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How to Hire and Manage Millennials

Learn to attract, manage and retain millennials. This group is sharp and capable, craving knowledge and success — just doing so in a different manner than what was done in the past. Facilitate the positive growth of your organization and capitalize on what is being referred to as the busiest generation ever. Your challenge is to get them busy working toward your business goals and success.

Tips for attracting Millennials

When trying to attract this group, consider the things they value, such as flexibility to live life outside of work or opportunities to grow and learn. When marketing the positions you have available, or your organization as a desired place to work, start by practising what they preach. These attributes will make your company sound attractive:

  • Coaching and mentoring, but not micromanagement
  • Clearly defined goals and objectives with freedom to execute 
  • Task variety and stimulating work  
  • Flexible work hours and benefits 
  • Feedback that is timely, accurate and specific 
  • Recognition of good work 
  • Fun environment through celebration of successes and social activities among employees 
  • An informal approach to communication 
  • Perks that are of relevance to their lifestyle 
  • Support of community growth through volunteer or fundraising efforts
  • Educational reimbursement and/or in-house training

Tips for managing and retaining Millennials

According to author and HR consultant Susan M. Heathfield, who refers to this generation as “millennials,” the following recommendations will help you retain this young and vibrant generation. This advice, adapted from her article “Managing Millennials: Eleven Tips for Managing Millennials" is reprinted with permission from About.com.

  • Provide structure. Reports have monthly due dates. Jobs have regular hours. Certain activities are scheduled every day. Meetings have agendas and minutes. Goals are clearly stated and progress is assessed. Define assignments and success factors. 
  • Provide leadership and guidance. Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you and receive daily feedback from you. They want “in” on the whole picture and to know the scoop. Plan to spend a lot of time teaching and coaching and be aware of this commitment to millennials when you hire them. 
  • Encourage the millennial's "can-do" attitude. Millennials are ready to take on the world. Their parents told them they can do it – they can. Encourage – don't squash them or contain them. 
  • Encourage teamwork. Millennials are used to working in groups and teams, believing that a team can accomplish more and better than the lone ranger approach. 
  • Listen to your millennial employees. They are used to loving parents who have scheduled their lives around the activities and events of their children. They don't take kindly to having their thoughts ignored. After all, they had the best listening, most child-centric audience in history. 
  • Boring is bad. Millennial employees are up for a challenge. They seek ever-changing tasks within their work. Their mantra is: What’s happening next? 
  • Embrace multitasking. Millennial employees are multitaskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. Without many different tasks and goals to pursue within the week, millennials will likely experience boredom. 
  • Use the technology. Take advantage of your millennial employee’s computer, cell phone and digital literacy. The capabilities of these young employees are amazing. The world is wide, if not yet deep, for them. 
  • Understand networking. Not only comfortable with teams and group activities, your millennial employees like to network around the world electronically. Keep this in mind because they are able to post their résumés on Internet job boards potentially viewed by millions of employers. They keep their options open – always. 
  • Accept a life-work balance. Your millennial employees are used to cramming their lives with multiple activities. They may play sports, walk for multiple causes and spend lots of time with family and friends. They work hard, but they're not into the 60-hour work weeks accepted by the baby boomers. Life-work balance is important to them. Ignore this at your peril. 
  • Provide a fun, employee-centered workplace. Millennials want to enjoy their work. They want to enjoy their workplace. They want to make friends in their workplace. Worry if your millennial employees aren’t laughing, going out with workplace friends for lunch, and helping plan the next company event or committee. Help your long-term employees make room for the millennials.

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