Part One of a Two-part Series
A new market of highly skilled, intelligent and ambitious workers is reaching the prime of its employable value. It’s no secret that millennials are ready to challenge and inspire companies across industries, and their hard work and refreshing ideas are here to change the world. However, millennials have utterly different needs than their predecessors. Money isn’t the primary motivator anymore, and meaningful and prosperous relationships built on trust will keep younger workers around for years to come. To properly engage talent in the hiring process and beyond must focus on work-life balance, a higher purpose and opportunity for growth. In part one of this series, let’s dive into how to keep millennial employees engaged and invested before they’re hired.
Engagement before the hire
The very first element of engaging a potential new hire starts with a clear job description. Most companies type up some half-assed wishlist of what people will be doing, and that lack of care is a severe pain point for millennial job seekers. They read through job descriptions and glean no clue as to what that job actually entails and how they’re going to do it. And once they apply for the role in the first place, the hiring process typically stays entirely transactional as opposed to based on relationships. Recruiters usually have to sell the job to the candidate and don’t focus on finding the RIGHT fit. A recruiter should seek out someone with a career need and find out whether their needs and skills and goals symbiotically align with a particular company’s. This starts by forming a relationship, getting to know the person and figuring out what’s important to them. And for millennials, relationships are key.
A truthful, engaging dialogue and relationship with a candidate will make them emotionally and intellectually invested in your company. Think of your company as the football star at a high school dance asking the highly-skilled, hard-working millennial candidate on a date. Sure, you can get them at first, but how do you keep them? While salary and free snacks are nice, getting to know your hire as a person and fulfilling their needs is a key component many companies are missing.
So...What Do Millennials Want?
Millennials typically prioritize the following things over money when it comes to a new gig:
Work-life balance. Will they have time to live and engage outside of their job? Millennials want to get involved with their community, spend time with their family, invest in their continuing education. Millenials will work hard, but they need downtime to recoup ad balance that intense effort. Companies might see this as a red flag, but what millennials are asking for is a relationship where they can solidly perform 14 hours a day and still take the time off to visit their mother in the hospital.
Social consciousness. Millennials are now interviewing the recruiter and company as carefully as the latter are interviewing them. Millennials want to work for an organization that’s invested in something. What are your company values, and do your actions and outward appearance match those values?
Benefits, such as vision, health, dental, etc.Money is tied in with this element but remains tertiary when compared to the first two items on this list.
The “courting” of millennials will only work as long as you can keep them engaged. To use the high school analogy again, when the pretty girl at the dance now is raising three kids and driving the soccer can, what keeps her around and thinking all the effort is worth it? Again, this stems from relationships, which create room for continued growth and development.
Companies often complain they hire someone and that person wants to be the CEO by the next day. Dr. Deena C Brown often asks her millennial clients, “What’s the one thing you want your boss to know?” The answers most often are, “I care. I want to grow in this company, but I don’t see chances for me to grow professionally.” How do millennials find a mentor in my company that’s going to help them with the job? They say, “I want to learn and do my job well. I ask questions because there’s a lack of clarity and I see no consistent path to get to the next level.”
As a recruiter, I see how frustrated people feel when they think they can’t advance in their current role. In a transactional recruiting environment, there’s push to move fast and furiously, and companies have created a problem for themselves by not investing in the interview/hiring process. When you hurry to get butts in the seat, you lose those people. Not only that, research shows one lousy hire costs 30% per person of the lost employee’s annual salary. Take a few extra weeks to explore your hiring pool deeply. Remember, your job description may be alienating people who are PERFECT or your role. Call the person, just don’t look at resumes -- look at the human factor in this automated space. Talk to the person to see who they are; people are more than buzzwords.
Dr. Deena C. Brown is an Executive Director and certified speaker, coach, and trainer with The John Maxwell Team. She is an international best-selling author and has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox as a highly sought keynote speaker, business and leadership growth expert.
She is affectionately known as The Millennial Whisperer. Her clients have identified her as The Catalyst because she makes Shift Happen. She is the founder of the Millennial Leadership Institute that provides leadership development and lifestyle coaching to Millennials. Her signature C3LeadershipTM Program helps professionals have more Clarity, Confidence, and Consistency by teaching how to Communicate with Influence, Connect Authentically, and Collaborate Strategically.
Dr. Brown’s expertise helps organizations and individuals build a clear path to significance that bridges their philosophy, vision, mission, and goals to their optimal organizational identity.
Rick Girard is the Founder & CEO of Stride Search, based in Orange County. Rick brings world-class leadership to firms across the nation to meet highly challenging business and talent acquisition objectives. With expertise in creative sourcing, consultative management and winning placement strategies, Rick Girard plants the hiring seeds for his partners’ success.
While not running a School for Gifted Mutants as Professor X, Rick hosts Hire Power Radio Show, a weekly series on OCTalkRadio.net which serves as an entrepreneur’s resource to solve the most difficult hiring challenges. When not on the air, Rick regularly gives talks and writes valuable content for Hiring Managers and Job Seekers alike. His mission: elevate and sharpen the industry standards of exclusive professional search.