If I had a dollar for every time I heard “millennials are lazy,” I’d be a very rich woman. I also don’t agree with the statement, for the most part. Confession time: I’m one of your dreaded millennials, and when I hear all the millennial-bashing going on, I cringe and attempt to hide. Most of the talk comes from baby boomers and it got me thinking, do they just not understand us?
Earlier this year I heard Curt Steinhorst from the Center for Generational Kinetics speak at a conference and he confirmed my theory—kind of.
When it comes to baby boomers and millennials in particular, the two groups have some very different ways of thinking about their work life. For example, boomers find their identity when they get to the office; millennials find it when they leave, according to Steinhorst. Here are five other tips to help you engage and hire millennial workers in your operation:
When recruiting, bring the job to life. Millennials want to feel like they are making an impact on the world. “We’re all about the experience and changing the world and doing something that no one else is doing,” Steinhorst says. “Hone in on the first three lines in the job description. Make us feel right from the beginning that we think we’ll be doing something that no one else is doing.”
Millennials want to see themselves in your company. Millennials are very visual and do research online. The photos you have on your website mean a lot to millennials. “Get photos of real people doing jobs that we would be doing. Put that all over your website and social media. That helps us feel like we would belong,” Steinhorst says. “If we go to the "About Us" section on your website and don’t see anyone like us, we don’t feel like we belong.” Steinhorst says millennials also like to see a diverse workforce and that if you can create a short video of a millennial employee performing a job task the applicant would be asked to do, that that helps millennials overcome the feeling of, “this isn’t a place where we belong.”
Simplify the application process. If it’s hard to apply, millennials won’t do it, Steinhorst cautions. At the outset explain what the application process will be. If millennials know what to expect, they will be more likely to roll with it and complete the application process.
After you’ve hired your millennial workforce, Steinhorst offers tips to keep them engaged employees:
• Millennials want to make an impact on the very first day of their job. Ensure they have the opportunity to feel this is accomplished.
• Millennials will take a pay cut to work for a company they believe in. So make sure they know what your company values and mission are and ensure that you live up to those standards.