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AAOE: Need Better Millennials? How to attract the best and brightest millennials to your workplace

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Getting great young employees seems to be getting harder and harder. It seems like each generation gets harder to understand. They are increasingly different than you and how you are used to working.

Lately, people have a lot to say about the millennials- “selfish”, “entitled”, and “lazy” seem to be among the top words used to describe this generation. Surprisingly enough, these are very common misconceptions of the millennials. Yes, there are those that exemplify these unfavorable qualities, because there are bad eggs in every generation. It’s looking like the labeling and stereotyping that encompasses the millennials is very similar to the bad rep that the Boomers got when they were in their youth. And look how great the Boomers turned out- they are now the top executives at their companies and the generation that catalyzed so much positive change in the world.

Chances are if you’re having trouble picking out the “good eggs” when hiring young millennial employees, you might need to take a step back and look at your company as a whole. Workplaces are changing quickly for everyone, so it’s important to recognize the factors that are crucial to getting the best employees NOW:

1. Innovation is key.

This is a top buzzword for millennials. Just mentioning this word in a job description and talking about it in the interviews will surely impress them. Millennials want to work in a place where they can be free to come up with unique ideas and implement them, no matter how long they’ve been there.

2. Get social.

If you don’t have a presence on social media, you’re not going to attract many of the best millennials. This is where millennials get their information, feedback, read about news and reviews of companies and businesses. Don’t worry about getting millions of followers. Ensuring that your online presence exists and is relevant and consistently updated is essential.

3. Open up your workplace.

When millennials walk into an office that has rows and rows of cubicles, people in suits and ties, and closed doors, they will almost immediately shut down a part of themselves. Millennials want an open workplace, one where communication is easy and not hindered by doors and walls, where casual dress is not a far-fetched dream, and where employees can freely express themselves. Workplaces everywhere are moving toward a more casual workplace culture with open layouts and laid-back dress code. You might as well get a head start on this now.

4. The interview.

This final stage is not just for you to interview the candidate, but also for them to decide if you are someone they want to work for in the foreseeable future. Remember this as you bring them in for the last interview. Know that millennials are not too fond of hierarchical structures, and would rather work with you rather than for you. Of course, you will still be “in charge”, but make it clear in the interview that you want to work with them as a colleague, so they feel like they can bring creative ideas to you at any given time. Try to minimize physical barriers during this process as well, and sit on the same side of the desk as your candidate as you chat about the job they might have soon- this will increase comfort and actually make them respect you more.

5. Use the network.

Usually millennials hang around others that share their values, determination, work ethic, and interests. Chances are, if you found a great, hardworking millennial to work for you, they have friends similar to them who would be a great employee for you as well. Everyone loves to have a friend at work, right? Encourage them to bring a friend into the office for a work hangout or tell their friends about a new job opening. They’ll feel like you want them to be happy, too, which is crucial for retaining your best employees in the long run.