With June upon us, colleges and universities across the country are graduating a fresh new class of 20-somethings who are hot on the trail for their first employment opportunity. These recent college graduates are hungry, eager to make quick impact, and are working overtime to overcome two obstacles: A transitioning job market and a label that holds a negative connotation — millennial.
We have heard some chatter from certain hiring managers, who are a tad concerned (or down right pissed off ) about recent college graduates and mid-twenty somethings who are rumored to require constant attention, tend to whine, spend lots of wasted time on social media, are completely self-absorbed and are generally considered lazier than older employees or quite different than previous generations..
But as any good business person, this is generally an over simplification and based on our experience, flat out wrong.
If you buy into, or worse, hire into that segment of millennials, it may not be the prospective employee that is the problem — maybe, you are the problem.
In fact, we might argue that when hiring for your next role, especially in a sales or marketing capacity, you put the rumors to rest and hire a millennial to get sh*t done. In fact, we hire them by the droves because they are highly proficient. They are smart, driven, effective, work hard, they are social media savvy, productive, and like to have fun. They also might drink craft beer. They might play trampoline dodge ball and ping pong. And they follow direction if you set the right ground rules.
A 2010 Pew Center Report on Millennials is very complimentary on the confidence of this generation, especially as it relates to previous generations, and another report shows that they are solidly optimistic about the future and are at the leading edge of the social media revolution.
I asked CeCe, who is herself at the midpoint of the Millennial generation, her opinion on why a manager would want to hire a millennial. This is what she said:
We know exactly what we want, are used to getting it as soon as we want it, and will move quickly to achieve it. If incentivized properly, you will be shocked at just how fast you will start to see results. Want that deal closed tomorrow? Want that person on the phone today? Want that blog post done by noon? Your best chance is to give it to the 20-something on your team, and you will see the finished product in no time at all! Millennials have a sense of urgency that is fantastic and motivational.
Tip: Set deadlines with millennials or they will constantly tweek — if you need to get stuff done, limit the amount of time required to finish the project.
Give us a computer, some speedy wi-fi, and a little bit of background information and we will most likely know new things about your prospects, customers, and segments through digital self-education. There is no one we can’t find, and no Google phrase that we can’t crack. Information fuels us, and we are mighty good at finding what exactly it is that we are looking for.
Tip: Encourage social media use instead of prohibiting it to ensure that you’re getting in front of more qualified prospects.
Any smart millennial has read the articles floating around on the internet. We know what the more senior team members are saying about us, and we are going to work hard to prove just the opposite. No other recent hire will ramp faster than a millennial. Remember, information is power to us, and we understand that from every interaction there is something we can learn.
Therefore, rather than yes-ing you to death, we will ask the questions that really get to the heart of the matter — and we don’t care how late we need to stay to get the answer. (Our nights out don’t start until later anyway!)
Many companies have millions of examples of dedicated, hard working, self-directed young over achievers who will do the right thing, work their butts off, and help scale the company. If you’re not one of them yet, here are five things to look for in a solid hire from the millennial generation:
We are going to do a handful of blog articles on millennial hiring. If you have questions, stories, updates, opinions, thoughts or ideas, please post as blog comments, because you know — that’s what millennials do.
If you’re interested in content like this, be sure to attend Dan Tyre’s talk at INBOUND 2014, where he’ll talk about millennial sales recruiting, motivation, and how to get the best results from this generation.