A Paradigm Shift in the Workforce
For decades, the Baby Boomer generation made up not only the majority of the workforce but the population as well. As of 2015, there were 74.9 million Baby Boomers (aged 51-69) in the United States. That’s almost 75 million people approaching retirement age, taking with them years of experience, customer relationships, and ample intellectual capital.
Generation X (aged 35-50 as of 2015) consists of 66 million people in the United States and is often referred to as the “middle child” generation due to its dip in numbers between two huge groups. Millennials (aged 18-34 as of 2015) recently surpassed the Baby Boomers on the census with 75.4 million people. This fluctuation in numbers creates a significant gap in the workforce as the Baby Boomers begin their mass exodus.
Hiring managers are going to be very busy in the coming years.
Generation X and Millennials are known to have vastly different values and priorities. While Gen X tends to be self-reliant with an eye on management roles, Millennials gravitate towards optimistic team environments with strong leadership and support. With this in mind, how can a hiring manager guarantee they’re hiring the right person for the right job? Here are three integral considerations when hiring to fill the gap:
Millennials are known for their social consciousness and desire to work for companies who aim to make a difference in their communities. One of the most important considerations when hiring a new employee from the Millennial generation is ensuring that their values align with the company’s values.
If your values don’t align, chances are the employee will not be properly fueling their Whole Person Development blend and will never feel fully engaged.
Find out what the potential employee is passionate about. Tell candidates about your corporate social responsibility initiatives to evaluate if that individual is passionate about making a social impact. Employees who are proud of their employer’s initiatives are more engaged in their work efforts.
Find out why a candidate wants to work for your company. Go deeper than the desire to have a steady paycheck and great benefits. Peel back the layers and find out why they want to take this position with this company, specifically.
Is it because of the value alignment?
Is it because they’ve heard positive feedback from satisfied employees?
Is it because they see this position as a stepping stone to their career goals? If so, don’t eliminate them as a potential candidate.
Millennials are known to change jobs often to diversify their resume. Instead, look at the benefits of having someone ambitious and dedicated in this role for a couple of years. If the employee feels valued, they may decide to stay and grow within the company.
Openness to Coaching
Everyone has belief boundaries—individual thoughts and beliefs about themselves—that help them determine their personal definition of success. These belief boundaries include thoughts about where you want to live, if you want to get married and to whom, how much money you want to make, and so on. A great coach can not only identify these but help people push past these mental limitations they build for themselves.
However, none of this matters if the person isn’t open to being coached.
While Millennials have a tendency to want training and support, don’t fall into the trap of relying on generalizations. You need to look deeper and assess the whole person in front of you as a unique individual. As a hiring manager, if you don’t believe the person you are interviewing is open to coaching then moving forward would be a mistake. Making sure at the interview level that a person wants to grow and thrive in their environment will help you make sure you’re putting the right person in the right job.
Planning for Success
When you follow a standard hiring process, don’t forget to consider this very basic question: are you putting the right person in the right job? Assessing one’s value alignment with the business, their motivation for applying, and their openness to coaching is a very straightforward yet effective method of evaluating the overall fit.
With the imminent exodus of the Baby Boomers and shift to Millennial dominance in the workforce, don’t forget about your current employees. Train them, coach them, and help them prepare for the impending changes. Prepare your employees and rise to face the challenges ahead together.
For further information, read When Baby Boomers Retire What is at Stake?
Meredith Wailes is the President of Bloom Leadership, a cutting-edge platform for business growth. With a focus on Whole Person Development, Bloom Leadership develops recruitment and retainment strategies through tailored coaching. Meredith is a founding member and the Chair of Membership for the Private Directors Association- Charlotte Chapter. She is also the creator of “SeeD,” a scholarship fund dedicated to female leaders who manage, operate, and/or own for-profit businesses in Charlotte, NC. For more information visit Meredith on LinkedIn and Twitter.