I continue to get complaints about how the Millennials are not responsible employees who can be counted on to show up to work and act professionally. I hear things like:
- He asked for a day off the first week
- She showed up in shorts that were so short her bottom showed
- She played on her phone and ignored customers
- He was 2-hours late and didn’t call
While the Millennials do like to have their fun and many have not been prepared for work like their predecessors were, it is certainly possible to find good Millennial employees. The Millennial generation is very large–over 71 million in the U.S. and growing—and many of them are very responsible, mature people. You just have to find them. You can do this using good selection methods.
1. Start with a job description.
Every good talent management system begins with an accurate job description. This means researching within your organization what knowledge, skills, behaviors, and other characteristics are necessary to be successful in this role. If it’s an existing role, ask the manager(s), people in or previously in the roles, and others who interact with them what knowledge skills, behaviors, and other characteristics have led to success and failure in that position.
For example, if it’s an account manager position, you might hear things like:
- Professional demeanor
- Customer service oriented
- Good communication skills
- Develops relationships with customers and with coworkers
- Knowledge and skill with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software
You’ll need people to expand on specific knowledge and behaviors that make up these categories. For example, what does having a professional demeanor mean? It might mean:
- showing up on time
- calling ahead if you’ll miss work
- wearing appropriate clothes
- being well-groomed
- using respectful language and not curse words.
If it’s a new role, or if you just want help getting started, search for the job the US Department of Labor database of job descriptions. You can also ask others in different organizations for their experiences. If maturity is needed for success in the job, it will show up in your research.
2. Include Maturity in your Job Posting.
Write a job posting that includes the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that are necessary for the job. Maturity would fall under “other characteristics.” If maturity is extremely important, put it front and center in the job posting, as in
- “looking for mature people of all ages who show up on time, are dependable, and work well with others.”
By putting it out there, you are encouraging applicants to self-select to apply if they are mature or skip this job if that seems too much for them. Hopefully, the applicants are self-aware enough to see whether they are mature, but this may not be the case.
3. Screen Applicants for Mature Behavior
There are many tests and methods to screen for mature behavior. Whatever you choose to use, make sure you are consistent with all of your candidates so that you get good data and you are not introducing bias into your hiring practices.
I like to put people to the test right away with a few hurdles they have to jump to be worthy of an interview.
- Require candidates to email you by a certain deadline with a cover letter and resume. You can give them instructions for what to include in their letter, such as why they are a good candidate for the job. You can see if they meet the deadline, if they follow instructions, and how professional their letter is. Is it proofread or full of typos, formal or in text speak, did they do their homework to learn what the job is about or is it generic, and so on…?
- Email candidates who meet your criteria and have them set up a call with you. See how professionally they interact to set up a time that works for you. Are they cordial, flexible with your schedule, reliable to call you at the number you give them at the agreed-upon time, etc.?
- Invite them to a face-to-face interview. See how they dress and behave with you and others during their visit. Did they arrive early to be sure to be on time, are they wearing appropriate clothes, do they look you in the eye, do they treat other staff members respectfully, and so on…?
There are many other things you can do to screen candidates for maturity in your hiring process to make sure you are getting Millennials on your team who are mature, responsible, respectful employees. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation.