While giving a seminar, I was recently asked by an audience member, “How do you get millennials to work for you?” This is a fair question since the workplace has changed dramatically over the past few years, and some of the most talented individuals across various industries are millennials. So, how do you best attract them?
I felt tempted to point out the “Five Fs of Selling” straight out of the Who book I wrote with Randy Street. We researched and identified a checklist of items that successful leaders use to sell people on joining their organizations. After reviewing our research, we determined five common ways successful leaders got people to join their teams – fit, family, freedom, fortune and fun. The one that applies most when it comes to attracting millennials is the first F: fit.
I believe it’s a common misconception that millennials are lazy or want all sorts of exceptions made. Most millennials aren’t choosing employment someplace simply because they are allowed to bring their dog to work or because they are provided with free massages, coconut water or other goods. On the contrary, I think most millennials want to work for a company they can believe in. They want to believe their job has meaning or has a positive impact on a broader set of people.
When hiring a millennial, you should know your company’s reason for being. In order to get them to accept the job you’re offering, it must “fit” that person’s value system. Sell that point hard. Many companies I see fail to put enough emphasis on this.
The executive who recently asked me how to get millennials to work for their business was missing something. He worked for a company that, in my opinion, offers terrific value. This company provides equipment and services to bring clean drinking water to people all over the world! Imagine having a company mission so profoundly valuable it could attract millennial talent. Yet, in this company’s hiring practices, website and selling tactics to prospective employees, I noticed they were totally under-selling this critical point. They already had a mission that fits within many millennials’ belief systems but simply failed to sell that idea through recruiting or hiring.
If you want to make your business a place where millennials want to work, you must ensure your company’s values align with those of the person you’re recruiting or interviewing. If you can articulate your company’s reason for being and show how it fits that candidate’s reason for living, you’ll have no problem attracting talented millennials to your business.
Dr. Geoff Smart is the chairman and founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm that exists to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world. Dr. Smart and his firm have published multiple New York Times bestsellers. He stays active in his community and has advised many government officials.