Why your organization should be hiring more Gen Y workers.
By John Wilson
A collaborative, resourceful person who is an innovative thinker and loves a challenge sounds like the perfect employee, right? Well, that’s been my experience with Generation Y employees. So why wouldn’t organizations want to hire them? Members of Gen Y, also referred to as Millennials, have gotten a lot of heat lately. And they don’t deserve it. During the past few months, plenty of articles have described what Gen Y is not. But there’s value this generation brings to a company. Not only should companies be hiring Millennials, we need them.
In the fast-paced, ever-changing world of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), flexible and hardworking employees are a must. Millennials’ willingness to be accessible is especially important in recruitment, with candidates and clients calling at all hours. These tech-savvy, networking gurus, which could be called the “mobile generation,” are always plugged in. They are happy to answer a call from a candidate at 7 p.m. if it means an impressive submission to their client the next morning. Of course, while it’s a plus that Millennials are so flexible, they want employers to give them the same courtesy. They expect to be able to run to a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day without issue, and will answer emails in the waiting room. With Gen Y, it’s all about blending work with life.
Diversity is also playing an important role. With more women and other minorities obtaining post-secondary education, these groups have a higher presence in leadership positions. So, not only are we getting new ideas because they’re part of a different generation, but the knowledge exchange contains fresh perspectives. Diversifying your workforce is essential for innovation and growth to occur, and the entrance of Gen Y into the workforce has facilitated that.
Millennials are eager to give their input and come ready for your feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s important for them to be part of your company’s goals. Leverage their enthusiasm and motivation to expedite projects and work toward your company’s goals. Colleagues who want constructive criticism to improve their work
not only make your job easier, but it’s essential when working for clients. It’s crucial for RPO providers to continue to learn what our clients want and deliver that. RPO professionals have to bend and mold their work styles to fit their clients’ needs, and Millennials are eager to hear how they’re doing and put suggestions for improvement into motion.
Millennials also have a sense of curiosity. They want to know why they’re following a certain process or why they’ve been assigned to a specific project. One of the most respected HR leaders in the history of the industry once said that the number one quality he looks for in a prospective new hire is curiosity. An organization full of robots agreeing to process doesn’t promote growth. Millennials question because they’re thinking of ways to improve processes or become more involved in the strategy of a project. They’re interested in making an impact on the company and the HR world. While they do aim big, Millennials take the time to set realistic goals. Coupled with determination and drive, this leads to success.
Tactics That Attract Millennials
Gen Y will positively contribute to your company, so how can you attract them?
Technology. Millennials are tech-savvy and appreciate new technologies. Be ahead of the technology curve. Beyond that, they’re on social media, so your company should be too. That’s where they’ll head first to research your organization. Your recruiters should be knowledgeable about social recruiting and not afraid to try new approaches to get better results.
Employee branding and referrals. The recently released study by the Boston Consulting Group, The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes, reported that millennials trust friends more than “corporate mouthpieces.” The study noted that a person with credibility and brand knowledge has shifted from someone with professional credentials to someone who has experienced it firsthand. Take advantage of this shift by building your brand with your employees and let them become your biggest advocates. Create an employee brand ambassador program that showcases your employees’ passion for the company and their work. Your Gen Y employees will gladly sign up to get involved and when other Millennials see that passion, it will spark their interest in applying for a position.
Innovate hiring practices. Millennials appreciate speed and ease so if your application or hiring process has too many steps, these candidates may be discouraged and not finish the forms. Simplify and streamline the hiring process. Video interviewing or virtual career fairs, for example, are HR technologies that enable recruiters to be efficient. And Millennials embrace the opportunity to interact with these new tools.
There’s no question that Millennials are changing the workforce as we know it. Instead of picking apart how they’re different from previous generations, let’s embrace what they bring to the table. Employing people who enjoy what they do every day, regardless of their generation label, and adapting to the changing employment landscape leads to a company’s continued success. Learning what makes each generation tick and realizing the positive attributes each generation offers will separate your organization from the rest.
John Wilson is the founder and CEO of WilsonHCG.