Business owners and today’s business leaders fear the worse, “who will lead my organization in ten or twenty years?” It can’t be these lazy workforce millennials we’re getting today.” Its true millennials are different. During the interview, they immediately ask about vacation time, flex time, and their desire to climb the corporate ladder in a week. Millennials are eager, demanding and have high expectations from their employer. However, just as they have high expectations about you, doesn’t mean you can’t have high expectations for them.
Weeding out the bad weeds of hiring young or future leaders can be a challenge. What do you look for when considering top-notch talent? Below, are five things to look for when hiring your next millennial leader.
Step 1: Over-Embellished Resume
Millennials are experts at embellishing their experience. By the time they’re thirty, they’ve all owned businesses, held a director/manager title, and are experts at social media. While experience is important, find out what their real skillsets are. Ask questions related to past projects. I once had an interviewer asks me about the largest project I’ve ever managed. She asked me about my role in the project, what was considered large in terms of revenue, how many people were on the team and the list went on. Dive in deeper into the experience of the candidate. If they’re like me, they may list all their skills and expertise including management skills, software skills, and knowledge. Ask them direct questions regarding their knowledge. For example, “You say you’re in expert in operations management. Give me an example of how you managed the operations of a business and how it relates to all key components of operations (budget, human resources, management of employees…)?
Step 2: Volunteerism
I’ve heard managers say over and over that millennials are lazy. If you’re looking for a true, hard-working leader, consider their volunteer resume. You will identify two things; what they’re passionate about and if they are a hard worker. Again, you may need to ask detailed questions to eliminate the possibility of step 1. Millennials love giving back. And if you’re an organization that cares about corporate responsibility and giving back to the community, this will be a great way to find a strong individual to lead the charge.
Step 3: Personality Counts
Do you get a good vibe? Everything looks good on paper and they answered all the questions right but did you have a real connection? Can you see yourself working with this individual every day? You know what you’re company culture is and whether someone will fit in. Does the person seem like they will be egotistic and try to change the dynamics of your culture or can you see them fully fitting in to your current culture? You have to trust your judgment on which a person is or will be. While young leaders may stumble over an interview, you should be able to identify who they are and what they can accomplish.
Step 4: Complete Honesty on the Job Description
One of the best qualities regarding millennials is their authenticity. Millennials don’t want you to BS their potential job duties. They want the honest truth. The last thing you want is to sugarcoat the job, and when they arrive, they immediately fail. Tell them your day-to-day expectations, future goals, how the individual can contribute to the organization’s future success. At the same time when you’re giving them the brutal truth about expectations, share the benefits of being part of your organization. Tell the candidate about both hard benefits (health, 401k, vacation) and soft benefits (being part of a great culture, teamwork, growth opportunities, company’s mission). When a candidate leaves the interview room, they want to feel like they have all the answers when considering if the opportunity is right for them.
Step 5: Have they already made an imprint?
Millennials may or may not lack experience depending on where they’re at in their career, but they don’t lack the ability to make an impact somewhere. Ask questions regarding their involvement with volunteer organizations, their college life, what they’ve done in the community, at church, or anywhere else an individual can make an imprint/real difference. I believe you’re not too young to start impacting lives and if you’re looking for future leaders to run your organization, then consider the imprint those individuals have already made. This can be a huge indicator of hiring a great leader.
Millennials are not the downfall of our future workplace. By hiring the right individuals, your organization can endure a lot of successes. It will require you to do your research, understand your expectations, know who will fit into your culture, and being open-minded. This will lead you to a great team full of young leaders.