*Disclaimer: Yes, I am a millennial. Get over it.
The days of cold-calling and going door to door are gone, whether you’d like to admit it or not. Those tactics may have worked in the past, but they are no longer sufficient in today’s digital world. Of course, traditional advertising and word-of-mouth recommendations remain important, but marketing to your current customers and prospects has evolved into so much more.
And who is best suited to execute these digital strategies? In step those damn millennials.
Yes, those same millennials who are labeled “lazy, spoiled brats who have been handed everything.”
At Site-Seeker, we like to think of them as efficient, tech-savvy hard workers. So how did two completely different theories about millennials come to be?
Today, technology has overtaken our everyday lives. Computers, flat-screen televisions, smartphones and watches, home assistance technology…the list goes on and on. These technology advancements have become the norm, and millennials simply grew up with them. So while older Gen Xers and Boomers have watched millennials “play” with technology throughout their childhoods, millennials have developed skills ideally suited for many jobs in today’s workforce including marketing.
Analyzing websites, market and data research, user experience, the importance of mobile and more have come naturally to millennials. We’ve been on social media since we were 12 years old and have perused the internet as early as age 8 (sometimes earlier!). Our ability to adapt and embrace new technology, paired with our eagerness to learn, puts millennials at the forefront of any industry.
It’s time to face the music and realize you need millennials because guess what? You aren’t going to work forever. You’re going to need someone to hand off your business to – preferably someone who will keep it running efficiently. But first, let’s shift our focus to why they need you!
Why Millennials Need You
Graduate high school.
Get a job.
Find a spouse, get married, buy a house, have a family.
That’s the basic checklist for life, right? Well, not so much anymore. Nowhere on the list does it say “get multiple internships” or “network as much as you can” or “get your master’s degree or Ph.D.” or any other obstacle that millennials face in today’s workforce. As graduating college has become more common than any other generation, competition levels are at an all-time high. A degree doesn’t make job candidates stand out as much as it once did.
That’s why millennials need you. We’ve realized that not everyone can work at ESPN or MTV.
Don’t let that fool you, though. Millennials are not “settling” for your job opening – they’re embracing it. Getting a job in their field of study, that’s a dream in itself. Why? Because millennials have to make money, and fast, in order to pay off those student loans and make up for the summers of unpaid internships. Oh yeah, don’t forget about all that competition, too.
How To Attract Millennials
Well, that should be easy: just throw them a bunch of money. Well, actually there’s so much more than that.
Need proof? Site-Seeker was just named one of Central New York’s “Best Places to Work.” The kicker? We were selected because of surveys completed by employees regarding satisfaction, workplace environment, employee relations and more. See why millennials thrive at Site-Seeker.
Ability to Move Up
Millennials look for a few things in a potential workplace. The first is the ability to move up the corporate ladder. Remember those loans we talked about? They aren’t cheap. In order to advance in a workplace, an employee’s work must be valued and appreciated. Millennials can sense when they’re looked down upon, especially if they’re the only one.
I’m not saying you should pamper millennials or provide crazy incentives. But, I am saying that establishing a collaborative environment that recognizes the efforts of individuals and the team as a whole are important. Millennials approach jobs with something to prove. Some would say we have a chip on our shoulders. By clearly defining the plan, expectations, and roles, you give millennials the opportunity to shine and efficiency increases.
We also like to recognize our employees and their efforts. We do this through company lunches, golf outings, holiday parties, work anniversaries, social media posts and more. Our employees know they are valued and definitely appreciate it when their work is recognized.
Our bi-weekly operations meetings allow employees to inform others about tasks they’re working on, any issues they’ve run into, and more. These meetings are crucial for collaboration and give team members a better idea of what everyone else is up to. Just finished a big project? Expect a swarm of congratulations from other team members.
Annual raises are based on performance factors and personal objectives. We consistently promote within the company because we have faith in our employees.
We aren’t looking for a keg in the office on Fridays. No, you don’t have to buy a pool table for the office, either. And no, I’m not going to say those would be freakin’ awesome because that would totally derail my point…
Previously, our office was built out with cubicles and little to no wall decorations – in short, it was boring. That changed thanks to fresh orange walls and chairs (our brand’s color), an open workspace that encourages collaboration, and wall decorations that bring life to our office.
A section of our office has lounge chairs, bean bag chairs, a wireless speaker, a large television for collaborative work and more. While there’s nothing wrong with our desks, it’s a nice change of pace and also adds a level of comfort to the office.
Employee Empowerment & Development
Our team members frequently attend industry conferences, tradeshows, and other events. This allows them to focus on personal growth and learn new ideas that they can then bring back to the team. It seems like a different employee receives a new certification almost weekly. We encourage these types of development because it strengthens our team as a whole, and it tells employees we care about their professional development.
Here at Site-Seeker, we’ve embraced millennials. With proper training and our specialized onboarding program, we give them the tools they need to succeed. No, we don’t have kegs on Fridays or a pool table, but guess what?
We still love it here.
We also host an annual employee retreat and switched it up last year to include a ropes course, zip lining adventures, and an overnight stay at the beautiful Bristol Harbor Resort. The team building and fun are still talked about amongst our entire staff. They’re already looking forward to this year’s event!
The next thing millennials look for in a workplace pretty simple: an enjoyable work environment. This starts by getting the right people on your team. Hiring the right people who will work well together is best for everyone. The interview process has become more and more important. It’s great that a candidate had a 4.0 GPA, but if they can’t hold a conversation, are they really the right fit?
Our hiring process is rigorous and takes many factors into account. All candidates take a strengths finder test, enabling us to get a better idea of them. By pairing those with execution skills with creative people, influencers with strategic employees and so on, our team has become a well-oiled machine able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
Site-Seeker employs people across Central New York (New Hartford, Syracuse, Rochester), as well as in two more states (Vermont and Virginia). The nature of our job allows employees to work remotely from home – giving them the ability to spend more time with family. We also work half-days on Fridays in the summer, and offer an extra paid week of vacation between Christmas and New Year’s.
Need to take a half day on Tuesday, but don’t have any more PTO to use? That’s fine – just make up your hours the rest of the week! That’s fine ss long as work is completed on time in a high-quality fashion. Need to sneak out an hour early on Friday? It’s as simple as coming in an hour earlier.
Newsflash: healthcare is not cheap. While that may not be a shocker to anyone reading this, it is especially true to millennials with car payments, nagging student loans and more. Providing affordable healthcare to employees should be step 1 in the benefits package.
Site-Seeker also offers a $6 monthly gym membership to employees. We contribute an extra 2% toward employees’ 401Ks. We offer two paid weeks of vacation. Benefits like these, while they may seem small, add up quickly to form a nice package that entices prospective employees.
We’ve formed an awesome team and we’d be happy to help you do the same. Hope this helps!