Recruiting Millennials: Overcoming Stereotypes

There’s been a lot of buzz lately concerning the rising number of Millennials in the job market–and how employers can go about recruiting millennials.

As this next generation makes its way onto the scene, it brings with it a new set of values, aspirations and expectations. Previous generations, however, are not exactly thrilled by their younger counterparts, pegging the Millennial generation as “entitled, self-obsessed and unprepared for the realities of adult life,” and their alleged poor work ethic and laziness are said to be the cause of much frustration among managers and co-workers.

But let’s face it: the presence of Millennials in the workplace isn’t going away anytime soon—eventually they will make up a large percentage of the workforce (about 36% by 2014 and 46% by 2020)—and these generational stereotypes often don’t reflect the talent and potential that Millennials posses.

Below, we’ve compiled a couple of stereotypes about Millennials that are thrown around the workplace, and how you as an employer can overcome these stereotypes and start recruiting Millennials:

The Stereotype: Millennials Are Technology-Obsessed

When being interviewed, 64% of Millennials ask about social media policies and about 24% say it would be a key factor in accepting a job offer, so it probably goes without saying that a majority of Millennials place a high value on social media and technology.

The Solution

This isn’t necessarily a negative stereotype, or one that you really need to overcome–since you may not want to change your policies on the use of social media in the workplace. However, when it comes to recruiting, you should take advantage of this tech-obsessed generation by increasing your online presence through the use of social media and other online tools.

The Stereotype: Millennials Have High Expectations or Lack Company Loyalty

Millennials are said to have too high of expectations when it comes to finding a career that allows them to live up to their personal aspirations. Being raised with idea that “self-esteem is the key to success” has led them to believe that they can do anything they put their minds to. Here are a few facts about millennials that are related to this stereotype:

  • About 84% of Millennials place a higher value on making a positive difference in the world over professional recognition.
  • The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University reports that “less than two percent identify a colleague at work or an employer or supervisor as the person who encourages them to pursue their professional aspirations.”
  • About 24% of Millennials are dissatisfied with their current job (compared to the 14% of Generation X employees and 18% of Baby Boomers), leading to another stereotype: that Millennials lack company loyalty.
  • On average, Boomers hold their jobs for about 7 years; Generation X: 5 Years; as for Millennials? Only about 2.3 years.

Some of these qualities–especially how long Millennials hold their jobs–can be frustrating, especially when you consider the costs of hiring an employee. And while there may be some truth to this stereotype, there are ways to overcome this.

The Solution

As we mentioned, there is some truth to the stereotype about Millennials having a sense of entitlement. But with the job market being as volatile as it has been these past few years, it’s also true that finding meaningful employment has been much harder for some in this generation than in generations past.

A good way to ensure that any Millennials you hire ‘get over’ this sense of entitlement? For one, ensure that an employee is the right cultural fit. Finding the right person will lessen the chance of a dissatisfied employee and save you the headache of starting the hiring process all over again. Though it’s sometimes hard to overcome high expectations, taking the time to hire the right person will greatly increase the chance of mutual satisfaction for you and your employees.

Millennials aren’t going away anytime soon, and by overcoming these stereotypes early on in the recruiting process, you can secure the top talent that’s right for you. To learn more about how AIM Careerlink can provide you with the right tools for finding the best talent around, get in touch with us through our website or on Twitter.