Strategic Staffing: Hiring the Millennial Generation

The Millennial Generation — one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century. Many companies just don’t know what to make of them, as they are unlike any other workforce the world has encountered thus far. They bring a different set of experiences and expectations to the workplace, which can often be incomprehensible to co-workers and upper management. However, the millennial worker should not be written off; in the right work environment, they can be incredibly passionate, loyal and productive.

Millennials Demystified

Millennials range from 18-33 years old and, even though that’s a sizable gap, all bear similar traits. They are often naïve about complex topics, but show great insight and wisdom when it comes to social issues. They seem to hardly be able to commit to a cat, let alone a career. They sometimes come with undeserved egos and uncovered tattoos.

But many of them are also the first to grow up entirely in the digital age. This makes them adept problem solvers from birth. Because they interact with the world through digital media, they are the living, breathing ideal audience for many companies. This means they come to the table with a wealth of innate, media and marketing knowledge. As employees, both permanent and temporary, millennials are:

  • Highly self-sufficient at solving small, daily problems, but have a limited big-picture view. They often need direct supervision to tackle complex, long-term projects.
  • Take negative criticism personally, but often request frequent and detailed feedback. Their egos and senses of self are very fragile.
  • Seeking to make a difference. They crave meaningful work, both in the overall goal of the company, as well as in their routine tasks.
  • Easily distracted, especially by the Internet and their phones. They often job hop, as opposed to clocking lengthy time with one employer.
  • Filled with an approach to life that is considerably more technical and flexible than other generations. While this means millennials want flexible hours and high-tech devices, it also means your company gets an infusion of creative and dynamic perspectives.

Millennials Mean Business

Many businesses inspect and immediately reject the millennial work ethic, but in a setting where they can flourish, they are essential to the team. When you’re considering hiring a millennial for a technical position, ask a few key questions in your interview to really get a clear understanding of this individual as a worker. Hypotheticals are a great way to see if a millennial candidate will be a good fit.

  1. What is your ideal job? This answer tells you what management can do to keep this employee happy, which often improves productivity and performance.
  2. What do you enjoy doing the most in your job? What do you enjoy the least? This answer will show you how to motivate your millennial employee with new tasks and challenges.
  3. What past employer rules and standards did you find challenging to follow? This answer will let you know if this millennial can put the phone down, shut off Twitter and get to work.

Millennials are just one demographic swimming around the candidate pool. If you’re about to initiate a hiring process, the elite recruiters at Triumph Services understand that different positions need different candidates. With more than 15 years of technical staffing experience, we’ve matched companies with all kinds of qualified temporary and permanent workers, all the way from baby boomers to millennials. Contact us today and find the right talent for your next big technical project.

By Logan Bragg: Partner, Triumph Services. As head of the Recruiting Division of Triumph, he has helped thousands of candidates find rewarding positions.