Millennials, those born between the 1980s and 2000s, can be valuable additions to your employee roster. They can also be one of the most difficult generations to retain as employees and convince to join your company in the first place.
When it comes to recruiting millennials, you are not seeking out the most seasoned of employees, but you are hiring moldable employees with promise. Experienced employees, while they will join your business equipped with years of knowledge, are often less willing to learn your company’s techniques. When people have already become experts in their own right, it sometimes translates to being “stuck in their ways.”
Taking the extra time to train and shape a millennial may be more worth it for your business in the long-run.
Nick DiBenedetto, co-owner of ND Landscape Inc. in Massachusetts, likes to look for promising young millennials who often have yet to discover their passion for the industry.
“What you have to look for is a young stud who doesn’t know he is an A player yet,” DiBenedetto explains.
Choosing the kind of employee you want to hire for the position is just the beginning, however. Once you decide to target millennials, the next step is to come up with a recruiting strategy because they are a hard group to get to join any company.
Lawn Butler offers internships to young prospects and visits college career fairs when specifically looking to recruit young talent, says Brian Lowery, the company’s hardscape construction client representative.
And while there are many recruitment options, including Lawn Butler’s tactics, gaining a millennial as an employee often proves to be much more difficult than drawing in an employee from another generation. Visiting universities helps, but it is simply not as easy as it used to be to attract young talent. That is because, as DiBenedetto has found, employers often intimidate millennial prospects with promises of long careers at their specific companies.
“Let me help you with your ‘personal’ career.” This is the language DiBenedetto uses when he speaks to millennial prospects.
That is why DiBenedetto likes to bring along millennial employees “a little bit at a time.”
“Speak of their time at your company in achievable short increments, and discuss how it will ultimately impact their professional goals, not your business,” he says.
These professional goals are much different for millennials than they are for the generations that precede them. They are often fully focused on their personal career growth, not their growth at one company.
That is what makes them such a difficult, yet exciting, group of potential employees. And once you better understand them, you could find yourself with a team of auspicious colleagues.
As DiBenedetto says, “Learning how to deal with them is the key component.”