How to Hire a Millennial

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Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, yet many companies still struggle to successfully hire and onboard new millennial employees. Hiring managers don't understand millennials (though to be fair, the NY Times poses the idea that millennials don't understand themselves either). 

Finding the right millennial employee can be a challenge, but the challenge isn't going away anytime soon. Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce in less than 10 years! So if you don't know the best practices to hiring a millennial, now's the time to learn. 

Don't focus too much on education. 

Formal education has been long been an important indicator of the quality of a candidate, but it isn't always the secret to success. Many college graduates are entering the workforce unprepared, and if education is the main criteria you look for, you will likely be disappointed by your new hire.

Consider other factors than simply where your applicant went to college. What did they do while they were taking classes? What kind of classes did they take? Have they pursued any sort of educational opportunities since graduating? 

But don't focus too much on experience either.

While you shouldn't focus too much on education, you also shouldn't put too much of an emphasis on experience. Millennials may not have the experience you are looking for, but that doesn't mean they can't be the perfect person for the position. 

Look at the balance between education and experience with applicants. A candidate with zero experience but a willingness to learn and grow is better than an experienced candidate who refuses to learn or participate in professional development opportunities. 

Offer the benefits millennials actually want. 

Millennials are less concerned about cash than previous generations. While they still expect a reasonable salary, they are willing to accept less if they are given other benefits like travel, flexible schedules, options to work remotely, and learning opportunities. But with healthcare becoming such a turbulent issue, health benefits are quickly rising to the top of millennials' benefits wish lists.

If your company can't offer all the benefits millennials want, try to focus on the ones you can. Unable to offer flexible schedules? Play up your professional development program or tuition reimbursement plan. Travel not an option? Mention the complimentary gym membership and the stellar health insurance options. 

Appeal to their sense of purpose.

Millennials want to feel like they are making a difference in the world, and that carries into their work life. Many millennials want to work for companies whose values align with theirs. Millennials are very concerned with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and 86% of millennials surveyed by PWC said they would leave their employer if they felt the CSR values were lacking.

That means that when it comes to recruiting new employees, don't focus solely on the financial performance of your company. Mention the new recycling policy your department implemented or the company-wide volunteer day that happens every spring. Let potential candidates know your company cares about more than the bottom line.