If you’ve thought of millennals – those young people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, many of whom are just now graduating from college or who have been in the professional workforce for just a few years – as entitled, lazy, naïve job hoppers, think again: hiring millennials could be one of the best things you could do for your insurance company or department.
Read below for just a few reasons why.
- It appears that this generation is not as motivated by money as previous generations, so you might be able to hire them at a more cost-effective (read, lower), starting salary. Monster.com conducted an online survey in 2009 which, while certainly not scientific, found that many employers reported that only 17 percent of millennials said their compensation was a driving or motivating factor in their work. Work/life balance and flexibility were the top motivators for this group of young adults, at 37 percent.
- Millennials also tend to be extremely tech savvy. Let us reiterate that: extremely tech savvy! They’ve grown up with smartphones, tablets, video, the Internet, and other advanced technologies. They are early adapters. They’ll be able to handle your social media and CMS needs.
- This generation tends to have a team approach when it comes to going through life. They’re very motivated by community and forging relationships. They tend to be patriotic and have a wish to help others. While this could mean a more group-think mentality, it also means a larger willingness than previous generations to work as part of a team.
- While many people lament the belief that this generation was raised on “if you just show up, you deserve a trophy,” a millennial’s need for validation and affirmation could work in your favor. If you praise when praise is deserved, these young adults will work extremely hard in order to earn more of your praise – and the promotion they believe will follow as a matter of course. So, let them know a promotion or a salary increase can be in the offing, so long as such and such is accomplished. Then praise them as they do well – and reward them as promised.
- Many members of this generation graduated from college during the Great Recession. They understand that a good job doesn’t cross their paths every day, or even every month. They’ll, therefore, more than likely know when a good opportunity has come their way and a) be grateful for the opportunity, and b) work hard to keep an employer happy!
If you’ve been overlooking millennial-age applicants because of (probably) false perceptions you have about them as being entitled and lazy, remember that each generation is made of individuals. Yes, each generation is influenced by the times in which it grows up, so individuals tend to take on some aspects of a generation’s “personality.” Still, take a second and third look at millennials: you’ll undoubtedly be pleasantly surprised.