Millennials have often been accused of lacking “adulting” skills, but they more than make up for it in tech savvy and innovative thinking. And if you want to reach millennial consumers, millennial employees are your greatest resource.
Millennials will overtake baby boomers in population this year. That statistic alone should inspire employers to add more millennials to the workforce. But doing so is smart for a multitude of reasons.
It makes sense to hire workers from younger generations to fill workplace needs. Older employees have mostly aged out of the kind of entry-level work that can be staffed with young millennials.
The generation of millennials grew up surrounded by computers, networks, and internet technology. Even an average entry-level millennial is likely to know your computer system better than a baby-boomer tech specialist.
Millennials are by nature disruptive thinkers. Most continually question the status quo, and have bold new ideas that can improve your business. Steeped in technology and accustomed to its constant advances, millennials have an instinctive drive to use innovation to change the world.
Even more importantly, millennial employees understand their peers in the marketplace. They draw upon the same background experiences, respond to the same marketing tactics, and know what’s important to them as customers. They can update your company’s service and business models to attract a larger millennial customer base.
You might assume that a solid paycheck and benefits package will attract millennials to your office, but that isn't always the case. Perks do help, but millennials want different things than past generations. They include flexible work areas and an open design, a central area that inspires collaboration, exercise areas and kitchens to improve wellness, and as much natural light as possible.
Most millennials are accustomed to using digital assistants like Siri and Alexa in their home lives. Offering similar capabilities in the workplace will signal that your company keeps up with the technological times. It can also be helpful to provide millennials with high-tech tax solutions such as online tax calculators and filing software, to help them overcome their tax hurdles.
Most businesses maintain a degree of social media presence. If you don't have millennials managing your feed, however, such efforts could come across as half-hearted, or even tone-deaf. Social media is one of the few advertising methods that still reaches them.
You can also utilize social media to attract millennial employees to your workplace. Sites such as LinkedIn are only the beginning. Expand your social media use to include as many business-oriented sites as possible.
Hiring millennials presents some unique challenges. They tend to be more cynical than their parents. Studies show that they don't respond to most types of traditional advertising. They might understand how those ads work, but find them unappealing. You’ll need to employ different routes to attract millennials to your business, including job fairs on college campuses, online and social media recruiting techniques, and remote work options. A full third of the marketplace consists of freelancers, a large number of whom are millennials who prefer working from the comfort of their homes.
The ultimate goal is to create an innovative and welcoming workplace that will change with the times and improve your business. So start hiring millennials now — your company culture, workplace, and bottom line will be glad you did.
Laura Gayle is founder of Business Woman Guide, a resource for women engaged in starting or growing businesses.