How to hire and work with Millennials

Millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000) bring unique skills, talents, perspectives and, let’s face it (some of them bring) annoying habits to the work force.  While every company wants their tech abilities, many struggle with how to deal with the Millennials’ version of work ethic.  (Here is a tongue and cheek video that highlights my point)

While previous generations believed that working diligently and putting in plenty of “face time” would help them get ahead in the future, this generation doesn’t see the point. Millennials want results NOW, not in the future, and they value flexibility and purposeful work over the perceived status of seniority.

Some managers haven’t adjusted to the expectations of this emerging talent pool while others bend over backwards to meet their demands.  Both often fail to attract and keep the best and brightest of the Millennial generation.


Since the majority of our most sought after candidates are Millennials we continually ask ourselves; “How do we find best and brightest of the bunch, avoid the over-entitled, and create job opportunities that will engage them?”

Managers may need to adjust their policies when it comes to things like flexible work schedules, accelerated advancement for talented workers, and ongoing feedback (versus annual reviews) to attract and keep Millennial workers.  That said, some things in my opinion, are non-negotiable.

Here are some key traits to look for when interviewing Millennial candidates.  These are traits that all candidates, regardless of what generation they come from should possess.

Proven work ethic

  • Are they willing to go the extra mile?
  • Is being merely competent acceptable?
  • Is there a willingness to put in long hours if success requires it?

Strong value system

  • Do they have respect for authority and a sense of professional integrity?
  • Are they self-confident without being unbearably arrogant?
  • Do they have the capacity to treat clients as they would like to be treated themselves?

Proven or potential leadership

  • Do they have college or early work history that would indicate leadership capabilities?
  • Are they dedicated to self-improvement?
  • Do they have credible ideas for the future while maintaining an open mind to new ideas and approaches?

Millennials have the potential to be great assets to an organization if they possess the traits discussed above.  To provide a glimpse from the Millennials point of view, here is a fun video done by Millennials on their views about the Baby Boomer generation.