Avocado toast. Selfies. Ruining beloved cultural institutions.
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about hiring great prospects.
Wait, I thought this article was about Millennials?
It is. The thing is, hiring great Millennials isn’t any different than hiring for any other generation. No two people are alike, and when you start hiring for demographics, rather than individuals, you start to lose sight of what makes them tick.
On generational divides
People love to discuss generational tendencies as though they broadly apply to everyone. Doing so allows them to join a team, to become part of an ingroup—Baby Boomer versus Millennial, Gen X versus obscurity, Gen Z versus them all.
Thing is, these designations aren’t super helpful for hiring.
Cultural shifts will occur over time as workplace trends ebb and flow. And, sure, many young people may have different working styles and expectations than their older peers. They may value different things. But every person comes to the bargaining table with lived experience in tow. Find something that’s broadly appealing, and you’ll attract more Millennials—along with everyone else.
If you try to woo young people superficially without understanding how to meet their needs as people, you’ll always encounter a disconnect.
That said, if you’re looking to hire great new team members—including Millennials—here are three valuable tips:
#1: Get benefits your team love
Understand where Millennials are coming from. Many entered the job market in the depths of the recession. Chances are, they know someone who used an online fundraiser to pay medical bills. That’s why material stability is a big selling point for young workers.
When you offer a high quality healthcare package, you are ticking one worry off their anxiety checklist.
Millennials are now in their late-20s and early-30s. Nearly all Millenials aren’t covered on a parent’s healthcare plan anymore. Many others are starting families of their own. They value the stability that quality healthcare and benefits provide.
Workplace wellness starts with good healthcare. That’s not everything, though. A lot of companies offer voluntary benefits programs—dental, fitness club memberships, student loan repayment assistance, pet insurance, or financial wellness programs—to protect the wealth and health of their employees.
Showing employees you care about their wellbeing by offering more than the minimum required healthcare coverage will make your company appeal to all generations (including Millennials).
#2: Upgrade your work culture
When a lot of people think of the “Millennial workplace,” they think ping pong tables, nap rooms, vegan snacks, and so on. While a lot of startups do use these perks to attract talent, the companies that attract and keep young workers do so because they focus on culture.
Surprisingly enough, one thing Millennials tend to like is strong performance management. They tend to excel when given clear expectations, boundaries, and feedback.
A lot of the nonsense about Millennials expecting “hand-holding” management really boils down to managers who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to communicating project context, expectations, and goals.
When communicating job responsibilities and performance to your employees—regardless of age—use clear guidelines and metrics. Setting clear goals, communicating expectations and having regular follow up can go a long way.
#3: Be transparent, always.
Transparency can go a long way too. During the interview process, prospects—including Millennials—will be assessing how transparent your company is. In fact, “90% of job seekers say that it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency”, according to Glassdoor.
But what does that mean for the hiring process? On the one hand it means not selling your potential hires on a false bill of goods. If you expect employees to work more than 40 hours a week, be upfront and make that apparent before they’re hired. Don’t sell them on their ability to work remotely if you know that coming into the office is necessary for their success and yours.
On the other hand, part of being transparent simply means being a good community leader—using honesty, patience, and open communication when engaging with others. Make sure that you’re telling the truth–even if it’s a bit unattractive–as dishonesty and lack of transparency is what drives prospects away, including Millennials.
What's the take away? At the end of the day, hiring great Millennials isn’t all that different than hiring great people from other generations. When demand for top talent is high, offering great benefit incentives, a sound culture, and transparent communications can make all the difference, no matter the generation.