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What Your Human Resources Department is Doing Wrong with Millennials

Human Resource departments are complex by nature, they have countless responsibilities and I don’t claim to be an expert. What I can tell you is that after countless interviews and conversations with other professionals, they are generally deficient in several different knowledge areas:

Significance and Purpose

Companies around the world are scrambling to deal with the new “job hopping” phenomenon. It’s costing them money in recruiting costs, as well as efficiency. As much as this may be due to the Millennial culture change, it is very much brought on by the companies own failure to evolve. Millennials are driven by significance and purpose. While Gen X would have been happy on an assembly line if they made enough money, we are not. Our job needs to be linked to self-improvement and/or a cause greater than us.  It’s up to the employers to anticipate these changes in their workplace and execute a strategy of success.  Otherwise, they will become a statistic.

Switch it Up!

If you talk to anyone who has been at a company for 30+ years, I find they’ve been moved around to many different parts of the business.  This is a key factor in retaining talent and should be communicated on the 1st interview of the candidate if the company so chooses to implement it. We all want certainty in our lives BUT we don’t want to know exactly what we are doing everyday for the rest of eternity.

Psychology Training

“What Every Body is Saying” by Joe Navarro is a book every hiring manager/Human Resource professional should own. Joe is a former FBI Special Agent and is a master in nonverbal communication. Now, I’m not saying everyone should become a lie detector but it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few body tells when interviewing a candidate. After all, when you bring someone into your company, they will effect the culture you’ve worked so hard to implement. Another reason to have psych training is because its VERY EASY TO LIE ON AN INTERVIEW. You don’t want to make the mistake of hiring a dishonest person to infect your team. Getting rid of someone can be a lengthy process.

Traditional Interview Process

What an uncomfortable day it always is! Your wearing clothes you normally don’t wear, you’re in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people, while being asked the same questions by many different people. This could have been effective at one time, a LONG time ago, but there is a better way. Wouldn’t it be better to go out at 6 or 7pm for a steak? One, you’ll never have to lie to your boss to take a day off. Two, you’re more apt to get the truth in this atmosphere. I’ve been in interviews with as much as 7 different people taking their turn at grilling me. Of course, I was thinking that it’d be easier on everyone’s day to hash this out together for 30 minutes instead of having me here for 4 hours. Honestly, that kind of structure is off-putting. It will make your guest disinterested in the company by having them leave with a negative experience.  My point is that it would be in the best interest of the employer to think outside the box in regards to their interview process.

Know your people

On the topic of retaining talent, its up to your direct manager to get to know YOU. Are you task based or do you favor autonomy? As I’ve said in prior posts, everyone should be managed differently. HR departments, if not done so already, should deeply include this in their management training.

Lastly, don’t invest in a resume, invest in the PERSON! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that someone should have more experience. Though it may be a valid assessment, six months to a year of experience should not make a break a candidate. If they have talent and fit your culture, they’ll pick it up on the job. Taking on a good fit will help your company retain the talent around this person.

Though things have changed a lot, many companies are operating by the rules of the last generation. Any of my readers know that is a RECIPE FOR DISASTER!

Eric Estevez
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