For years, the hot topic has been Millennials in the workforce, with many having mixed reviews and concerns. Millennials (Gen Y) have a lot to offer and many of us work with them everyday. Your company wants to recruit top talent and Millennials are quickly comprising the majority of the workforce, so the real question is “How do we get the best Millennial for the job?” The answer is pretty simple – learn what they value and recruit millennials based on those values. You may be surprised to find out many of their values are the same as previous generations, just expressed in different ways. However, let’s start by understanding the background of Millennials.

Back to Basics with Gen Y

Before you can understand a potential candidate’s values, you need to know their background. Here are the main characteristics of millennials:

The Urban Legend of Millennials

Let’s debunk a few myths about Millennials to foster a sense of understanding in the recruitment process. Here are 5 urban legends about Millennials that we desire to challenge:

9 Millennial Values to Know

Now that we’ve debunked some myths, let’s get to what’s important: Values. Before employers make assumptions about candidates, it’s important to understand their values based on their generational and personal experiences. It’s imperative your company reflects the values of candidates, otherwise this can hinder from gaining top talent.

  1. Personal Time – While many Millennials have the drive to succeed, many understand when it’s time to pack it up for the day and take time for themselves. Personal care and time off is important to Millennials, and can promote a happier and efficient work environment. When evaluating prospective employers, a consideration for many Millennials is flexibility, work from home days and paid time off. Many Millennials saw the burdens that long work days put on their Baby Boomer and Gen X family members in the pursuit of success. This changed their idea of work-life balance. Additionally, more research over the past decades shows personal time has increasingly been linked to mental health.
  2. Who Are You? – The days of a “professional persona” are slowly disintegrating with Gen Y. That’s not to say that Millennials don’t appreciate workplace etiquette, however, they yearn to know their peers for more than their work. The desire for Millennial employees to know their peers and management “as people” is becoming increasingly popular. They want insight into who you are so they can find common ground with you and foster a better workplace relationship.
  3. Tell Me What’s On Your Mind – Millennials value feedback from management so they can adjust their work to fit the needs of the company. A quarterly eval is no longer sufficient, but rather weekly check ins to talk about the progress of their work and connect with management on a deeper level.
  4. The Sky’s the Limit– Like any other employee, expect a lot from Millennials. They may have entry-level experience, but that doesn’t mean they cannot produce consistent, quality work. Communicating that you have high expectations of this generation can provide them with the motivation and inspiration they need in the workplace. Also, it can help build a multi-generational mentor-mentee relationship.
  5. Shark Tank – Millennials want a company to invest in them. This means career development, workshops, advising and other opportunities. Additionally, workshops and other team building relationships can help create a more cohesive workplace environment and bonding amongst employees of different generations. Not only does this communicate you care about their growth and commitment, but that you desire to support them and create a healthy relationship.
  6. The Times They are A-Changin’ – Who likes complacency? Certainly not Millennials. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality is fading away and innovation is leading the way. Millennials desire to create lasting improvements in their workplace that can help promote transparency, equality, unconventional thinking and non-traditional diversity. Thinking outside the box to make changes in the workplace that reflect changes in the world will increase as more Millennials enter the workforce.
  7. Be the Change – If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. This saying rings true for many Millennials because they understand the importance of promoting social change and supporting worthwhile causes. This means working with a company with values or SMART goals, that establishes and executes corporate responsibility. Art Papas, the CEO of Bullhorn CRM, understands the value of embodying company values. If your company does not walk the walk, you may see many Millennials walking right out of your offices.
  8. Money Can’t Buy Happiness – Millennials are more apt to stay with a company that is growing and has a purpose than those who offer them higher wages. It is not that money isn’t a factor in their employment decision, it’s just not the only factor.
  9. Oh, the Place You’ll Go – As the times change, some workplace behaviors do too. Many people no longer have a 40 year tenure at a company. So it’s important to provide opportunities to your employees to develop skills that they can apply to different industries and fields.

Tips to Gain Millennial Engagement

Now that you know some of their values, how will you get this top talent. Here are a few tips to getting Gen Y talent down to a science.

The Takeaway

As your company continues into its recruitment efforts, all individuals, regardless of their age, should be treated equally. However, tweaking the recruitment process to each candidate’s needs can make them fall in love with your company, whether or not they are selected.