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The Millennial Mind-set




29.7.2013

The Millennial Generation is indefinable. 

One thing we can say is they will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. Last time I checked, that’s not too far away. With many speculators saying that we are doomed when the torch is passed, one man (me) says that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

It’s true that the average Millennial spends 7 hours a day online, and that some of that time is spent “liking” and “tweeting” on their friends’ social media pages. We cannot dismiss the fact that this is how they best communicate.  Unfortunately for employers, they cannot conduct interviews over Facebook or Twitter – although they can use these platforms for other means of recruitment (wink wink).  To understand how the average Millennial works, you have to understand where their priorities lie. 

So how do companies attract, connect and most importantly, recruit Millennials?

Promote Work/Life Balance

Okay, so who doesn’t want a good work/life balance? Well it has become almost as important as depositing that pay check every two weeks. It’s no secret that working around people who have lives outside of the office are more fun, happy and tend to build better relationships. This is a long term strategy for many modernising businesses to bridge the generational gap between working harder, and working smarter (and leaving your laptop at the office).

Contribute to the Bigger Picture

There is an age old story that best sums up this point: A traveller is passing through a city where two stonemasons are hard at work. The traveller approaches the first stone mason and asks, “What is it you are doing, good sir?” 

“Can’t you see? I’m making mud bricks!” the mason grumbles. 
The traveller then walks to the other stone mason and asks once again, “What is it you are doing, good sir?”
The mason stops for a moment and looks toward the sky and says, “Why, I am building a cathedral!

Takeaway? No one wants to work with a company with no vision.  Most Millennials want to feel like they are changing the world, even if they are changing out the coffee filters. Give context to their job in the grand scheme of things and they will often surprise you.

Shrink the Corporate Ladder

When interviewing, how often did you ask, “Are there any growth opportunities?” or something like it?  The new generation of workers often picture themselves as entrepreneurs, business owners or CEOs, and why shouldn’t they? Millennials who engage with social media make decisions every day that reflect/promote their own “personal” brand. For better or worse, the sense of “entrepreneurship” has developed this generation into “visionaries.” Modernising companies beware, these kids want to reach the top, or at least say they do.

Be Glocally Minded (no that’s not a typo)

What is glocal? It is global thinking, locally. Whether it is a fundraiser for education resources in Africa, planting trees in the local park for Earth Day, or running The Bridge to Brisbane to help young Australians with full-time care needs to find relevant and dignified care, the new generation wants to be involved.  Finding new ways to engage with employees outside of the office will help build internal morale, bridge any generational gaps, and create a forward thinking image of your company that Millennials will eat up. Plus, it will give them something to post on their social media about how cool their company is!

Start the conversation at your company. Ask them what they are doing to make sure they are attracting the best and the brightest of the new generation of workers.  Work smart, not hard and find yourself swimming in a vast Millennial talent pool.
 
Michael Hailey, Account Manager
 

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