Archive for December, 2015

Millennials:  Love ‘em and Lead ‘em

By: Kip Harrell

Some say they are coddled, whiny, narcissistic, addicted to technology and entitled.  I could go on. And on.  Sadly, many Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, have left today’s Baby Boomer and Gen X managers with those impressions.  Only a few may fit all the stereotypical flaws, yet we still like to abase and denigrate the generation in its entirety.  But don’t forget, those of us who disparage the Millennials are the very same ones that helped create them.  Isn’t it our responsibility, therefore, to lead and mentor them as they become our next generation of leaders and executives?

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Today’s current workforce is almost equally divided between the Baby Boomer, Gen X and Millennial generations.  With Boomers retiring at a rate of about 50,000 each week and no more Gen X-ers available to enter the work world, pay attention everyone– Millennials will soon be the majority generation in our workforce.  I have seldom encountered one that could not be managed, guided and counseled in a way that plays to their generational mindset and also plays to a manager’s desire for higher productivity, a better product or a new, improved way of getting from point A to point B.  So these are just a few of the things I love about Millennials:

Millennials want to do a good job.  And they want to excel in getting the job done.

Millennials are enthusiastic and motivated.  Lack of experience, perhaps but I believe enthusiasm makes up for that.

Millennials have a keen sense of looking at things differently than Baby Boomers. Their fresh ideas are driven from the experiences they have had while growing up in a dynamic technological and innovative environment.

Millennials learn quickly and have an excellent ability to adapt.  They had to.  With a new device, app or software version available constantly, they have been trained to frequently change, adopt and upgrade.

Millennials have a ton of energy.  Enough said.

Millennial Attraction

Our challenge then is how to put all the great traits and characteristic to work to our advantage. They are loyal but only to those that deserve their loyalty.  Millennials don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.  Some of the things that work well for Millennials:

Set boundaries for projects, begin with the end in mind and let them lose.  Encourage them to push the rules in accomplishing a task.  However, be prepared to offer constant feedback and not just affirmation that they are doing a good job.  Millennials need constant feedback to keep them interested and engaged.  Some companies have actually eliminated quarterly and annual reviews for their Millennial workforce and instead have opted for constant feedback over periodic reviews.

Anything and everything is about teams and teamwork with Millennials.  Competitive yes, but also inclusive and group oriented.  Whenever you can, involve Millennials in group projects.  When you can’t, consistently remind them how their work relates to the overall objectives of a project and that they are a key piece of the targeted result.  Include them in your status and team meetings.  Never forget to emphasize that there is another goal for them to achieve.

Be very aware of their expectations- that they be judged on quality of their work product and not on working an 8 or 10 hour day.  Millennials were raised with access to technology anywhere and at any time.  To them, it is about flexibility and not when or where the work takes place.  Time is their currency.  If you are not helping effect a change in your work environment to adapt to this line of thinking, you are failing yourself and this new generation.

Train, train and train your Millennial workforce.  Constant learning is part of their DNA.  They are all about enhancing their skills and continuing their education.  Technical tools are critical and providing sources for development is important to retaining Millennials.

Repetitive tasks represent a waste of time and energy for Millennials.  Find new ways to exercise their minds.  Better yet, give Millennials options or ask them to create alternatives that will achieve similar or better results in their daily assignments.

Respect Millennials and take them seriously.  Ask for opinions.  Find teachable moments that help them understand the solution or the reasoning behind a business problem or decision.

Be a constant coach.  It should include the bad and good.  Don’t be reluctant to point out why and how something could have been handled differently or with more business acumen. They will walk away respecting you for your time and willingness to guide them through a learning curve.  Yes, it may take more time but it pays a higher reward in the end.  Millennials love mentoring and directed input – good or bad.

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Despite the fact that many are quick to point to flaws of the Millennials and how they can test their patience, critics forget that Millennials are also confident, inclusive, social, technology savvy, optimistic, moral, tolerant, competitive, energetic, fun, enthusiastic, motivated, globally-minded and socially-responsible.  Embrace them – they’re here to stay.  How can you not love working with someone who is that evolutionary advanced?

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Recruiting- Should you be a Hunter or a Gardener?

By: Dustin Williams

As I look around my office during the holiday lull, one of the first things to see is our headhunter decoration. It stands on one of our filing cabinets and greets visitors as they walk through our office. While it is a great talking point (like our superhero-themed conference rooms), I’m not sure a Hunter is entirely accurate for how we strive to recruit in today’s market.

The ‘Hunter’ Mentality-

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A hunter determines the most likely place to find his target, tracks it down, often stalks it for quite some time, and then takes a shot at removing it from the herd. Sound familiar? In many ways it is the approach many people (myself included) take when they first enter the industry, with good reason.

While there is definitely merit to this approach, such as having the tenacity to keep chasing down that candidate that you really want, it can only get you so far. When you get too focused on the hunting and your one shot fails, you go home empty-handed. That’s why more Recruiters are becoming Gardeners.

The ‘Gardener’ Mentality-

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A gardener takes a small seed and grows it into something strong, which can in turn provide more seeds to be grown. When you’re recruiting, use every conversation as your seed to start cultivating a relationship with candidates. They may not be the right fit right now, but they might know somebody who is. They could even one day grow into a hiring manager who will want you to run their next search.

When a garden of candidates has grown through time, care, and attention, you don’t have to search far and wide for the best talent. You have a talent pool right in your backyard and can often get recommendations to bring the ideal candidates to you. Investing in their growth will make you their career recruiter. Make growing a relationship your goal in every search and you won’t go home empty-handed.

If you’re in the job market or looking to fill a difficult position and want help cultivating your options, consider having Govig and Associates be a part of your next search. Thanks for reading!

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