The entrance of Millennials into the workforce may present managers with several challenges, as they may have to adopt innovative ways to recruit and retain these new workers.
Many companies have begun to establish formal mentoring partnerships between managers and young employees. These programs are most efficient when they are structured and mentors go through formalized training. Many Millennials may want to have advising partnerships in which they can get feedback on their progress. KPMG and PriceWaterHouseCoopers have found these personalized mentorships to be mutually beneficial for both young employees and the companies themselves. As the Baby Boomers retire, young employees need to be trained in order to be the new company leaders. Such mentorship programs, along with job shadowing, may help fill the voids left by the retiring Baby Boomers.
The United States military has also changed its strategies to meet the needs of its Millennial recruits. Instead of having Army drill sergeants constantly yelling at recruits during basic training, these instructors perform most training tasks, such as running and marching, side by side with their recruits. Recruits have reported that such initiatives helped encourage and motivate them. The military has also modified its recruitment campaigns to include parents. They market both to potential soldiers and their parents. Recruiting officers are also instructed to meet with parents.
Employers may need to realize that “helicopter parents” are not necessarily detrimental. A recent study has reported that college-age children of “helicopter parents” tend to be more engaged and more likely to participate in projects that require independent research and intensive writing. Some initiatives that may help companies retain and recruit these “helicoptered” children may involve dedicating part of a company’s website specifically for parents. Parents may be worried that their adult children may just be a number in a large organization. Companies may alleviate such concerns by engaging these “helicopter” parents rather than dismissing them. Firms like Ernst & Young and Enterprise Rent-A-Car develop employer information for parents. Southwestern and Office Depot have a special website for parents. Merill Lynch would invite parents for office visits. PNC Financial Services held events for parents of interns. Vanguard and Stockamp sent job offer letters to parents as well as recruits. Considering that twenty-five percent of college seniors review job offers with their parents, such initiatives may behoove firms.
Howe, Neil. Millennials in the Workplace. LifeCourse Associates, 2010.