By internet research counts, 75,000,000 millennials are joining the workforce. In 2017 this group may have become the majority of your workforce. Young workers are a new breed of employees that managers in any industry frankly don’t quite know how to identify, manage, and communicate to. It’s a generation that defies the rules governing the workforce, making workplace situations more difficult and leaves other generations feeling confused and sometimes even disgruntled.
Fear not and listen up! The following article offers new hire tips on how to find a high-quality millennial workers, and how to keep and reward them.
1 - How To Spot Them
The best way to find the right younger candidate is to take time to seek people with the right soft skills, like passion and commitment, and also skill set and track record.
Soft skills: When looking to hire new employees who are younger, probe them to vet their interpersonal skills. This is especially important for the restaurant and hospitality industry. “If the candidate nervously reaches for their phone, has trouble making eye contact, or trips over simple answers they may lack the competence your company is looking for,” notes Jantzen Pahl, author at Idaho State University.
Commitment: Then, ask questions to vet their level of commitment to an employer. Many younger workers are apt to find the next best thing. So, ask them about previous professional roles and length of service to gauge their experience, and for lack of a better word, flightiness.
Passion: The enthusiasm a candidate brings to the interview will be evident. Look for young employees who have the right mindset, not just those who have the skills you desire. Passion is a highly desirable soft skill in any industry. These employees are positive, eager to learn, trainable, and loyal. Ask questions designed to spot passion:
- If money wasn’t a concern, how would you spend your time?
- Who has been the most inspirational person in your life?
- What excites you about this position?
- What scares you about this position?
- If you were the boss for a day, what would you change about our business?
- What do you do well naturally?
- What areas are you looking to improve?
Look for red flags: Negativity like going into an elaborate story about a past boss or co-worker should be an immediate red flag. “Speaking well of former jobs translates to loyalty, integrity, and class,” notes Pahl.
Track record: Never leave a job interview without going into detail about a candidate’s previous and related work experience. Younger workers will naturally have less relevant experience, so ask them to associate skills from previous jobs to the job they are interviewing for, bridging old experience to a new industry.
Spot check: Thanks to the internet, you can go further into researching a candidate’s past. If it seems as though a candidate may be fluffing their experience, search their name on social media networks and search engines to gain a better perspective.
Recruitment bonus tips: Also, instead of looking to an internet job posting to find younger, talented employees, think about using the following “birds of a feather” tactics:
- Offer a “new hire bounty” of $200 for all hired employees.
- Ask your regulars, who understand and appreciate your customer service, for referrals.
- Listen to what qualities your employees feel are valuable in addition to your own standards. Use this input to narrow down candidates.
- If you can’t fill your spots, put out a boosted Facebook post for your area that you are hiring with a description of your culture and your top requirements.
2 - How To Treat Them
Be a leader: Young employees seek leadership and structure, but do not mistake this with micromanaging. They like the wings to fly, yet want to be bound by leadership that challenges them, keeps them honest, and helps them grow. “Millennials want to look up to you, learn from you, and receive daily feedback from you,” notes The Balance. Invest in their success, and they will, in turn, be loyal to you.
Be connected: Young workers, or millennials, are the most technologically connected generation in history. The new crop of workers offer a unique breed of skills, having grown up with access to technology, swift advancements, and immediate access to information. In particular, young adults have a firm grasp on the newest productivity tools, mobile devices, and even employee scheduling software. Get your business connected to modern technology, and your younger employees will value you.
Flexibility: Young workers are multi-taskers, and thus like to balance work and fun. To this end, they value workplaces with a good understanding of work/life balance and who offer flexible scheduling options. (Using employee scheduling software makes it easy to do this.)
Fun: Play in the workplace reduces turnover, boosts morale and improves employee engagement for the younger workforce. Remove the notion that work is tedious and “just for the paycheck.” You can plan all-staff activities like mixers or holiday parties, celebrate each one of your staff members’ birthdays, hold daily touch bases al fresco, or just keep the mood light when it’s right.
Go the extra mile: Take advantage of the opportunity to make your new employees' first-day special. One way to do this is to create a new employee welcome kit to show the new hire they are appreciated and are already a valued member of your team. Here are some welcome kit ideas:
- A greeting card signed by every staff member.
- Offer vouchers for free meals (if you are a restaurant), or other products or service related to your business.
- Branded merchandise, like a t-shirt, hat, or other branded merchandise.
- Create a welcome packet with all of the above materials.
Remember, an employee only has one first day. How they are welcomed sets the stage for their experience at your company. So, try it out. Add a welcome kit to your training and onboarding program and see how it improves the employee experience.
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