Are you SKEPTIC about hiring Gen Y talent into your organization? If you belong to the critical naysayers who are trying to dodge the bullet of recruiting Millennials, you may want to reconsider your position. There are many good reasons to hire Gen Y. Gen Y is capable of improving your company’s social connectivity, key drivers of change, entrepreneurship, passion, technology, innovation, and collaboration.
Social connectivity is the currency of the future and Gen Y understands and applies connectional intelligence via social media better than any other generation in today’s workplace. Really, it is second nature to them and what’s best about it is that – contrary to popular belief – they don’t only use virtual environments as playgrounds. They are actually extremely skilled at leveraging social networks and the World Wide Web to locate business resources or to influence customers. In fact, Gen Y is your best bet to increase your social capital!
Key Drivers of Change
I have yet to meet an organization that doesn’t aim for change. Whether it is political leaders preaching about the need to transform societies or CEOs appealing to their associates to rethink the way their company engages with markets to produce financial results. Whether we look at corporations, economies or the planet’s ecosystem, we do not need to venture far to see that current schemes aren’t working. As The Father of Relativity said:
Gen Y brings fresh thinking to the table and is courageous enough to pioneer new paradigms. They undeniably embrace change and are key in driving the transformation that the world – and your business – so desperately needs.
You want to hire candidates who take initiative, seize opportunities and take calculated risks in order to fuel your business growth strategy? Well, in case you haven’t notice, these are all classic traits of entrepreneurs – and of Generation Y! A lot has been said and written lately about this being the most entrepreneurial generation ever. Suffice it to say that Gen Yers are naturally curious, dynamic and flexible. Instead of patiently waiting for their turn or resigning to things being done to them, Gen Y takes action and matters in their own hands. They tend to feel supported by parental back-up and the safety of their social tribe, encouraging them to voice their opinion and drive outcomes.
Blame it on their age and yes, I know, you’ve all been there when you were young. So what? Do you remember how it felt to be enthusiastic about the world’s opportunities, full of energy for the causes you believed in and to feel pretty invincible? You probably busted your butt off to realize your dreams and went the extra mile with a gigantic smile. Gen Y is no different. Life experience and wisdom will screw this attitude soon enough, till then you might as well use this Gen Y energy and passion to drive your business forward. As the great American writer said:
Your company probably has a set of business objectives or strategic pillars to maximize productivity. Unfortunately, a typical stereotype about Gen Y is the idea that they are unproductive because they lack concentration and focus. Well, actually, Gen Y is much more productive than you might think, due to their ability to multitask, their efficient use of modern technology and extensive networking. Technology really serves Gen Y as an enabler to obtain results faster and there is great value in cross-fertilization between different generations, such as reverse mentoring for example. Hire Gen Y and boost your business productivity!
Similar to productivity, I bet another one of your business imperatives is linked to innovation. A recent study revealed 12 behaviors, attitudes and skills that foster innovation – many of which are inherent characteristics of Gen Y. If innovation is about the implementation of new ideas, you might certainly argue that process-orientation, perseverance and resilience – all required attributes for successful implementation – are not exactly perceived as strengths of Millennials. On the other hand, ideas they have in abundance! While organizations tend to focus on a structured approach to innovation, they neglect a wonderful asset Gen Y brings to the workplace, which is equally crucial and that is creativity! So much untapped potential there…
Be it face-to-face or digitally, Gen Y is a generation of natural human connectors. They value diversity and have a strong sense of affiliation, resulting in powerful bonds with their friends and chosen tribe. While many senior managers look for guidance on how to manage virtual teams, they could learn a lot from their younger Gen Y colleagues who are masters in the art of nurturing virtual relationships that foster collaboration. This particular skill becomes more and more valuable in an increasingly interconnected world in which businesses need to champion customer relations and employee engagement beyond geographic and other boundaries.
If you are SKEPTIC about hiring Gen Y talent into your organization, I hope you will allow yourself to venture beyond the negative stereotypes to discover the potential of Millennials.
Last but not least, what remains in addition to all the arguments above, is some sort of a moral obligation to hire Gen Y in order to help reduce youth unemployment. This is the generation that will shape the future of our societies, economies and ultimately the world we live in. As recruiters and “gatekeepers” of your organization, make sure that you understand the tremendous value that Gen Y can add to your business and bring them onboard!
Martina Mangelsdorf is the founder of GAIA Insights, a firm specialized in leadership development for Generation Y. She is also the creator of GOLD™ – Game Oriented Leadership Development – and has an extensive background in recruiting. Photo Credits IZQuotes & IZQuotes.
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