5 Traits to Look for When Hiring a Millennial

Jantzen Pahl on Oct 13, 2015 7:00:00 AM

MillenialsMillennials, or "Generation Y" are the age group born between the 1980s and the beginning of the 2000s. At this moment in time, the generation is beginning to hit the job market with real force. Before looking to hire Millennial candidates for work, it is important to know the pitfalls and benefits of this age group.

1. Competence: The younger workforce today often brings to the table new skill sets, having developed their professional life alongside fast changes in technology. Millennial candidates for work will have a firm grasp on the newest productivity tools, mobile devices, and time management programs. However, this does not always translate to actual competence or real time management.

During interviews, ask the age-old question of a valued experience where their talents (digital or otherwise) got to shine. The interview will also be a test of interpersonal skills, if the candidate nervously reaches for their phone, has trouble making eye contact, or trips over simple answers they may lack the competence your company is looking for.

2. Sustainability:  There is sometimes a misconception that hiring Millennial candidates for work will lead to fast overturn, as they are constantly on the look out for the next best thing. This is somewhat of a fallacy, which has more to do with the nature of the current job market and less to do with flightiness of younger employees.

As baby boomers retire later, there are fewer opportunities for upward mobility within a corporation. However, most Millennials are just like the generations before them, hoping to work in a field they love and stay there as long as they can. If the potential employee knows there is room for growth within the company with potential for career development programs, they are likely to take the job and stay for as long as they can.

3. Passion: Generation Y knows how to do its research, through the internet and word of mouth among professional fields. The passion or enthusiasm a candidate brings to the interview table should be immediately obvious through how much time they have spent finding out what they can about your company, products, and mission.

If a potential employee is excited about the job, he or she will have done research on upcoming projects they may want to be involved with. Interest in where they will fit in, and roles they might work into are good signs that your company is the place they want to be. Hiring Millennial, Millennial candidates for work often means finding the most passionate people on the job market.


4. Integrity: In the process of hiring Millennial candidates for work, you can learn a lot in the interview by asking your candidate about previous jobs. If the applicant immediately launches into a tirade about his or her boss, useless rules at the company, or general gripes then this may not be the candidate for you. This goes for job applicants of all ages, but with the ease that comes with a youthful demeanor it is a major red flag for younger employees. Speaking well of former jobs translates to loyalty, integrity, and class.

5. Credibility: Thanks to social media, resumes are nearly impossible to fake these days. With a younger job candidate, a simple Google search can bring up LinkedIn profiles with past companies they claim to have worked for, with connections to former supervisors and bosses. Sometimes an internet search can be as good as calls or references.

Although many professionally-minded Millennials are wising up to privacy settings on websites like Facebook, a quick internet search often leads to details about the individual's life that wouldn't be listed on a resume. Of course, there is always the tried and true method of calling references listed on the application.

At the end of the day, hiring Millennial candidates for work is a lot like deciding to hire any other age group. They bring to the table new knowledge about technology and the ever-changing landscape of social media, but they are looking to work for companies they are passionate about, where they can grow and develop into professionals.

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