The Changing Face of the Workplace and Hiring Process: Getting to Know and Work with Millennials

by | Sep 19, 2017

Tech savvy is a term used to describe people who have not only been raised on the technology wave but are advocates for its rapid adoption. This generational cohort is also called the Millennials. Some observers may stereotype this group, but Millennials come from different backgrounds, have diverse motivations, and follow different lifestyles. All have grown up in the era of rapid technology transformation. This tech savvy generation has been raised using the technology that the preceding generations designed, developed, and validated.

As more Millennials join the workforce, companies are recognizing the importance of attracting, retaining, and developing this group. However, in this dynamic environment, it’s not enough to address the changes we face today. It’s also about adapting to changes that we are not yet aware of. We need to establish environments that absorb Continuous Change.

Organizations must assess their talent search and hiring process to support not only Millennials but also future generations. Organizations must continually shift their approach as technology and people change and integrate Continuous Change into the organization’s hiring process. Here are some ways to do that.

Planning for Continuous Change

As Millennials continue to gain experience and improve their skillsets, organizations need a plan for identifying, attracting, interviewing, and retaining good talent, as well as replacing talent unexpectedly. Good talent has many options and they will not wait around for organizations to respond to resumes, process applications, or provide interview feedback.

Organizations must establish processes that are streamlined, repeatable, and measurable so they can be easily modified to support Continuous Change.

Searching for Good Talent

With the number of Millennials entering the workforce, recruiters and hiring managers may find it hard to read for specific skills or experience in stacks of resumes. Applicants are not interested in time-consuming applications or waiting for companies to get to their resume. In a tight job market, organizations must find candidates as soon as they become available.

Searching for candidates using social media profiles and web presence will help provide snapshots of experience, skills, talents, and interests. Millennials are well connected through social media so networking is an efficient way of connecting with potential candidates. Organizations should continually identify search tools and processes and track their value to support Continuous Change.

Streamlining the Interview

A value shared among many millennials is partnership: “Millennials don’t work for you; they work with you.” The interview process is a good way for candidates to assess an organization’s flexibility and openness to partnership. Interviews can be time-consuming so videoconferencing may ease the process.

Replacing phone calls for out-of-area candidates and first-round interviews with webcam or video interviews can also improve the organization’s workflow by reducing travel costs and no-shows, avoiding scheduling conflicts, and providing a more effective interview experience for the candidate. Video options may also include applicants recording their pitch for later viewing.

Interviewing for the Right Fit

As resource needs change, organizations must continually adjust the way they assess each candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and fit. In the past, hiring managers focused on schooling, certifications, awards, experience in the field, and technical qualifications.

Today the focus is on cultural fit and the ability to add value in a collaborative environment. Experience and education are still important and organizations must have an effective process in place to determine technical depth, but interviewers are also looking closely at the individual. What skills do candidates have that are not on their resumes and how did they develop them? What experiences have they had outside the classroom or workplace that might benefit the team or organization?

For years, the interview process stayed the same but the rapid advances in technology present a need for skills beyond education. New technology is being developed faster than colleges can teach it. Students are taking the lead in learning and using the technology to enhance their own skills. The web has become a source of education. Although these are highly valued skills, research and self-education are rarely found on a candidate’s resume.

Other activities, such as gaming, have been proven to develop important soft skills rarely found on a resume. In 2015, the Harvard Business Review described how playing video games can make you a better strategist. There are multiplayer online games that require effective negotiation, leadership, communication, and collaboration skills for teams to compete worldwide. These games drive individuals to continually develop and improve their soft skills.

Interviewing a candidate for the right fit is more than reviewing a resume and asking random questions. Now research extends to the web. A candidate may have a presence in online forums, write blogs or articles, or have a website. This can be helpful in identifying a candidate’s knowledge, expertise, skills, or talents. Organizations should have standardized questions that center on experience and behavior, as opposed to questions – and answers – that can be found on the internet. Determine how to ask questions based on what your organization wants to know and measure.

There is plenty of information about individuals available on the web. Organizations should have a predetermined interview process open to continuous improvement.

Steve Jobs believed that hiring employees was the most important job he had. As an organization, Apple became extremely effective at hiring the right people with the right skills who were the right fit for the organization. Employee quality and organizational fit continued to improve under his supervision as the hiring process became more streamlined, repeatable, and measurable. Without the right metrics, organizations cannot improve processes and adapt to Continuous Change.

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