Heres the thinking: (I am a millennial/generation Y-er myself). My grandparents lived through World War 2, they were raised under very harsh, hard circumstances, you worked and did what you needed to provide for your family. Due to their parents upbringing my generations parents were brought up under the ‘you finish school, you study, you get a job, have a family’ thinking, so that’s what they did, big corporations offered ‘safety’ and ‘comfort’, most of the time they remained in jobs for long periods of time. However my generation has been brought up with the ‘darling you can do anything you set your mind to’ thinking.

Our fundamental principles and priorities have changed, so it should go without saying that the way we view ‘work’ has changed as well. We are not prepared to work under the leadership styles that our parents did. We question everything and put our happiness and self-satisfaction a lot higher on the priorities list than any generation before us. Therefore it seems obvious that you cannot expect us to work under the same conditions that our parents did.  Now that is not to say that we aren’t prepared to work hard and give our all, because we are,  just not under the same circumstances as those before us were. Of course we cannot ignore the impact of technology on the shape of both the social and business worlds we live in today.

Mashable have recently published an article based on hiring millennials and some tips for doing so. Whilst there are some absolute gems in the piece, I feel the article merely skims the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Hiring us is one thing, sure you can paint a very pretty picture, but recruitment is like glorified advertising and sales, the sale is the first part but maintaining brand loyalty is the second, and vital part.

Be yourself

Below are the four tips they offered, and my views on where they nailed it or failed it.

1. Beware of only highlighting compensation

This is true, and by now it should be common knowledge in business that it has been shown time and time again that money is no longer a make or break factor. While it is an important factor, Match Marketing group found in a study that 84% [of millennials] rated having meaningful work that makes a difference as very or extremely important.

“This generation is actually motivated by opportunities to develop and grow … rather than by salary.” according to Joe Ungemah, psychologist, vice president and head of the leadership practice at member-based advisory board CEB.

2. Beware of failing to show Gen Y a career path

If this group of workers knows upfront how long it might take them to advance, they may be more likely to stick around and work toward those career goals. Whilst I agree with this in principle I feel that it is once again merely the tip of the iceberg. Sure you can show me what my career path looks like, but if the work that I am doing is not fulfilling and neither is the environment, there is very little chance that I am sticking around. My happiness is very high on my priorities list remember?

3. Beware of ignoring company culture

Putting your culture and values on display will help Gen Y employees form an opinion about your company. That’s like saying that company culture is a really nice dinner set that we have but we only bring it out when we have fancy guests over for dinner, to impress them. Then it goes straight back into the cupboard until the next time we need to impress someone. Vomit. Company culture should ooze out of everything you do, everything. I believe that if you have to introduce and explain your culture you have already lost. Culture should be the golden thread that ties everything together, in many ways brand and culture are two sides of the same coin.

4. Beware of discounting workers without a full skill-set

This, I agree with completely. A mentor of mine, Don Packett, always said: Attitude over Aptitude”A new recruit may not have all the required skills straight off the bat, but if they have the right attitude you can rest assured that they will pick up the necessary skills as they go.

Overall there is a lot that I agree and disagree with in this article, but the main issue which remains unaddressed is us millennials need to feel empowered in what we are doing. Give us freedom to get the job done, trust in our ability and both you and your bottom line will be surprised at the results.

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