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Who Are Millennials?
Known as Generation Y, these individuals were born between the years 1980 and 1995. According to Family Search, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to genealogy, the term millennial refers to being born near the end of the calendar millennium.
Characteristics of Millennials
It’s important to know how world events shape new generations. Forbes details Eight Characteristics of Millennials That Support Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to these characteristics, let’s focus on two key differences between Millennials and other generations.
- Technological literacy. Writing for the Pew Research Center, Michael Dimcock stated, “Technology, in particular the rapid evolution of how people communicate and interact, is another generation-shaping consideration. Baby Boomers grew up as television expanded dramatically, changing their lifestyles and connection to the world in fundamental ways. Generation X grew up as the computer revolution was taking hold, and Millennials came of age during the internet explosion.” The advances in technology during impressionable years make this generation comfortable and confident around computers and mobile devices.
- Desire for feedback. Part of Millennials’ technological literacy is the feeling of being constantly connected to work, friends, or family. This near-endless connection creates a desire for near-constant feedback. Some examples include notifications from social media platforms and the ability to stream live television from mobile devices or text and email communication at any hour of the day. The conditioning of continual feedback cascades into the workplace as Millennial employees desire an increase in the quantity and speed of updates.
Why Is Hiring Millennials Important?
Adapting a company to any new population or cultural norm can be challenging. Hiring Millennials can bring many changes to a business, but there are as many benefits.
- Quantity of workers and sustainability. Millennials will make up 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. As Baby Boomers and Generation Xers begin to exit the labor force, companies will depend on Millenials to keep their operations going.
- Technological prowess. As Millennials continue to enter the workforce, they bring a deeper understanding of technology with them. This familiarity allows this generation to learn electronic systems quicker, develop more efficient workflows, and obtain knowledge with greater ease.
- More balanced employees. In addition to technology progression, Millennials are bringing an emphasis on work-life balance, employee benefits, and perks. Updating PTO policies to include higher rates, adding wellness benefits like gym memberships, and enacting paid VTO ( volunteer time off) are becoming more common. Companies enact these changes to remain competitive in recruiting efforts.
Strategies for Hiring Millenials
Generations respond to different strategies. Millennials look for jobs in new places, react to employer brands, and desire hybrid work environments.
Recruit in New Places
With the increase of digital recruiting platforms, companies need to look in new places for employee candidates. Gone are the days of putting an ad in the newspaper and hoping people see it; instead there is a wide variety of online platforms to use. Popular electronic job boards include Indeed and ZipRecruiter. Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook have job-board elements and networking. There has even been a rise of websites like Glassdoor, which invite employees to review their company and the positions they have held.
With the growing complexities of online recruiting, companies are hiring full-time recruiters to be more active in initiating conversations with potential candidates. Smaller companies use ATS (applicant tracking system) options that automatically post a job post to many sites at once.
Create a Choice Employer Brand
While online recruiting is rising, the tried and true method of being a great employer never goes out of style. By investing in employee retention via competitive wages, effective management, and a unique service or product, employees naturally share their satisfaction with their employer. Employees share with family and friends who are looking for work or may share an electronic post about open positions. Many companies offer a referral incentive to current employees who bring new employees to help answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
Consider Hybrid Workplace Opportunities
Another advantage to Millenials’ technological literacy is their comfort in working remotely. After companies were forced to adapt to COVID-19 precautions, many Millennials expect to have a remote or hybrid option for their work. This allows for employees to work from a different state, another city, or while on vacation, providing greater flexibility.
Many steps need to be taken to prepare to offer hybrid or remote setups, such as knowing the labor laws for employees in different states, what and how technology will be provided to employees, how to ensure the security of data, and managing productivity.
What Business Characteristics Make It Easier to Hire Millenials
As mentioned, there are several strategies for hiring Millennials, including a review of your benefits. But what organizational characteristics attract them?
Openness to New Ideas
One principle is for teams and business leaders to be open to new ideas. This generation brings suggestions and methods that current businesses may not know or be used to. Proposals can include changes to the dress code, new product ideas, and insights on retaining current customers or attracting new ones.
Millennials Bring Millennials
Potential employees want to feel like they belong and look for people like themselves during recruiting and interviewing. Seeing fellow Millennials on the company website, during a tour, or in a virtual meet-up may make Millennial candidates more apt to join your company.
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Questions You’ve Asked Us About Hiring Millenials
Austin became the HR Director at Discovery Connections in 2021. Before that he worked as an Account Manager for a Section 125 benefits and COBRA administrator. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science in 2019 and from Southern Utah University with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership in 2021. At end of 2021, he became certified with SHRM-CP.
Originally from Oklahoma, Austin enjoys trying new foods in new places he travels to, watching college football, and snowboarding the local resorts in Utah. He has been married to his wife since 2019 and owns a cockapoo named Hershey.
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