I’ve never seen a time when the generational gap has been more obvious. Today, most leaders and managers are baby boomers or Gen Xers. The boomers are all about value and mission. They are brilliant communicators and message crafters, and are driven nuts by millennials who appear to not subscribe to their value system. Generation X is similar; they look for contributors and seek feedback. Millennials? Well, not so much.
Millennials strive for creative challenges, personal development and purposeful careers.
Millennials want to be challenged and the opportunity to make a difference. This drive is sometimes misunderstood as questioning authority (which they do at times), but their true purpose is to make things better or more efficient, or to find a new way to solve a problem.
It’s official: We can stop asking candidates if they are capable of multitasking. This is the generation that grew up watching television while having a conversation with their parents, and texting and messaging a friend through social media at the same time. Millennials are capable of multitasking—in fact, for them, it’s the norm.
“This is the way it’s always been done” is never a good answer. While more experienced generations are OK with performing a task the way it’s always been done, this is a painful request for the younger generations. Millennials have grown up in a world where everything has rapidly become more efficient.
But they refuse to work long hours! Whereas baby boomers and Gen Xers see value in the people who spend 50 to 60 hours in their office every week—making sure they are seen by their colleagues—the opposite is true for millennials. Millennials are always connected, always answering emails and always responding to texts.
So, have I convinced you that there are some redeeming qualities to these new employees—leaders—coming into our organizations? Good. Now let me give you some advice on recruiting them into your organization.
Tips for recruiting millennials:
1. Make sure your job opportunities are easy to review and apply for on a mobile device.
2. Think social, but beyond just Facebook and Twitter. It’s time to think about how to use platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and others to represent your organization’s unique employment-value proposition.
3. Promote innovation. Showcase the originality that’s taking place in your organization and how they can be involved in doing great new things.
4. Promote work-life balance. If working from home or other unique benefits are available, make sure you promote them.
5. Build your reputation in areas they care about. What is the purpose of your company? Is it something that provides your employees with purpose?
6. Stop telling them what is great about you. Start telling them about how they can grow and do great things by working with you.
It’s time to stop panicking about how millennials are taking over our companies and time to start understanding what we should be promoting to attract the right members to our teams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn provides account supervision and strategic planning for recruitment marketing, and diversity and inclusion for employers across the country. He has more than 20 years of healthcare-marketing experience, working with clients to attract qualified candidates for hard-to-fill vacancies. Shawn led the recruitment marketing efforts at Geisinger Health System before opening the AB&C office in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. His team in Bloomsburg is dedicated to helping its clients throughout the country recruit the best and brightest talent.