Understanding Millennials when recruiting!

#OpenLetter to companies that plan on existing in 25 years’ time

Understanding Millennials when recruiting

Dear companies,

Here I am, Claire Thomas, 24, a classic Millennial. I’m a Kick ass trainee recruitment consultant by day and a self-confessed social media addict and Netflix Junkie out of office hours. But not all Millennials are like me. Funnily enough, we aren’t all the same (I know right? Who would’ve thought?).

I’ll level with you here, it frustrates me when people call me a “millennial” as if it were a derogatory term. “Millennial” is the generational label given to people born between the years of 1985 and 2005.

Like many with parents in the Baby Boomer generation I watched my parent’s work long hours with little but the “satisfaction of hard work”. There’s a reason that the Millennials coined the “YOLO” phrase (You Only Live Once FYI (For Your Information)). Okay, so “YOLO” may have be used as a justification for stupidity, but we do have a point. You do only live once, there’s no coming back a second time to spend it with family you missed out on the first time. So really, can you blame Millennials for wanting a better Work/Life balance than our parents?

I’m sorry to tell but millennials, like it or not, are the future of your company. So if you plan on your company existing in 25 years’ time then I recommend reading my lists of the “yes pleases” and “nopes” for potential millennial employees.

What Millennials want

1) Flexi- everything

Flexi time, flexi place, flexi work.

Simple. Millennials want the freedom, respect and trust that’s associated with flexi working. This has been marked as very important by a large group of millennials from a study conducted by Deloitte in 2016.

Flexjobs have also released a survey that showed that flexi everything was extremely important to Millennials with 81% of the sample stating it was a very important factor when considering a job offer.

Millennials don’t want to work in an overly structured environment. Flexi-time is very popular with Millennials and even to the point of coming in an hour early to go home an hour early.

2) Want to be heard and actively encouraged to give their ideas.

**THIS IS WHY I LOVE MY JOB!!** (No, I haven’t been paid to say that!)

I can bring any idea to the table and if I can put forward an argument that the idea has a good commercial underpinning then I’m given the freedom to go for it.

Millennials want to be heard, seen and valued, more than any other generation before them. They want to be involved in processes and their opinions sought after.

3) To make a positive impact

Deloitte and IBM saw that Millennials want to make a positive impact on social/environmental challenges or the organisation that they work for. They want purpose, but frankly, who doesn’t? IBM saw that similar number of both Gen X and Baby Boomers wanted purpose as much as Millennials. So if your company is only 100% about that cash, money, dollar then you’re failing to give purpose to a lot of your employees regardless of their generation.

Things we just don’t want

1) Meeting tight deadlines without the thank you’s.*

To quote the great Sweet Brown “Aint nobody got time for that!”

Pushing and expecting staff to meet impossible/ unachievable targets or deadlines may have worked on Baby Boomers and Gen X. When it comes to Millennials, it will only give your company a shoddy reputation. While it’s unlikely that current staff would publish negative things about your company (on social media/ Glassdoor/ Linkedin ect), the moment they leave your employ, it’s a different story.

*Disclaimer: Yes sometimes a nearly done deal drops on to your desk and it’s your job to close it in the next 2 hours! And secretly you love the rush (or at least I do) but I don’t think I would cope with that pressure every day! I am also lucky enough to know that when I try my damnedest to meet a tight deadline that Glen and Kerrie (My Boss people) will be grateful and my efforts will be appreciated.

2) That your company has a “longstanding reputation!” (Sorry!)

So yeah, your company is a 100 years old and made a tonne of money. So what. We care about what your company does for the customers. Does it give any real sense of purpose?

This could explain the draw and attraction to start-ups and that in terms of reputation have nothing but a vision of how they want to improve the world with their product/service.  So maybe the “more traditional” (read: OLDER) companies need to step up their game if they don’t want to settle for the less ambitious Millennials that couldn’t cut it at application stage for the new and fancy start-ups.

3) For everything in their environment to be digital, online and instant!

I know you think that we are a phone obsessed generation, and maybe some of us are. But research from IBM showed that the top three things that millennials wanted were opportunities to network at conferences, in person classroom training and to work WITH knowledgeable more experienced colleagues.

So there you have it. The millennials are coming. It’s happening. Embrace it.

Honestly, we’re just like you, hardworking and motivated, just younger. 😉

#millennials #workplace #BabyBoomers #GenX #nextgeneration #stereotypes #mythbusting #wearemillennials #recruitment #future

This post was written as part of the #OpenLetter series with the Linkedin Editorial Calendar.

Thanks for reading!

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