching maturity and entering the workforce, employers suddenly contend with the prospect of hiring from a generation that has diverged almost completely from the values and working methods of its elders. Companies that wish to navigate the complex waters of hiring on Millennial workers need to overcome many difficulties to both attract and retain young talent. Here are the three top challenges that companies looking to hire and keep Millennial employees need to overcome.
1. Providing a Workplace Based on Passion
The Millennial generation’s value of passion over just a steady job has often been mistaken for laziness. The truth is that many Millennial workers can and do throw themselves into their work with everything they have. Unlike elder generations, however, the Millennial generation is less motivated by stability and good pay than by a passion for what it is doing. Millennial workers, as a whole, prefer to feel that they are part of a business that is making a difference and working toward an objective or mission that they agree with. There are many businesses that struggle to provide this kind of working environment, as such a business mission was vastly less important to previous generations that worked largely for financial stability. Businesses that can clearly outline their mission and present it positively to young employees, however, will find themselves at a significant advantage in attracting and retaining younger workers.
2. Understanding the Culture of Oversharing
Another frequent frustration that older employers find with Millennial employees is a seeming addiction to social media and other platforms that allow them to share everything about their lives, even while on the clock. Millennial workers are notoriously bad at staying away from phones and computers while at work, a trait that can make them seem like time-wasters in the eyes of many more traditional employers. This, unfortunately, is simply a cultural trait of the generation that sometimes has to be worked around. Enough workplaces have begun to accept this kind of behavior that a company that discourages use of phones or computers while on the job can repel Millennials who see this as a deal breaker.
There is, however, a silver lining to this proclivity with social media platforms. Many companies have found it better to make use of Millennial employees’ constant sharing than to discourage it. By assigning these younger workers to social media marketing roles, companies can capitalize on a very real skill set that Millennial workers have an almost complete monopoly on. By using this skill to share company news, promote products and services and get brand messages out to potential consumers, many businesses have been able to turn what may seem like a time-wasting liability into a valuable asset.
3. Knowing Where to Draw the Lines
One of the very real downsides to Millennial workers is that many of them feel a much greater sense of entitlement in the workplace than their parents and grandparents. This can manifest itself in a number of different ways, and companies that wish to work productively with a Millennial workforce have to decide where lines should be drawn so as not to repel Millennials without allowing them to run roughshod over their supervisors and superiors. Open and honest expression of ideas, opinions and concerns should be encouraged without allowing it to go so far as outright disrespect. Taking initiative to accomplish a task in a new or innovative way should be allowed without going so far as to allow out and out insubordination of superiors. Deciding where to draw these lines can be critical, as Millennials are also notoriously willing to leave current jobs to pursue other opportunities. However, some traditional order and structure needs to be maintained in order for a company to function effectively.
Though hiring Millennial workers can seem like a challenge, understanding how they think and what they want in a workplace can make the process much easier and help to ensure that your firm hires the right young talent to help it grow and prosper. If you can succeed in finding qualified and hardworking Millennials to add to your staff, your company can set itself up for immense success in the coming years. However, it is best to make the necessary adjustments now, as Millennials are becoming a larger and larger portion of the workforce.
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