Elizabeth Muse, the operations lead at Talent Hack, shares why attracting millennials as employees does not have to be complicated.
The term “millennial” is as appealing in the workplace as a jar of mayo basking in the hot Florida sun. Too often, we associate this term with a 20-something-year-old, lazy, selfish, selfie-taking hippie. OK, enough name-calling. Here are some common phrases employers use when having a hard time finding good people, as it relates to millennials:
- “These kids are so lazy.”
- “No one good will work for what I pay.”
- “All my good employees end up leaving.”
- “It’s hard to find good people.”
These are all limiting beliefs. Hiring, retaining and empowering entry-level employees and turning them into some of the most profitable and productive members of our teams is possible.
In the fitness industry, 96% of the job resumes and candidates who apply are millennials. How can we leverage this very large employee pool and land millennials who can make a difference?
These tips are important to keep in mind:
Technology is their world.
We may be living through a huge technology shift, but this generation grew up “connected” and their world is one of instant access, diverted attention and computers in the palms of their hands. Millennials do not have ADHD — they simply have a thousand times more information to process than we did in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and they’ve only ever known a world where if they want to know something, they’ll look it up.
We must stop looking at their “addiction” to social media or their devices as a negative. Embrace how their digital native identities can enhance our businesses. Use technology to attract millennials and consider how technology will affect their roles.
College isn’t the only way.
Remember when you spent $120,000 to take “Underwater Basket Weaving” for your communications degree? Yeah, neither do we. Don’t get us wrong, there are many professions where college is a must — doctor, lawyer, etc. — but it’s no longer considered a “must do.” The emergence of online learning and skills boot camps are doing more to prepare this generation for meeting the needs of the future than any degree.
We must avoid assuming if an applicant didn’t obtain a four-year degree they are unmotivated or lack ambition. Consider on-the-job training and skill-based opportunities, advertise jobs that focus on skills and interests versus degrees, and hire for enthusiasm and acumen versus traditional schooling.
The 40 hour workweek is dead.
Did you know Ford was one of the first companies to implement an eight-hour workday in 1914? Previously, employees were working 12 to 14 hours a day. The cut in labor reduced costs, increased productivity and led to higher profits. Almost 100 years later, we still have the same work schedules and assume dedication to an employer means all your eggs are in the company’s basket. It’s time to change.
We must consider flexible work schedules and shorter shifts to attract and get the most from millennials. It will also be important to embrace they will most likely have outside interests — whether that is a side-hustle, tight social groups or philanthropic endeavors.
Attracting and retaining millennial employees nowadays does not have to be complicated. However, it does require you to shift your mindset and consider adapting long-standing operations. Are you up for the challenge?