Hiring Managers

What is Your Company’s Millennial Score?


Recently I have been hearing a common theme among plastics companies about how difficult it is to find younger workers with the skillsets they need, so I wanted to shed some light on the subject, in three parts. Today we’ll cover how to assess your organization and why that is important.

We are talking about the group generally referred to as Generation Y, or the Millennials. While no precise definition exists for this group, typically it refers to those currently in their upper 30’s and younger. As a group they are looking for very different things than previous generations when considering who to work for, so before a company considers how to attract and land them, they need to take an objective look at how attractive they are to that group. I call that the company’s Millennial Score.

More so than any previous generation Millennials want to work for a company they believe is making a difference in the world or at least in their communities. That can take many forms. Think of TOMS Shoes, a company that sells shoes. Many companies sell shoes, but with TOMS, for every pair you purchase they donate a pair to a child in need. If you think plastics companies can’t do something like that you’re wrong. Look at Lego. They have made a commitment to run off 100% renewable energy by 2020 and are consistently on the lists of most socially responsible companies.

Does your company do anything that would appeal to Millennials? Many studies have shown these things are critical in Millennials’ decision process when looking for job, and that they are far more likely to leave if they do not see their company as a good corporate citizen. That could be donating time to local charities, using recycled plastics, planting trees, or any number of other things. When companies ask me why they cannot seem to ‘find’ younger workers, I must be honest and tell some of them, we can find them, they just don’t want to work for your company.

What about money and benefits? They tend to be a little less intrinsically motivated by money, but they also have tremendous student loan debt, so they need a decent salary, and bonus potential is attractive. A few companies are starting to implement programs to pay a portion of an employee’s student loans provided they stay with the company longer-term. Non-immediate cash benefits like 401(k), traditional medical and dental, and life insurance aren’t too important. There is one big exception, and that is time off or the ability for a flexible schedule. Millennials really value a life/work balance.

Next week we will cover some specific ways you can advertise job opening that will appeal to Millennials.

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