In recent years, millennials have been blamed, or credited, with ruining everything from canned tuna and American cheese to the golf industry and soap bars. The criticisms of this generation are broad, often absurd and frequently hilarious, but the truth is that, when it comes to the workplace, there are a number of ways in which millennials (and the kids born after millennials) differ from previous generations.
As an industry, tech skews young. Overall, millennials are a highly educated, technically competent demographic and an important one for any hiring manager or technical recruiter to be able to work with.
Fortunately, these golf-hating tuna melt sandwich adverse heretics aren’t as crazy as the news makes them out to be. I have had a lot of interactions with tech-savvy millennials through my work as a technical recruiter in Denver – here are some quick, simple tips for keeping your millennial workforce happy.
Use social media effectively
A lot of employers think that being on social media is enough. It’s not.
Millennials are tech-savvy and socially aware. They expect a company’s social media feeds to be authentic and (the smart ones that you want to hire) can spot online phoniness with ease. If you are too busy to engage with social media yourself, consider hiring someone for the job. Social media is second nature to many young adults and it is relatively easy to find qualified help.
Millennials are not above reproach, and when they make mistakes it is your job as their manager to give them an earful to prevent future errors. With that said, as a whole, this generation responds better to constructive criticism rather than negativity. This might make them sound overly sensitive, and perhaps they are, but constructive criticism is actually a sound strategy. Calmly explaining how to fix or avoid mistakes is typically a more effective strategy than lashing out in frustration (as tempting as that may be).
Develop a strong company culture
Thanks to the media hype surrounding the notoriously child-like workplaces of several Silicon Valley tech giants there is a lot of confusion about what millennials are looking for when they talk about company culture. The truth is, you probably don’t need a slide between office floors, an artisanal juicer in the breakroom or a weekly yoga retreat to sell millennials on your company – maintaining a positive, respectful work environment is usually enough.
At the end of the day, Millennials are not that different from any other generation. If they feel valued and respected at work, they will produce better results. In fact, the most difficult thing about millennial workers might be sourcing them in the first place – if you need a millennial tech worker in Denver, I know a technical recruiter that can hook you up.