When writing about business planning, I included a lot of information on one of the growing problems for small business owners—recruiting and retaining employees. When it comes to recruiting young people to work in your business, there are some things you need to be aware of and some things you may need to tweak from your usual modus operandi. Once I started identifying trends, I decided it was time to offer business owners some practical suggestions for dealing with this very real challenge.
Service, Innovation, and Customer Experience
Customers demand value and service. You deliver on these demands through people. Either directly (customer service) or indirectly. People are your most valuable asset, but it is difficult to quantify their impact. Value-added and return on investment (ROI) are especially difficult to assess when it comes to your human resources.
Millennials grew up with the Internet, bits and bytes. They’re not afraid of technology. In fact, they embrace it. More so than their parents. Where the child passes the parent in adoption and use of technology is known as the generation gap. However, there is one important point – they do not see the Internet as technology any more than a car, radio or refrigerator.
They have become an authority on the Internet, the single biggest innovation in our society. This net-generation is curious, intelligent, focused, willing to adapt to change, self-reliant and confident. They have been told that it will be hard to find jobs. This group could well be the largest generation of entrepreneurs. Because they are net-intelligent, they love to collaborate, work together and share information. After all, what good is knowledge and information if it cannot be shared?
Millennials want to make a difference and will not put up with being manipulated by the system or being taken advantage of. After all, they can easily organize on the net! This generation could become an extremely politically active group with significant clout and power. They believe the employer-employee relationship could be reinvented. When they think of employment, they see it as:
- Contract work
- Temporary work
- Work from home
- Contingent arrangement
- Flexible and mobile
As such, they also need a path to maintain their self-motivation. They are looking for challenging, exciting and stimulating opportunities. They need an environment of collaboration, and they will naturally develop. Remember, your human resources have a free will. They can up and leave and take their knowledge with them.
As a business owner, it is important to manage the knowledge as well as the information and data. Older technophobe managers will be washed away by a wave of media savvy, confident and peer-oriented workforce. Businesses must avoid this generational displacement and learn from the younger generation.
This will also be a demanding generation of customers. They have knowledge and power, and they know it. It will not surprise me to see them demanding a portion of revenue generated from the sale of information that is gathered about them online.