10 Traits You Need to Know About Millennial Workers

May 13, 2019 Pete Newsome Pete Newsome

In order to effectively recruit millennial employees, it is critically important to understand how millennials are unique and behave quite differently from past generations. The list below is comprised of ten personality traits often associated with millennial workers. These traits provide an inside look for a headhunter to successfully recruit and retain millennials. 

Traits to Retain Millennials

Millennials Embrace Technology and Expect the Same of Their Employer

The formative years for millennials was defined by the technological revolution of the 1980s and 1990s. They grew up playing educational games in middle school and developing profiles on social media in high school. When entering the workforce, many millennials do not simply approve of a company using social media (and allowing their workers to use it), they actually insist on it. For example, surveys show that more than 55 percent of millennials say they would not accept a job from a company that prohibits the use of social media. Millennial workers simply disagree with the notion that social media is a drain on productivity during the workday. And, of course, millennials possess a firm grasp on how to use social media platforms and tools to build and cultivate relationships, crowdsource solutions, and research important information.   

Millennials Want Their Work to Have Meaning  

Multiple surveys and studies show that millennial workers are always on the lookout for a position that provides more “meaning” to their lives. This leads to an important question – how exactly does a millennial define “meaningful” work? Well, a survey was conducted by Fast Company where they interviewed an array of millennial workers. The survey results revealed that “meaningful” work is when an employee can (i) share their gifts, (ii) impact the lives of others in their local community, and (iii) have a career that leads to a high quality of life.

Millennials are Comfortable Challenging Hierarchical Leadership Structures

Many millennials are not afraid to offer their personal opinions and ideas to corporate leadership. They are also not shy about challenging their superiors and “disrupting” how things have always been done. This trait does not come from a disdain for authority. Instead, many millennials believe that the best way for a company to grow is to respect and listen to the point of view of all its workers.  They prefer a cross-functional way of working that transcends the constraints of rank; genuinely believing this is better for the business than blindly following orders passed down from the top of the totem pole.

Millennials are Comfortable With Change in the Workplace

In many instances, millennials understand, and are comfortable with, the fact that the business world and technology landscape is in a constant state of fluctuation. 

The Boss Needs to Be a Friend

Many millennials prefer that their manager be closer to a mentor or friend as opposed to someone who simply serves in a supervisory capacity. They want to feel comfortable asking their manager for feedback and advice. 

Task-Oriented Projects are Preferable  

Surveys indicate that nearly 70 percent of millennials believe that being in an office on a regular 9 to 5 basis is unnecessary. The vast majority of millennials prefer setting their own schedule and having a level of ownership on when and where they work. They are very comfortable telecommuting and do not object to working late at night or on the weekend. 

Millennials Want to Learn and Grow

Many millennials report that they are eager to continue expanding their skills, gaining knowledge, and attaining new certifications and milestones within the workplace. Millennials often ask “why” in addition to asking “how” a particular task is done. 

Millennials Appreciate Constructive Feedback

Surveys indicate that many millennial workers like to receive frequent and constructive feedback from the leadership within their company. They prefer not to wait for a mid-year review. Instead, they enjoy feedback interspersed throughout the year, so they can have clarity on how they are performing on a day-by-day basis.

Millennials Value Being Recognized for Their Contributions

Many millennial workers expect and value recognition within the workplace. This is because they have a deep desire for approval and seek indicators from leadership that their work product is making a difference within the company. 

Millennials Value Company Events and Non Work-Related Gatherings

Millennials find business value in bonding with teammates and taking a break for creative inspiration. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of millennials prefer that their workplace be “fun” and “sociable.”

How to Harness These Traits to Attract the Best Workers

When utilizing these traits as a hiring roadmap, there are certain action steps a company can, and should, take in order to make themselves more attractive to millennial workers:

  • Offer mentoring and coaching opportunities to millennial workers.  One strategy would be to implement a defined mentorship program in place when a millennial employee first joins the company.  
  • Establish clear targets and offer consistent and constructive feedback. As mentioned, millennial workers welcome and appreciate detailed feedback from corporate leadership. A good strategy is to have an evaluation structure in place for specific projects that take place throughout the year.
  • Emphasize a work environment that appreciates continuous learning and training. Millennial workers crave to work in a place that offers on-going learning opportunities. For example, survey responses indicate that many millennial workers are attracted to companies that offer high-quality training and development programs.

Looking for a Talented Millennial to Join Your Company? Contact 4 Corner Resources

4 Corner Resources serves as the staffing agency of choice for companies throughout Florida and across the United States. Contact our team today to speak with a client manager about how our company can source or attract, screen, and place the right candidates for your business.

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