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7 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring Millennials + A Guide To Help You Do It The Right Way

Employee retention is a huge issue—especially in the quick-service and retail industries. Some people blame the Millennial generation for their lack of loyalty, but the actual reasons why a business would have difficulty keeping their employees around is much more simple: these jobs aren’t designed for the Millennial generation in mind.

You might be wondering, why do you need to tailor your business to fit the Millennial generation? Here’s the thing: within the next decade, roughly 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. If your business doesn’t adapt and modify its approach, you’re going to have a hard time getting the staff you need. So, how can you avoid high attrition rates and frustration amongst your millennial workforce? There may not be a fool-proof formula, but there are a few key mistakes that you can avoid.

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7 Mistakes People Make When Hiring Millennials

1. Not sharing the company mission statement–or worse, not having one.

If you want your company to be able to attract the right kind of employees, you have to know what kind of company you have. Think about the following questions:

Millennial Blog Post Company Goals
  • What is your company’s goal?
  • What does your company value?
  • Why does your company care?

All of these questions are important to the modern job seeker. They want to know that the company they work for shares the same values that they do. They want to make sure that they understand the purpose of their position so they can work towards a common goal. A business thrives when the whole team is on the same page. Establishing that mission statement is necessary to hire the right people right from the start.

2. Being unclear about the reasons why working at your business is worth it

Sure, a good paycheck is important, but there’s more to life than money. When you’re writing a job posting, you have to realize that job seekers are staring at multiple nearly-identical postings each day. Think about it this way: you don’t want to read ten boring identical resumes, do you? They feel the same way. You’ve got to make your business stand out if you’re going to get eyes on your postings.

Your company has to show why it’s different than your competition. The best way to do this is to highlight why a person would want to choose your business. What makes your business unique? What makes your business fun? What makes your business more desirable than everyone else’s?

Remember: Fun doesn’t outweigh a fair wage!

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It’s important to note that being unique and fun means nothing if you don’t offer the basics. Competitive salaries are the base that you build the rest of the value on top of. You can’t expect people to work for your company for nothing, no matter how cool your staffroom is. The upside of the added cost: fair pay will show your employees that you’re serious about them, and they’re more likely to invest time and effort into meeting expectations.

Graphic How Solink Helps Copy 1
It's easier to invest in your employees when you have a clear picture of what's going on in your business. Solink's Real Time Alerts allow you to react to situations within seconds. When you know how your staff handle different situations, you'll be able to reward them effectively.

3. Ignoring the importance of a work-life balance

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Millennials as a group value work-life balance and will consider it when thinking about new jobs. This is one of the things you should highlight as one of the values of your company. If you offer flexible scheduling, paid time off, or benefits, you should advertise it. These types of benefits are there to help your employees lower their stress levels and keep the rest of their life running smoothly.

Mental health may not have been something that previous generations considered when they were applying for jobs, but it’s extremely important for Millennials. They are an informed generation, and they know the effects that stress has on the body. They want to live healthier lives, and to do so they need to be able to find a job that fits. Millennials are basically interviewing your company as much as you are interviewing them.

4. Focusing on the present opportunities instead of offering a future

No one is out there searching for a dead-end job. People want to know that the time they are investing (even in a part-time job) is going to help them grow. Whether they are moving up the ranks within the company or working on skills that they can take with them to their next job, showing your prospective employees that growth is important to you can make a huge difference.

Investing in your employees is important not only for bringing in prospects, but it keeps your existing staff happy as well. If you want to improve your employee retention, consider setting up some training programs or providing opportunities for advancement within the company. Employees are going to be a lot more willing to stay in a place where their ideas are valued.

5. Unclear or lack of communication

Millennial Blog Post Lack Of Communication

Millennials value communication and transparency in a business. They want to know what’s going on and why it’s happening. If you want to draw in those hard working Millennials, you need to make sure they know what the process is going to look like. Lay it out for them right from the start so there is no confusion.

For example:

  • Tell them that it starts with a phone conversation, if that goes well, you’ll book an in-person meeting.
  • At the meeting, talk to them about the process and explain when they can expect to hear back from you.
  • Follow through and talk to them in the time period that you set out.
  • If you choose to go with another candidate, let them know in that set time period. If you still haven’t made a decision, communicate that to them as well and give them an updated timeline.

These steps make your company a lot more appealing to the Millennial generation because they know exactly what the process will look like. The less transparent your process is, the more likely your company is going to miss out on those prime candidates. If your company does an interview but doesn’t let the prospect know what’s going to happen, they will most likely continue on their job search.

Communication keeps staff happy

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If you need help picking out the perfect questions for your interview, use this guide. It's free to download here.

Communication in the interview shows your prospects how your company treats their existing staff members. If it’s clear that everything is open from the start, your prospects will assume that openness will continue after being hired.

Open communication between staff members is incredibly important when it comes to employee retention. Your Millennial workers want to know how your business is doing. They want to be able to express their concerns and learn why things are happening. Help your staff feel more comfortable in their jobs by being clear about the company’s goals and their responsibilities.

6. Ignoring the importance of feedback

Feedback connects directly to communication, but it’s a lot more than sharing the plan. Feedback can (and should) change the way you interview someone. Asking questions and listening to answers is great, but giving feedback right away makes each interview a lot more personal and comprehensive. Listen to the responses they give but instead of moving on to the next question, take time to go over their answers based on what your company needs.

Feedback

Here’s an example:

  1. You ask someone how they handle having a lot of projects at once. They answer by saying that they are very organized and tend to plan out their time with detailed calendars.
  2. You then respond by offering immediate feedback. You can say that this planning is great, but a lot of the situations your team deals with are last minute.
  3. Now they have the opportunity to respond right away and explain that because they have everything planned so well, they have the ability to know when they have time to fit those new projects in.

This extra step, this little bit of feedback helps to narrow down your candidates and provide them with a better understanding of the expectations they will face.

Your employees want more feedback too

Want to keep your employees around longer? Make sure they know how much you value them. Offer feedback more regularly. Don’t just wait for something bad to happen, give your hard-working staff a shout-out when you see that they are doing a good job. If they are struggling, don’t wait for an annual review to let them know. Offer feedback to them as soon as you notice an issue and they will be able to make changes faster and feel more invested in the company.

Graphic How Solink Helps Copy 1
It's easy to provide feedback to your staff when you use Solink's Discover Dashboard. Pin-point your top performing employees in seconds and reward their efforts. You'll also be able to identify which employees are having a hard time keeping up. That way you can offer additional training and support to those who need it.

7. Not understanding the value of company culture

More than ever, employees want to love the place that they work. One study suggested that 50% of Millennials would rather be unemployed than work somewhere they hated. Your company culture is basically the sum of all of the other points on this list. You’ve been working to build your company culture since day one of the business, you have to figure out how to highlight it properly.

Don’t be afraid to show off your company. Your prospects will appreciate seeing pictures from company outings, group meetings, and the day-to-day life of the office. Fill your team with the right employees by making the atmosphere clear from the start. Your prospects are going to have done their research on the company before they even apply, so make sure those company values are clear no matter where they look.

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Ready to start hiring the right way? Download your free interview guide here to find out the best kind of questions to hire the best employees.

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