Generation Y (also known as the millennial generation) includes people born from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the year 2020, Gen Y employees will comprise more than 40 percent of the workforce in the United States. Although there are many stereotypes about Gen Y workers, in reality, there are many compelling reasons why organizations should be eager to hire people from this demographic group.
Here are five things to think about as you consider hiring your next Gen Y employee:
1. Millennials Seek Feedback and Opportunities for Improvement
While Millennials want frequent feedback, that also means they are willing to make course corrections to their work as needed. A few minutes of verbal input means a lot to this age group. The upside of Gen Y’s desire for feedback is that they are willing to accept constructive criticism and make real-time changes to their behaviors on the job—an outcome that’s beneficial for companies, hiring managers and Millennials alike.
2. Millennials Are Always Up for New Challenges
Millennials actively seek opportunities to push themselves and grow. Gen Y workers are enthusiastic and-as Samuel Bacharach noted in Inc. Magazine-they are often eager to accept assignments that may be outside their comfort zone. Employers shouldn’t be afraid to give Millennials projects, along with general guidelines about what needs to be accomplished. Gen Y’ers will appreciate the freedom to figure out the details on their own. This is a great way to give young employees the sense of accomplishment and forward momentum they are looking for in the workplace.
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3. Gen Y Employees Like to Work Collaboratively
Teamwork defines most workplaces today. Cisco has found that Millennial employees genuinely enjoy working in groups and making connections with their colleagues. With their love of collaboration, Gen Y workers can amp up the productivity of teams.
4. Millennials Are Digital Natives
Members of Generation Y have never known a time when technology did not play a central role in daily life. As a result, they are comfortable with all types of technology, from social media to online collaboration tools to using computers in all aspects of their work. Millennials’ comfort with technology can benefit employers in various ways. Entrepreneur Magazine suggests that younger employees can be tapped as “reverse mentors” to get older workers more familiar with technology.
5. Socially Engaged Millennials Can Help Build Your Employment Brand
Bear in mind that engaged and satisfied Generation Y workers may be among the best ways for organizations to build their employment brands in an indirect way. Millennials freely share information about every aspect of their life on social media, including their jobs. Positive comments about your organization by these young “employee advocates” can go a long way toward strengthening your brand among potential customers and other talented Gen Y workers.
Given the tech savvy nature of this group, a great way to reach Gen Y candidates is through different online channels. Millennials are heavy users of the Internet and they also use social media extensively. For recruiting, companies should look beyond job boards and consider publicizing job openings on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. What’s more, organizations that clearly embrace technology through their hiring processes will have a head start in terms of building a strong employment brand among Generation Y.
If your business has been thinking about using social channels to recruit talented millennials, now is the time. But before you dive in, you need to know a few best practices to get your social recruiting strategies off on the right foot.