As members of another generation, whether you’re a Baby Boomer or part of Generation X or Y, communicating with the Millennial Generation can oftentimes require methods or tools you don’t normally use. Born between 1982 and 2004, you need different communication tools to connect effectively with this generation. As professionals outside of this generation, we need to understand and adapt to their TFC: Traits, Formalities, and Channels.
While often noted a trait, not all millennials are tech savvy, however they expect technology simply to work. Removing the assumption that all millennials are familiar with technology is important. A critical millennial trait we seem to overlook is the collaborative environments they are used to working in. Millennials can be extremely effective team players. At vcfo, we’ve worked with many co-partner start-ups, helping them find the talent they need to address their finance, HR and technology needs. Through these engagements, it’s evident that millennials truly believe everyone’s ideas are needed to form the bigger picture, which can be very beneficial to organizations as focus on strategic planning and operations.
When recruiting millennials, remember this: they are less focused on individual fame and recognition, and more focused on the product they put into the world. The age of global consciousness has created a more conscious generation. Millennials seek to be more in touch with their personal consciousness and effect on the world. They are more concerned with how their personal career choices impact the world. Ultimately, money isn’t as much of a driving factor as their individual purpose. Stressing their impact to the world is more of a connecting tool than salary, although salary is an important factor.
Millennials are pros at adapting to their situations, professionally and socially. This trait was most likely brought about by the need to constantly adapt to new technology during their upbringing. Having a nonchalant, unrestricted attitude allows millennials to be open to new opportunities and therefore willing to accept jobs/careers outside of their primary fields in hopes to find their purpose.
Millennials will adapt to whatever they sense as the norm, whether that be attitude, dress, formalities, organizational cultures, or job responsibility. However, if they don’t adapt, don’t jump to conclusion of a disrespectful attitude because this could also mean they believe what they have to offer is deeper than what meets the eye. In this case, asking questions and listening is key.
E-mail, E-mail, E-mail! Millennials love that e-mail is a professional mode of communication that they can use on the go. The millennials with the professionalism we desire understand that e-mail is not texting and respond with full sentences and ideas. Response time for e-mails is quicker than a returned phone call. However, pre-planning phone calls and interviews allows clients to prepare themselves and the environment for the most efficient conversation.
Attracting and retaining top talent is becoming increasingly competitive. As more millennials enter the workforce, recruiting techniques must match the target audience they are looking to attract. Human resources consulting firms have become partners with organizations that are searching for top talent and may not be reaching their target audience due to outdated methods. Digital forums are becoming increasingly popular for recruiting as well as integration with social media. When recruiting professionals from millennial generation, it is crucial to break out of the norm and consider their traits, formalities, and channels.