The hit series “Silicon Valley,” which will soon be entering its third season on HBO, is the classic mashup of misguided Millennial ambition. Every over-achieving member of Generation Y who steps forward with a new app idea or mathematical algorithm is ready to make a billion dollars and “make the world a better place.”
The show strikes the funny bone primarily because it has gotten the Palo Alto tech industry almost exactly right. However, it also speaks to the mindset of the myriad of Millennials who continue to enter the “real world” with unrealistic expectations regarding their career goals.
To their credit, Gen Y’ers believe they can land high-paying dream jobs right after stepping off the stage at graduation. That kind of confidence is laudable, but it also offers tremendous room for failure. With a decline in social skills credited to the curse of technology, the offspring of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren’t as concerned with interpersonal skills as they are with immediate advancement opportunities.
So how do shrewd business professionals snag well-equipped, yet inexperienced Millennials with their heads stuck too far into their own futures? Follow these four simple steps:
1. Offer internship opportunities
More and more Millennials are taking advantage of internship opportunities to help them gain experience and job offers. When you introduce interns to your company culture, you get to see who they are before deciding whether to offer them full-time positions. It gives you a chance to get to know the intern’s work ethic and personality, ultimately allowing you to determine whether that person will make a positive addition to your company.
2. Post job opportunities online
Millennials rely heavily on technology for entertainment and quick communication, but they also turn to it for ways to improve their future by taking online courses and searching for jobs online. If you have job openings within your company, you have a higher probability of finding qualified millennials to fill those positions by advertising them online. Where can you advertise?
Read up on the top three job search engines of 2015 for more ideas.
3. Polish your job descriptions
If you expect potential employees to be honest with you, you as a manager need to be honest with them. These are the essential characteristics of an attractive job description:
• Exact requirements and/or preferred qualifications
• Clear description of duties
• Precise expectations
• Benefits programs associated with position advertised
• Potential opportunities for advancement in time
Being straightforward with your targeted audience is crucial in order for applicants to understand what’s expected of them and what they can expect in return. Many Millennials are under the impression that they automatically qualify for higher positions simply because they possess college degrees, so you need to tell it like it is from the very beginning.
4. Set realistic expectations
Don’t set your own expectations unrealistically high. Certain requirements to fill a position are exactly that—requirements. However, many of these can be downgraded to “preferred qualifications.”
Knowing how to reach out to Generation Y and laying the ground rules are the two key components when recruiting Millennials. Everyone wants to succeed, but while we may have similar mindsets, no two people are the same. We all have varying views on what’s expected of those we hire and what those we hire expect from us.
For more hiring strategies geared toward today’s talent pool, see 4 Ways to Take Advantage of the Talent Ecosystem.
Ray Carboni is a writer for Stoner Bunting Gift Cards, a nationwide leader in employee recognition gift card programs based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.