October 23, 2015

Hiring Millennials? Here’s How to Keep Them


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Millennials. They’re smart, fast, and digitally savvy. And did I mention their eagerness to climb the ladder quickly? These kids are no longer looking to stay at a company for 50 years, like generations before them. And while this opens the door for new businesses to grow their talent pool, it also means that these young professionals can be easily swayed by the latest and greatest opportunity. Which could imply leaving your company sooner than you’d expect.

As the owner of my own part time CFO services company, I’m always looking for ways to make sure we have access to the best people. If you’re a small business owner, I’m sure you’re in the same boat. Truth is, there are a whole lot of Millenials, and they’re going to be round for a long time.

So here’s what you should be thinking about: If you’re in the process of growing a business and trying to hire Millennials (which is essentially a must), but also want to employ a stable workforce for the long-term, how do you make them stay?

Let’s look at the facts. Research has shown that young professionals would prefer to take a pay cut for a company they are passionate about. Job satisfaction based solely on income is a thing of the past. The most important thing an employer can do is create an environment and culture that employees are excited to be involved in every day.

But what does that mean?

Millennials want to make an impact. They wish to actively contribute to the big picture and are keen on putting words into action. Obviously they will need to do daily account work, but give them the freedom to explore more strategic avenues as well. Invite them to work on a new business project and see what they come up with. Allow room for creativity.

To go along with that, if a Millennial doesn’t feel that they can grow personally and professionally at your company, they will seek out other options. They want to understand how the company is growing (and where they fit into the grand scheme of things) from the leaders at the top. Set aside some time during the day for brainstorms where senior leadership and junior staff can bounce ideas off one another. Encourage a community culture that extends beyond hierarchical structures and shows young professionals where and how they are making a difference.

For that extra personal touch, regularly check-in with your employees. Having an open dialogue between levels will develop relationships with your younger staff and, rather than hearing gossip through the grapevine, will allow you to learn first-hand what’s working and what’s not. Show that their concerns are valid, their voices are heard, and their ideas are important, too.

Millennials have needs. Some say they’re entitled. And although it could be a combination of both, these professionals are here to stay, so we better get used to them. Instead of harping on how their work ethic is different from past generations, work with them and learn from them. Because, who knows, they may be your next executive.

Or someone else’s.


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