If you’re reading this post, you probably work with a Millennial. According to a recent study, Millennials already make up 60% of the workforce. By 2025, that percentage will increase to 75%. This has become a cause for concern among some leaders. The stereotypes being lazy, entitled, and self-centered have caused some businesses to put off hiring Millennials or promoting them into certain leadership roles.
However, studies show the cohort born between 1981 and 1997 want pretty much the same things Generation X and baby boomers do: work-life balance, meaningful duties, personal and professional growth. Recognizing what that looks like for each generation is the important part.
Looking for a Few Good Millennials?
Many leaders are concerned by the lack of millennial talent. There’s a lot of frustration that can come from leading our generation. How do you find the cream of the crop? Here’s a principle to remember…
Eagles are eagles, and ostriches are ostriches, even when they come out of the egg.
Identifying the difference is an important first step, but it’s not the only thing you should do. There are certain characteristics and capabilities that make Millennials stand out above the rest. They can help you determine which Millennials can soar and which will stand around with their head in the sand.
However, Millennials still need help learning how to fly. If you want our generation to make a greater impact for your organization, there are certain things we need to grow and develop.
3 Things to Know Before You Hire Your Next Millennial
Here are three things every leader should know when recruiting and leading Millennials:
1. We need to feel like we’re more than just another number.
Millennials are incredibly relational. We want to be known and heard. We want to feel like leaders have our best interest in mind. Before you start laying out protocol or job expectations, take time to build relational equity with us. It could be something as simple as spending 30-minutes over coffee.
Do you want Millennials to be invested in their work? Build a relationship with us first.
2. We need to know the why behind what you do.
One of our biggest fears as Millennials is insignificance. For many of us, we need to buy into the bigger picture of our work and believe it matters. Simon Sinek described Millennials perfectly when he said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
It’s not just enough to rattle off your mission and vision statement. Empty phrases don’t do anything for Millennials. Take time to share the greater story of your business and how it connects to the greater good.
3. We don’t expect to stay around forever… and we expect you to be ok with that.
Job-hopping is the new normal for Millennials. In fact, 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in their current job for less than three years. Blame it on the growing freelance movement or Enron, but Millennials don’t have the same sense of loyalty to an institution as previous generations.
We expect the organizations we work for to recognize this. Rather than “signing our life away” for a paycheck and a pension, we want to work for organizations that can help us grow and prepare us for whatever is next.
There’s no denying that transition will make a significant impact in many businesses and industries. Millennials will continue to carry the expectations we have for work into the future as we develop in our careers. Knowing how those expectations impact our decision to participate actively in the work your organization is doing is important to “get the most out of” our generation… but that better not be your only goal.
What are some ways you apply these principles when it comes to hiring and leading Millennials?
Join the Conversation
Before You Hire Your Next Millennial… Read This
There are all-stars in every generation. Millennials are no different. Sure there are generational differences. And we can learn from each other. Millennials are shaping the workplace in a very positive way. And not just in North America, but around the world. They have an entrepreneurial spirit that has been enabled by technology. They learn skills faster. They reach markets quicker. They love mobility and flexibility – and that is needed in today’s world. They have the largest share of the workforce. They are not as organizationally focused. Boomers and Gen Xers strive for work/life balance. Millennials are products of work/life fusion. And why not. We are connected 24/7. We can never leave work at “work”. Those days are gone. And yes, job hopping is not a given. But it also doesn’t have to be a negative. Spread the information. If I get someone coming from another industry, and they have learned a lot, just think of the value-added to my endeavor. They are a YOLO crowd (you only live once). But that does not mean “irresponsible” as much as it means “passion”, “purpose”, “meaning”, and “significance.” Thanks for the stimulation:)!
What’s the point of giving off the vibe you don’t want to make the job a long-term thing? What if the job turns out to be a great opportunity? Or you rise the ranks and become management?
If you need to leave, OK…then you leave. But to make plans to leave before you even begin…seems foolish. Life is unpredictable and it’s not a sign of weakness to grow within the same company if it’s the right decision for your career.
Thanks for starting the conversation, Jeremy!