THE BLOG
01/06/2014 11:00 am ET | Updated Mar 08, 2014

2 Steps to Hiring and Retaining the Right Millennial

It is possible to hire a Millennial employee that sticks around and actively contributes as a member of your team -- or it is possible to find yourself:

  • Reading a Millennial's resignation email
  • Repeating the interview process
  • Suffering low productivity and the opportunity loss during the interview period
  • Managing the learning curve of yet another new employee

Are you asking yourself, "What is with these Millennials? They have no loyalty?"

Well, perhaps their loyalty isn't the challenge -- perhaps, you are hiring the wrong Millennial.

To hire and retain the Millennial who has the core competencies and values that "fit" with the job, most organizations and managers must shift how they interview and engage employees. They also need to consider what strong Millennial candidates look for in an employer and what their organization has to offer.

Here are two steps To hiring and retaining the right Millennial:

Step 1. The Interview Process

Conduct a structured, formal measurable interview. Most interview processes do two critical mistakes:

  • Accept hypothetical answers to the questions
  • Don't measure the quality of the answers across all interviewees

Discovering the best person to hire -- especially with Millennials -- is where a Behavior Event Interview (BEI) is an invaluable tool to identify predictable behavior.

Millennials realize their past work experience might not be extensive, but that doesn't mean you can't discover great potential and a great corporate fit. When someone doesn't have lots of work experience you have to look for predictable behavior in their life experiences. Even family events can demonstrate how an individual did handle a situation -- be it stress, confrontation, deadlines, hierarchy or standing up for your values -- whatever is important for the position you are filling.

The key to a BEI is that it avoids hypothetical answers and lets you uncover real past behavior -- and past behavior will give you clear insight into how they will behave in the future, or predictable future behavior.

There is also a side benefit to a BEI. As the interview progresses, you learn valuable information that helps you build a valuable relationship/partnership and understanding of their past experiences, stories and abilities which leads us to step two.

Step 2. Leave Time To Discuss Expectations

Within the first interview, leave time to discuss your expectations -- and ask them about theirs. For example:

  • Hours/Overtime -- Is overtime compensated?
  • Training you'll offer
  • Their need to be patient -- typically, how long it takes to learn the ropes
  • Opportunities for advancement/compensation/travel

More and more candidates are also coming to the interview with their own questions. Therefore, be prepared to answer questions like:

  • Why should they join your company vs. your competition (from their perspective)?
  • What exposure (to people/work), will they have that will expand their skill, knowledge and experience?
  • How will working here satisfy their work/life balance?
  • Perhaps they like to ski and you are close to a ski hill. Could they do flex hours in the winter?
  • What about the benefits package?
  • When can they begin taking courses that the company will pay for?
  • They volunteer a lot? Would your company offer a week off (no pay) to do volunteer work?

You are looking for younger, savvy employees who can help your company creatively respond to a quickly changing market while providing excellent customer service and brand pride. So, show them you are a winning company that can keep up with them.

If you have a great place to work then show it, let them see it, live your product and corporate values. It's part of the value proposition of your organization.

Now, let's say you are at the end of your second interview. You still like the candidate and you have already checked references. Now might be the perfect time to go deeper in the area of expectation management. So, before you hire them build an even deeper relationship with them and have another conversation with them:

  • Share why you think they might be the right candidate
  • Ask them why they think you are their right employer
  • Ask them why they think they are the right employee

Step two summary: What one Millennial will see as a benefit might not satisfy the next Millennial. Salary and vacation are only one part of what employees are looking for. Millennials especially are looking for:

  • Ongoing training/personal and professional improvement
  • Incentives/recognition/reward -- which may be money or may something else of value

Are you able to offer employees benefits and a progressive environment that meet their lifestyle and career goals?

Conclusion:

Changing your interview process to include a Behavior Event Interview (BEI) will have great impact, but don't let it stop there. After you hire them, have another interview like conversation with them.

  • Ask Questions
  • Provide Feedback?Ideas
  • Weekly one-on-one strategic meetings
  • Give your process a 360 evaluation. Ask them why they said "yes?" What was important to them?

Even if we come from similar backgrounds, today more than ever, it's likely the things that fulfill us will be very different. While Millennials have more social pressure to "fit in," they have also always had more desire and more opportunity to be unique.

Happy hiring... and communicating.

Imagine work being easier. Imagine work being more productive.