What Will Millennial Managers Expect from HR?

The challenges of recruiting and retaining Millennials have been well-documented. They’re demanding. If they don’t find meaning in their work, they’ll go someplace else. They expect flexibility in how they do their job. To hear many recruiters, managers and HR professionals tell it, Millennials are an exceptionally challenging generation of employees.

Now they’re becoming managers, and that could pose new challenges to HR organizations that have already struggled with Gen Y’s approach to work. For example, citing a study by EY, USAToday says that Millennial managers are often seen as entitled and don’t score well as team players.

Whether you like their approach or not, “Millennials as managers won’t be that much different from Millennials as workers,” Josh Bersin, Principal at Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, LLP, told me. He notes that Millennials have different values and work experiences than their predecessors, which they’ll bring to their roles as managers.

For example, Millennials expect organizations to be transparent. The idea that budgets, salaries, diversity data and similar information should be restricted isn’t going to play well among the generation that grew up with Facebook. “Millennials are pushing organizations hard to be transparent about a lot of things that were kept secret before,” Bersin says. As managers, they’ll be in a position to press directly on HR to provide access to more information.

Expect to hear more demands for flexibility, too. Whether it’s the hours they’re in the office or how they approach a particular problem, Millennials tend to seek the solutions that work for them. HR, which often acts as a steward for carefully crafted policies and procedures, will be pushed to accommodate new approaches to any number of management issues.

“Millennial managers are not going to do something the way it’s always been done just because it’s always been done that way — especially if it doesn’t make sense to them,” writes Brad Karsh in his book Manager 3.0: A Millennial’s Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management.

And if you haven’t yet begun re-thinking how you conduct performance reviews, you may want to consider what your Gen Y managers think about a traditional, checklist-style approach. Already, many organizations making their appraisals focus less on critiquing and more on coaching. That fits with Millennials’ expectations of a more open, communicative work environment.

Though their approach to work is different, Millennials will face the same challenges as other managers in leading their teams and meeting their goals. To support them, HR will have to be flexible, responsive and collaborative. Millennials are growing up, but, as Bersin notes, they’re not going to suddenly change their behavior just because they’ve gotten a management job.

Mark Feffer has written, edited and produced hundreds of articles on careers, personal finance and technology. His work has appeared on and as well as on other top sites. He is currently writing for, the top local resource for job seekers, employers and recruiters in New Hampshire.

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Serving The Return With A Smile

What? You’ve never heard of it?

<smile – snap – post>

It’s all the social media rage.

<smile – snap – post>

And all the kids are doing it.

<smile – snap – post>

Heck, not just all the kids either. Some of us older folk are doing it, too.

<smile – snap – post>

Because we want to be found. We want to be seen. We want to be known.

<smile – snap – post>

And is that so wrong?

<smile – snap – post – nope>

I’m talking about the selfie – the uninhibited, self-promotional, narcissistic, look-at-me-I-rock photographic posting activity booming today. Even if it’s in a self-deprecating light, which I happen to partake in as well, it’s still look at me, please! 

I know, the fact that I’m referencing the following in the same piece while trying to distance myself from it doesn’t actually make logical sense, but 33-year-old reality star Kim Kardashian’s selfie book titled Selfish has helped push selfies into the mainstream face (no, I’m not linking to it).

According to a Pew Research Center survey from earlier this year, 55% of Millennials (18-33 years old) have posted a “selfie” on a social media site; no other generation is nearly as inclined to do this. Overall, 26% of Americans have shared a “selfie” on a photo-sharing or social networking site.

When compared to my Gen X Brothers and Sisters, where we’re less than half of the Millennials who post selfies (and Boomers were only a fraction), I’d have to argue that all those Gen Xers partaking in the selfie “boom” are probably all my friends and me.

Really. Just look at our Instagram feeds. I even posted the morning I had knee surgery, complete with the hospital cap.

Ironically, the same survey says that 9 in 10 Millennials say people generally share too much information about themselves online, a view held by similarly lopsided proportions of all older generations.

I’m not really sure what that means, other than some aren’t as restrained and emotionally intelligent as others, sharing more of what’s self-serving, startling and offensive than what’s fun, maybe educational and certainly relevant for the rest of the world, or at least our various little social worlds. Or, just not sharing anything at all because it’s nobody’s business. Transparency isn’t for everyone you know.

However, if a Millennial falls in the forest, and it hasn’t posted a selfie on its online social profile, do we even know it’s there? Half the time we don’t.

But half the time we do, because half the time he still wants to be found. She still wants to be seen. He still wants to be known. Those selfies will continue to appear. Many Millennials were raised in attention-rich, feedback-laced environments (I didn’t say coddled, mind you), which is why they’ve probably adopted the online social profile where they post their selfies to at a faster rate than other generations (who are all catching up, by the way).

No, they didn’t all grow up with social; the 30-year-olds in the crowd were already 10 when the Internet became public domain, still years from Facebook. The youngest of them did grow up social, though.

That said, let’s jump to our professional (personal) brands online. Today LinkedIn has more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories, and please note that students and recent college graduates are also LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic. The online professional profile is becoming the career currency of choice for many young and old, but still second to the resume.

Yes, there’s still much recruiting hubbub about the online professional profile, with recruiters heavily leveraging LinkedIn to source, but not especially found of the subjective recommendations and endorsements, both of which can help tell a story to prospective employers, HR pros, recruiters and hiring managers.

Not necessarily a fact-based story, but a story nonetheless, one that gives a subjectively padded worldview of the person, maybe even more so than the resume. In fact according to CareerBuilder, 58% of hiring managers said they’ve caught a lie on a resume. On the other hand, online professional profiles that have recommendations and endorsements more than likely have fewer blatant falsities, only because of the peer validation in play.

I mean, if we put ourselves out there with previous work experience, skills, projects, wins, connections and more, and asked previous employers, peers and even friends to “validate” us by recommending/endorsing, then we’re probably going to reduce the number of those old resume white lies, don’t you think? I do. Most of us certainly don’t want archenemies, or even a nemeses, to call us out (although we all know how the anonymous think it pays to be hated). I would also hope the incidence of professional catfish stories are pretty low.

kwg surgeryHey, don’t worry, because I’m real and my name is Kevin W. Grossman and I’m sticking to my story (and my pics).

But our story’s return is only as valuable as the investment of keeping ourselves found, seen and known. That’s why we serve it selfishly. What? You think we put ourselves out there for just kicks and giggles? Forget it. We’re in it to win it, kids.

Regardless of generation, we should all ensure our online profiles are as consistent and accurate as possible across all social points of presence if we want the investment to pay off long-term, not short-term until we’re caught in a web of lies. In other words, whoever we say we are and whatever we say we’ve done and we do is close if not identical on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, G+ and the many other industry and association niche networks and communities we might belong to.

The same is now true inside the enterprise, with Millennials taking ownership of their social profiles busting at the seams inside talent management software and internal social networks. Companies are benefiting from these robust talent profiles, which provide a consolidated view of data for all employees, permanent and contract alike. Talent profiles enable more proactive workforce planning and are also instrumental in providing highly personalized training and development.

Yes, there are those who have highly sought after skills and do not want to be found. There are those who work in smaller companies and don’t need to been found. And there are those who work in larger companies and don’t want to be seen or known.

The rest of us, extrovert or not, don’t have that luxury. We need to be found, seen and known. We serve the return when we invest in our personal branded profiles, our professional selfies, inside and out (and so do the companies we work for, or will work for, we hope). The return being where we go on our career adventures, the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards we receive, the business outcomes we help our employers and ourselves generate – so it behooves us to take special care with:

  1. Consistency and Accuracy. These are the critical keys, because those searching you out and reviewing who you are will be looking for anomalies that don’t add up — and you want to always have everything add up. You want to stand out, but you want to add up — and for goodness sake you want to be accurate and truthful about everything. That includes reviewing your recommendations and endorsements. Never over-spin, or allow it. Not only that, you should at the very least review and update your online profiles at least once per quarter, and kill those you no longer want to maintain, even if you’re not looking for work.
  2. Continuous Upkeep. Our profiles are only continuously valuable to the us as professionals and our organizations if they’re being maintained. The good news is that Millennials and Gen Y have grown up in social networks, and all other generations are adopting them, which includes updating their personal profiles quite regularly so their friends, families and peers see their day-to-day activities just as regularly. That’s why another value-add of talent profiles is user adoption, since the employees’ “talent profiles” are the key to being seen in the organization. Plus, I argue that all generations today crave continuous performance feedback and recognition and our professional profiles help solidify the emotionally productive connections to our craft.

You never know when that great new opportunity is looking for you (and at you), inside or out. It’s your personal employment brand. Take care of your investment, kids.

And do us all a favor and share a little smile when you take that picture for your online profile.

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#TChat Recap: The Millennial Misunderstanding

The Millennial Misunderstanding

Every week, we discuss how the World of Work is undoubtedly changing all around us. It’s simply inevitable, just like how millennials are reshaping how we must manage this new breed of workers. By 2020, millennials will account for 75% of our workforce. And they will have to be accounted for, with a different level of understanding and engagement than the generations before them. But it doesn’t have to be scary, these are exciting times. As we work to unravel how to keep millennials engaged through different management techniques, we are learning what motivates them is not much more different than what motivates non-millennials. This week our community was joined by guests: Jacob Morgan, author of “The Future of Work” and Co-Founder of Chess Media Group; Dr. Karie Willyerd, SVP Learning & Social Adoption at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company; and Christa Manning, Senior Vice President of Research at Horses for Sources (HfS), all who brought a unique and fresh perspective on understanding millennials.

Even though there are various myths about millennials, we are learning that what sets them apart from non-millennials is how much performance feedback and mentoring they expect from their managers. It’s only natural for millennials to want to hear feedback, but:

And it is sad, regardless of which generation we come from, there is a human need for all of us to understand whether or not our work is being appreciated and if what we do actually matters. When managers recognize their employees and offer them feedback, they’re displaying a sign of respect. The reality is:

Just like millennials, today’s managers need more resources and support to better understand employees and their fundamental needs to be understood, respected, and given feedback. Ultimately, millennials want career growth and opportunities to develop their skills. But since the beginning of time, it has been duly noted and mentioned that we have a widening skills gap in our workforce. If we want to keep millennials happy, and move beyond offering them performance feedback and mentoring. Obviously, we shouldn’t ignore either of these two important millennial needs, but we must add to their development through training and sitting down with them to plan their careers. What it comes down to, is:

When you roll up your sleeves and work side by side with people, there’s a significant difference that can be made and achieved with them. Millennials crave engagement, new skills, and investment in their goals. They’re not selfish, they just know what they want, and they expect their needs to be meant. Both leadership and employees have to come together to share and collaborate as a collective whole. If we work to:

Is this the key? Must we transform the way we work by bringing all factions together through the revelation of continuous learning and exchanging of information? Having information and giving employees more access to it, is what organizations must learn to share. Millennials want feedback, skills, and opportunities to grow. Giving them information about how they work is the first step. The next step, is teaching them how to improve the way they work and developing their current and new skills. The last step, is giving them the opportunity to unleash their skills and creativity. Don’t force millennials to sit back in idle. Give them the opportunities they need to prove why they belong. It’s what they want and it’s what they desire.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?


Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests: Jacob Morgan, author of “The Future of Work” and Co-Founder of Chess Media Group; Dr. Karie Willyerd, SVP Learning & Social Adoption at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company; and Christa Manning, Senior Vice President of Research at Horses for Sources (HfS).

#TChat Events: The ROI of Workplace Transparency

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to The ROI of Workplace Transparency.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, September 17th!

Join us next week, as we talk about The ROI of Workplace Transparency during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!


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Workforce 2020: Oxford Economics’ Shows The Future’s Not So Scary After All

I’ve been waiting for this study to go public in order to talk about it, and it hasn’t been easy. Workforce 2020 is a global survey on the future of the workplace — and the workforce — conducted by Oxford Economics for SAP. In the second quarter of 2014, OE surveyed more than 2,700 executives and 2,700 employees from 27 countries on a wide range of subjects, everything from talent and leadership development to technology and data.

What are we most concerned with going forward? What are our strengths, and what are our weaknesses? The SAP study confirms that among the top trends having an impact of on workforce strategy:

• Number one is the tide of millennials entering the workforce

• Number two is the globalization of labor supply

• Number three is the difficulty in recruiting workers with base level skills.

The findings are meant to help us prepare for the nature of the 2020 workforce, which will be more global, more diverse, filled with more millennials, and more reliant on tools like analytics and cloud-based technology. Nothing really new, though OE’s research shows key gaps between those distinctions and just what we’re doing to adapt to them: only a third (34%) of the 2,700 executives surveyed think they’re making progress in creating a workforce that will meet future business goals.

But what I find more interesting is a gap that’s more like a non-gap: the assumed gulf between the attitudes and values of the millennials versus the nonmillennials. As it turns out, GenY is generally not all that different in what they value in work.

The gist of our millennial misunderstanding is that we assume that, as keyed in and digitally fluent as they are, millennials don’t necessarily, well, care the way you might think. But as the OE suvey shows, that’s not entirely the case. The numbers challenge our assumptions on millennial workplace values.

When millennials and nonmillenials were asked what was important to them in work:

• 20% of both cited making a positive difference in the world.

• 68% of millennials compared to 64% of nonmillenials cited compensation as important.

•  29% of millenials and 31% of nonmillennials cited a work-life balance (and I’d argue that a two percent difference may simply be a natural correlation to one’s perspective changing with time, versus some kind of behavioral correlation to a generation who texts first, asks later).

• 32% of millennials and 30% of nonmillennials listed meeting their income goals as important.

• And meaningful work was cited as important by 14% of millennials compared 18% of nonmillennials. (Again, is that simply the nature of age talking, not instagram? When you were still wet behind the ears, did you truly understand what meaningful work might be?)

The biggest distinction — all of four percentage points — is over compensation and meaningful work. Who wants to get left out of this equation? I would hope nobody. But in terms of perspective and basic core values, these findings show there is far less of a difference that some people may have assumed. Considering that the influx of millennials coming into the workforce is the Number One concern in business today, that’s just a bit reassuring. And considering their ease with tech and data; their comfort with mobile and their savvy with social media — skills which are seeing tremendous growth in the workforce, particularly over the next three years. I think we’re in good hands. And I think this should be noted for every single generation. Innovate or simply be left behind. The time is now.

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#TChat Preview: The Millennial Misunderstanding

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat Radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about building legendary teams in the inner game of business, and this week we’re going to talk about how millennials are different, but not as different as companies think.

There continues to be so much hubbub about millennials taking over the world of work, with lots of research around it, but unfortunately no one is taking the time or making the plans to manage them.

It’s like businesses are playing the anthropologists, watching from afar, taking notes but avoiding interaction at all costs — until, of course, they have to hire them.

And hire them in droves they are — millennials are expected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.

There are many myths about millennials that abound, however, that should be addressed sooner rather than later. For example, what motivates Millennials in the workplace is actually quite similar to what motivates non-millennials, with some regional and country differences. What is different is how much performance feedback and coaching Millennials expect from their managers compared to non-millennials.


Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creator and co-host Meghan M. Biro, live from The Mirage in Vegas at #sconnect as we learn more about why we misunderstand millennials and how we should change that with this week’s guests: Jacob Morgan, author of “The Future of Work” and Co-Founder of Chess Media Group; Dr. Karie Willyerd, SVP Learning & Social Adoption at SuccessFactors, an SAP Company; and Christa Manning, Senior Vice President of Research at Horses for Sources (HfS).

Related Reading

Amy Gallo: 4 Things You Thought Were True About Managing Millennials

Meghan M. Biro: Reconsidering Millennials: They’re Not That Different From You

Heather Huhman: 4 Ways to Attract Millennial Talent

Daniel Newman: The Millennials: Why This Generation Could Save Us by @AmyMccTobin

Lisa Evans: Why Millennials May Be Out Of the Office but Not Far Away from Work

Andre Lavoie: 4 Employee Engagement Secrets from Millennials

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: The Millennial Misunderstanding

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, September 10 — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show with our host, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guests: Jacob Morgan, Dr. Karie Willyerd and Christa Manning.

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, September 10th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: Why do business leaders struggle managing millennials and how can they improve this? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How have millennials impacted other generations in the workforce today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: With skill shortages increasing, how can we improve base-level skills in millennials? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

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Managing, Mentoring & Working with Millennials

5 Management Tips to Bridge Differences

Two-thirds of corporate recruiters say their organization has a difficult time managing millennials and a similar number of executives give millennials low grades for work preparedness according to Deloitte – alarming because they comprise a third of the workforce. While it’s common to call them out as “different” or “difficult”, they may not be either of those things.

The uncertainty, ambiguity and even anxiety of leaving two decades of school for a whole new life? If you graduated in tough economic times as I did, the working world was an uncertain place, business had stumbled and wasn’t exactly inspiring. Even if the economy was good, the next 5-10 years were far less certain than they appear after 30.

Remember when you were 24?

Because we had little experience at that age, we also had less baggage; we could enter new situations less jaded and conversations genuinely listening. We hadn’t yet bought into what couldn’t be done; this enabled us to move forward but guaranteed we would make mistakes of ignorance. Despite that, it was easier to relax at the end of the day and enjoy life after work (wouldn’t it be nice to have a little of that back?).

Expectations for transparency and tools are very different.

Millennials are used to checking status themselves, anytime, anywhere. It’s self service to the extreme – want to know where a good place to eat is nearby? Look it up yourself and get immediate transparency to what others have to say. Want to know what Mary’s been up to? Look it up yourself. You are Mary? Just publish what you’re up to from your phone… without being asked.

They’re used to communicating instantly and constantly – without meeting, getting on the phone or doing a PowerPoint deck. They presume transparency and they presume other people are seeing, reading and reacting to what they communicate. It’s the push rather than pull model; transparency isn’t a fight, instead it’s a constant. Because they’re used to peer groups with the same communication norms, they are both able to and 70% prefer to work independently and coordinate digitally according to PwC.

For all that’s been said about their views on personal privacy, the workplace reaps the benefit of their natural transparency — instead of the forced march to share facts and status in reports, read outs and meetings.

Imagine the potential capacity breakthrough for an enterprise: less meetings and reporting but real time transparency.

Unfortunately, most companies are far from that transparency ideal and the means of communicating about work may even appear crazy: the spreadsheet lists of what people should do, the PowerPoint dashboards on what they are doing, the SharePoint sites with what they’ve half done, the emails on why they can’t do it and the status calls to make sure no one has time to do it.

Millennials are used to having “an app for that” – integrated with a thumb stroke. They’re used to getting status and tools themselves, and learning a new tool habit in a heartbeat. They haven’t yet decided learning new ways of doing things is too hard.

Millennials may also be slightly baffled or resistant to the amount of busywork that surrounds or even equals the amount of meaningful work, which can make managing them difficult… but aren’t we complaining about that to? Meaningful work and work/life balance are more important than financial reward, and career development is what Millennials most want from organizations reports PwC.

While some report that this generation is less engaged in their new jobs than prior generations of young people, Gallup reports that almost 80% of their older colleagues aren’t engaged in their jobs either. A Deloitte study reports 75% of Millennials would actually like their companies to do more to develop future leaders and 70% of a young person’s learning happens on the job.

Welcome to the team!

So welcome young people to your team and enable them to succeed. In addition to remembering what it was like to be 24, keep these 5 tips in mind to smooth out the differences and engage your young, talented team members:

  1. Know when you hire them that you’re signing up to be leader, mentor, coach, and manager — a wonderful opportunity and an obligation.
  2. Communicate goals, share how their work supports the mission, and be transparent.
  3. Provide more frequent feedback and positively reinforce work well done to contribute to on-the-job training.
  4. Respond to mistakes by providing guidance on expectations, alternative approaches, and logic for different decision making. Remember you didn’t hire for their experience, you’re helping them build it.
  5. Share your lessons learned, subject matter expertise and leadership skills. Inspire and engage them with both wisdom and kindness.
  6. Avoid training them to hide the ball, bogging them down with irrelevant tasks, or expecting them to be effective (or happy) with productivity tools older than they are.

While they’re on our teams, be open to being inspired yourself! Let’s borrow a bit of their fearlessness, embrace the experience of helping others, appreciate their transparency bias and value their interest in work/life balance – these are things our workplace and we genuinely need.

Apply Now

(About the Author: Deidre Paknad is currently the CEO of Workboard, Inc. She has founded and led several companies. Her last company, PSS Systems, was acquired by IBM in late 2010; Paknad ran the high-growth Information Governance business at IBM for several years, improving information economics for large enterprise customers. She also holds more than 15 patents and has been twice inducted into the Smithsonian for innovation. Follow Deidre on Twitter @day_dree or @WorkboardInc)



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The Great Rated! Interview: Andy Khawaja On Creating A Workplace For Millennials

Andy Khawaja is young at heart. That may be the simplest way to explain how the card payment company he founded and leads, Allied Wallet, recently ranked as one of the 10 Great Workplaces for Millennials according to a Great Rated! study. Khawaja, 39, started his Los Angeles-based credit card processing company in 2002 after a decade in retail on glamorous Rodeo Drive. As formative to him was a childhood growing up in war-torn Lebanon, which gave him a carpe-diem yet compassionate mindset. He now leads a team of about 1,000 employees, the vast majority of whom are under 35. And while he agrees with Great Rated! research that fair pay, a say in decisions and competent leaders matter to Gen Y, Khawaja says his secret to success with the younger set boils down to giving them a thrill ride at work. “I like to take risks,” says Khawaja, who expects to take his company public someday. “If you don’t take risks, you never get anywhere in life.” Great Rated! Editor Ed Frauenheim recently spoke with Khawaja about Millennials, the Allied Wallet workplace, and his own youthful heart.

Ed: Most of your employees are under 35. Why is that?

Andy: Age isn’t a factor for me. You can be a grandpa here, if you can deliver. A lot of the people skilled in the business of e-commerce are at a young age.

Ed: One of your strengths at Allied Wallet is your bosses—96 percent of employees give leaders at your firm a positive rating. What are you like as a boss to Millennials?

Andy: They’re my teammates. They’re my partners. Without them, I’m nothing. I hate it when they call me ‘boss.’ I like it when they call me ‘buddy.’ Everyone in the company calls me buddy.

I grew up in Beirut until the age of seven. I got a taste of civil war, and realized you can’t count on living tomorrow because you never know when your time is up. So I live a life where you have to be really nice, very kind, and take care of your people—especially the people that work for you. We’re probably the highest paying company in our industry in the world. The same position in another company will get paid three times less.

Ed: That fits with part of our research on Millennials. We found that they really care about fair pay, a say in decisions and competent leaders. Do you see those other factors at play among Allied Wallet’s young employees?

Andy: You have to listen. You have to give them a chance to speak. I visit other companies, and it’s only the decision-makers deciding. You as an employee execute their decisions. It’s only about one-way communication.

Let them share ideas. We listen to them, and we understand what they want. Sometimes their idea is better. That creates more of a dream-come-true environment. And if someone comes up with a brilliant idea, they get rewarded. They can get $2,000-$3,000 checks. Some of them get nice vacation packages. Some of them get gift cards.

Ed: Work-life balance is another factor Millennials are said to prize. But at Allied Wallet, you seem to want an intense commitment from your folks, and to offer them a quest to conquer the global payments industry. True?

Andy: Absolutely. I give them dreams. And then we accomplish those dreams and they’re so proud of it. They feel like they’re part of something big.

Ed: As you expand globally you’re taking significant risks along the way. Does this way of doing business appeal to young people?

Andy: Are you kidding me? It’s like a motivational film. All young people love risk. It encourages them. They want to taste it. It makes them feel good. It’s like a business drug.

[divider] [/divider]

(About Andy Khawaja: Andy Khawaja is CEO and Founder of Allied Wallet, a global payment processing company that connects merchants and consumers in over 190 countries, processing 164 currencies and nearly every payment method. With the securest PCI Level 1 technology and a proprietary black list and fraud scrub method, Allied Wallet has established itself as a brand of excellence in the world of online payment services. Prior to Allied Wallet, Khawaja reached several milestones in the retail industry working with the Bernini brand. Khawaja was able to grow Bernini from two stores to sixty stores in nine years, taking it from a million dollar business to a 100 million dollar business.)

(About the Author: Ed Frauenheim is editor at workplace research site Great Rated!™, where he produces content and reviews companies.)

Is Your Recruiting Process FEEP?

Yes, that’s a new one you can add to the slew of recruiting acronyms you already use. It stands for Fast, Engaging, Easy and Personal. The way we recruit and hire has totally changed in a pretty short time period. There has been a power shift, and candidates are demanding much more from the recruiting process. Furthermore, the company culture, brand and employer image are all more important than ever in driving success and attracting great talent.

With all that we know about how the candidate experience can affect the brand, it’s a shame that 46% of candidates rate their experience poor or very poor. Those recruiting processes are probably missing the following four ingredients that comprise a great candidate experience.


The longer the process takes, the more frustrated your candidates will become. Job seekers are usually looking to be placed yesterday, so they need a speedy process.

A long, drawn out process can make a company seem inefficient or unable to make timely decisions. The hiring process probably has more of an impact on your brand and reputation than you would think.  Did you know that 57% of Millennials and 72% of Boomers would compromise salary to work for a company that provides a great hiring experience? That says a lot!


With heavy workloads and increasing numbers of applicants, recruiters can sometimes forget that there is a person behind each of those resumes. Engagement doesn’t have to mean a hand-written note to each candidate at each stage of the process. Recruiting technology has made it so easy to automate communications through every step, with every candidate. Recruitment experts at InTouch Recruiting said:

“Candidates will judge your company on how you communicate with them. No or slow communication will create concerns –Will it be this bad as an employee? It is critical that you communicate what the recruitment process will involve, what time-scales you are working to and keep them informed every step of the way.”


The bar has been set, and candidates are looking for an easy process. Candidates have come to expect a process that takes five minutes or less. Recruiters are now taking note of their application abandonment rates to discover when and why candidates are opting out of the process.

When candidates have to jump through hoops just to send in a resume, they will find a company with an easier process and start there. That’s why many employers are offering LinkedIn’s “Click to Apply” button. Candidates can apply with their LI profile with just a click. It doesn’t get much easier than that.


As candidates visit the career page, wind their way through the ATS and then get automated emails, they are really in need of an actual human presence in this process. Candidates are going to have a far better experience if they are treated like individuals and not just an email address. Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting, Peter MacLean said:

 “Forward-thinking companies are applying some of the same technologies they use to lure customers, like analytics, social media, and video technologies, to design recruiting experiences around candidates, that benefit them from start to finish—regardless of whether they’re ultimately offered a job,” says MacLean. “By treating candidates like valuable customers, these companies aim to strengthen their talent brands as employers of choice.”

Acronyms are such a great development tool because they can act as a quick and easy reminder of the things that we often let slip through the cracks. As you refine your own recruiting process, remember to ensure that each step is FEEP approved. The war for talent is on, and FEEP is how you can win it.

Visit Raj Sheth’s web site →

(About the Author: Raj Sheth is the CEO and co-founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, Sheth founded two other web start-ups — a classifieds portal and an ecommerce site. He graduated from Babson College and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation in Boston.) 

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

photo credit: danmachold via photopin cc

Zappos Says Farewell To Job Postings

Zappos, an online retailer, has been one of the most talked about companies in the HR and recruiting space mainly because of their unique practice in offering employees bonuses to quit the company. Now, Zappos is changing their hiring process beginning with the very first step: the job posting.

The job description is one of the first interactions a potential candidate has with the company, and while most companies rely on job descriptions to explain to candidates what the position entails, Zappos has a different opinion. “Job postings are a conversation killer,” stated Zappos’ candidate experience and engagement strategist, Stacy Zapar, “Gone. Poof. Done.” And done they are.

“A job posting is that bright shiny object in the room that distracts from the real conversation and networking to be had. It’s a dead-end road, a recruiting black hole where applicants go to die or leave with a negative experience and impression of your company. They’re one-way conversations where your candidates don’t really have a voice. They’re that sore thumb sticking out as we make this evolution back to old-school, relationship-based recruiting.” – Stacy Zapar.

Now What?

Zappos has a new program called Zappos Insider, which can be found on their careers page. The Zappos Insider was created as a place for candidates to reference so they can learn more about the company and its culture. To do so, the candidates will need to become members of Zappos Insider.

By becoming a member, candidates have the opportunity to chat with Zappos Ambassadors. This interaction places them in a position of higher consideration when openings become available. The candidates who invest the time to enroll and learn more about the company are given preference. This process eliminates candidates who apply anywhere and everywhere. The Zappos Insider program encourages a more engaged relationship between the employer and prospective employees.

Take A Look

I had to see this for myself, so I traveled to the Zappos Career page here. At first glance, it seems to target the millennial generation. The images are bright, enticing, and less corporatey. I actually want to click around and learn more about the careers at Zappos. At the bottom of the page, Zappos Insider encourages you to join in on the Twitter conversation. Just one month ago, @InsideZappos only had around 1,200 followers, according to Twitter Counter. As of the time of this writing, that number has more than doubled. This is a great way for a company to build their brand through social recruiting.

Is This The Future?

Companies may be apprehensive about doing away with job postings completely but even Zappos is hedging their bets for now (the company is keeping job postings for their technology jobs as a control group to measure success). From a user perspective, I spent more time on their career page than I have on the retail site!

If your company’s culture is fresh, fun and appealing to Millennials, then represent it on your career page. This year, 36% of the U.S. workforce will include Millennials, and in 6 years, Millennials are expected to grow to nearly half the workforce. Now that a new generation is entering America’s workforce, it’s time to revamp our recruiting and hiring processes, and what better place to start than the first step candidates take?

(About the Author: Maren Hogan is the CEO of Red Branch Media, a full-service B2B marketing agency that primarily serves HR and global workforce clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America.

With over 14 years of marketing experience and as a community builder in the HR and recruiting industry, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe, and she has served as chief marketing officer, advisor, and board member for over ten companies in the last seven years.

You can connect with Maren on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter, as well as read her latest posts on and

photo credit: betsyweber via photopin cc

What Do Interns Really Want? [Infographic]

Developing an extraordinary internship program can be a long and winding journey. You’ll face plenty of bumps in the road, and perhaps lots of trial and error. And as we’ve seen in the news recently, you may even discover some controversy.

But overall, internships can be very beneficial for organizations — not just because enthusiastic young workers are contributing to your business goals. Internship programs can also open the door to a more diverse workforce, help add fresh perspectives to your brand, attract other young talent to your organization, and more.

Of course, employers aren’t the only ones who benefit. Although the state of the internship has shifted over time, its overarching goal remains the same — students and recent grads should gain something educational from their work experience. So, what do today’s interns really want to accomplish, and what else should employers know about them?

The following infographic, based on student employment data from InternMatch, offers insights to help employers map out a more effective internship program. Here are some highlights:

•  38% of interns want better pay
•  30% want opportunities to perform meaningful work
•  47% are interested in access to executives and mentorship
•  California, New York, and Florida are three of the top states for finding college talent

Do any of these statistics surprise you? Check out the full infographic below, and share your thoughts in the comments area.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced these trends — as an intern or as an employer?

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane #TChat Recap

Several weeks ago, we started a #TChat discussion about the rapid increase in demand for mobile recruitment. Why?

Meeting Talent On Talent’s Terms

Smartphones and tablets are now essential tools for many of us, and statistics reveal just how prevalent mobility has become. For example, a report by Marketing Land indicates that nearly 40% of Internet use is driven by mobile devices. And Jibe found that, despite perceived obstacles, 86% of job seekers with a smartphone want to use that device in their search.

Recruiting consultant Michael Marlatt says the staggering pace of mobile adoption shouldn’t surprise us, because mobile devices offer a very personal connection. “It’s one of three things we carry. We never leave home without it. It’s the keys, the wallet or purse, and the mobile device.”

Mobile Hiring: Moving Beyond First Impressions

In this landscape, it makes sense for employers to offer mobile-optimized career sites and application management processes. Mobile-friendly recruitment enhances the candidate experience and gives employers a competitive edge in the quest to find top talent.

Recruitment certainly is a logical starting point. However, it’s only the first chapter in a much larger employment story.

What happens after a candidate is selected? In the critical timeframe between recruitment and onboarding, how can organizations leverage mobile tools to streamline hiring steps? And along the way, how can mobile engagement continue to solidify an employer’s relationship with new recruits?

Ignoring those questions can have costly consequences — for both employer brands and employee retention. So this week, our community expanded the recruiting discussion to look at how mobile technology can transform the entire transition from candidate to employee. To guide our conversation, we invited two experts in hiring process innovation:

Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider, and:
Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group.

What’s At Stake For Employers?

Why is mobile increasingly vital for the hiring process? As Kyle recently noted, 22% of U.S. turnover occurs within 45 days of employment. If organizations aren’t fast and efficient at bringing new hires up to speed, they’re at risk of adding to those statistics. And with the average cost of turnover at about 20% of an employee’s salary, failure at this stage can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

So, how can HR organizations leverage the immediacy and reach of mobile to make the entire hiring process more efficient and effective? For wisdom from the crowd, check the resource links and highlights from this week’s events, below. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and opinions!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Mobile + Hiring = Good Match?

Todd Owens #TChat Preview Video - Mobile Hiring

Watch the #TChat Sneak Peek Video

SAT 11/9:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured brief “sneak peek” hangout video with one of our guests, Todd Owens. Read the Preview: “Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile?

SUN 11/10: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro offered 5 guidelines for business leaders who want to make the most of mobile recruiting and hiring. Read: “Leadership Is Catching a Mobile Recruiting Wave.

MON 11/11 + TUE 11/12:

Related Posts: Two guest bloggers offered related insights:
Read: “Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal.
Read: “HR Flashback: The Way We Worked.

WED 11/13:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about the business benefits of extending mobile recruiting strategies to the entire hiring process. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Mobile Hiring — HR Evolution or Revolution?

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to  Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas for sharing your perspectives on the increasingly vital role of mobile strategies throughout the employment lifecycle. We value your time and expertise.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about hiring or mobile workforce issues? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week we celebrate “community” in a big way — as we look back on 3 years of #TChat at a very special anniversary double header with Hootsuite VP of Talent, Ambrosia Humphrey.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Recruiting + Mobility = Perfect Match? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full collection of highlights and resources from this week’s events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Recruiting: Going Mobile by Demand?“)

Are you reading this post on a smartphone or tablet? If so, you’re among 35% of TalentCulture visitors who interact with us via mobile devices. And those numbers are growing fast — in only the past 6 months, the rate of mobile TalentCulture visitors has increased by more than 100%.

But this big mobile shift makes us wonder what the impact is on “people-oriented” business processes like recruiting.

Just how rapidly are employers integrating new communication channels into the hiring process? And what issues and opportunities are arising from all of this innovation?

Mobile Recruiting Trend Snapshot

Participants at the recent Mobile Recruiting Conference (MREC) confirmed that job candidates are increasingly connected while “on the move,” and recruiters recognize the implications. For example, according to Talent HQ Mobile Recruiting Insights:

•  62% of passive job seekers use a mobile device to research potential employers
•  61% have a better impression of a brand after a favorable mobile experience.
•  62% of recruiters say that mobile recruiting is the top trend for 2014

According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, companies like LinkedIn and Prudential already attract more than 50% of their candidates through mobile channels. Yet, other organizations seem to be lagging behind. Talent HQ reports that only 16% of U.S. talent acquisition “leaders” have optimized their career sites for a mobile audience — including only 26 of the Fortune 500 companies.

So, what does this mean for today’s changing world of work? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two well-known talent acquisition experts:

•  Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, Founder and Chief Blogger at Blogging4Jobs and
•  Rayanne Thorn, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at Technomedia, global talent management solutions provider.

Recently, Jessica framed the topic in a brief “sneak peek” Hangout with me. Watch now:

What are your thoughts about the emerging role of mobile technology in finding and hiring top talent? Join us this week to share your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Mobile Devices + Recruiting = Good Match?


Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 30 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn about the changing dynamics of recruitment. Tune-in LIVE online this Tuesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 30 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will moderate an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Does mobile recruiting enhance an employer’s value proposition?
Q2: What is keeping some employers from adopting mobile recruiting?
Q3: For candidates, has mobile job search reached critical mass?
Q4: Is mobile recruiting mostly about hiring young candidates?
Q5: Look ahead 10 yrs. What tools will drive recruiting?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

25 Jobs in One Career? Brace Yourselves

Recently, I participated in an unsettling Twitter chat, focused on career planning.

Usually that’s not a controversial topic, but this particular discussion disturbed many participants. Why? Because we projected the number of jobs a typical Millennial will accumulate over the span of a career in our so-called “New Economy.”

Do The Math

Consider these estimates from reputable sources:

By 2020, 40-50% of all income-producing work will be performed by short-term contractors, freelance workers and “SuperTemps
The length of a career already averages 48 years — by 2020 it will be 50+ years
Today, the average time-in-service for a Millennial at any company is 2.6 years

Admittedly, I am not really good at math. But this data is pretty conclusive…

At 2.6 years per job, over 50+ years in the workforce, plus several temp assignments and contracts means that Gen Y can expect to hold 20-25 jobs over the course of a career.

Here’s the problem… or, rather, several problems:

No One Told Gen Y

Those statistics genuinely scared #InternPro participants — most of whom are Millennials. No one had done the math. Plus, between parents, educators and old-school career experts, there seems to be a halo effect surrounding an old paradigm: lifetime employment. Many Millennials seem to believe that once they graduate and get that first job, their job search is effectively over. They are unprepared for the fact that it’s really just the beginning of a continuous process.

Traditional Higher Education Hasn’t Noticed

Many higher education stalwarts — not exactly known for quickly adapting to changing economies and markets — still feature old-school theory taught by tenured professors who’ve never held a position outside academia. Instead of teaching the skills that will be in demand in the “Freelance Economy,” we’re still shoving 1970’s courses and curriculum down the throats of unsuspecting students. Higher education must change fundamentally. To remain relevant, academics must start emphasizing transferable, marketable career skills.

We Aren’t Entrepreneurial Enough

Successful SuperTemps, solopreneurs and freelancers rely on one skill above all else: entrepreneurism. Why? Because, going forward, our livelihood depends on our ability to sell our skills, our value proposition and our niche — continuously.

In fact, with the average duration of a job search at about 40 weeks, there will almost never be a time when we’re not selling… us.

Old School Recruiters Haven’t Adapted

It doesn’t help that recruiters still haven’t caught-on. Old-school recruiters, unwilling to accept new workforce trends, discount job seekers whose resumes show they move every two to three years. They still consider this “job-hopping” — and many will not interview candidates with this tendency. They are labeled “disloyal” and a “long-term risk”.

Here’s the reality: between economic conditions, Gen Y’s penchant for moving on when they become restless or feel undervalued, and the inevitable entrepreneurial spirit that is becoming pervasive among job seekers, recruiters who stick to this now antiquated “rule” will lose out on high-quality talent. In the meantime, their competitors will thrive.

Fasten Your Career Path Seatbelts

Without a doubt, our new economy is already here. Members of Gen Y who cling to old standards — through fear and/or influence by parents, higher education and recruiters — will clearly continue to struggle. They will continue to do as trained — and will continue looking for jobs that no longer exist.

However, young professionals who recognize the new workplace for what it is, and learn the career skills required to win…

Strategic planning
Goal setting
Sales and digital marketing
Effective follow-up
Customer service
Integrity-based self-promotion

…will not only embrace the new economy, they will surround themselves with success.

What’s your reaction to the “average” career path of the future? How would you suggest that Millennials prepare to manage their careers more successfully? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

(Editor’s Note: This post has been adapted from YouTern, with permission.)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Want To Be Your Own Boss? Try This First

By Hans Balmaekers, Founder and Director,

Plan B: Entrepreneurship?

Many young professionals quickly discover that corporate life falls short of expectations. Do you relate? You probably feel you have more to offer than your job requires. You may even think you could outperform your manager. If so, you’re not alone.

It’s no secret that Millennials tend to score lowest in employee engagement. Many of us feel that, if only the economy weren’t so bad, we could have started our own companies by now and could proudly call ourselves entrepreneurs.

The great stories of leading self-made innovators like Elon Musk make it easy to see ourselves standing in their shoes, building companies and disrupting industries just as they did. And because corporate life can be so frustrating and unfulfilling, it seems attractive to completely jump ship and do our own thing.

Perhaps if you burned your bridges, you could soon be the next Steve Jobs, on stage, presenting the next big thing, with the world at your feet…

News Flash: Entrepreneurship Is No Ticket to Success

Ready for a wake-up call? The truth is that your dream isn’t likely to become a reality.

Most young-professionals-turned-entrepreneurs don’t even come close. They aren’t even entrepreneuring. They often do the same kind of work as before — but as consultants. (What else can they do with only a few years of experience?) These free agents chase clients, network like crazy, stick their toes in social media and market themselves, but they find themselves still unsatisfied and earning less than before. Has being brave ever felt less appealing?

Another Path

Maybe you shouldn’t leave and become an entrepreneur. Maybe there’s another way to use your talents and ideas and channel your frustrations about how your organization needs to change. Leaving is not your only option. Why not take a deep breath, stand up, rise above your desk and shout out, “Enough! I’m making changes around here!”

Sure, that might seem a bit theatrical. But be honest. Doesn’t that statement actually describe how you feel?

Start A Secret Intrapreneur Mission Now

If so, try a more subtle way to go about disrupting the status quo — start a secret mission to become an intrapreneur. That means you can use your entrepreneurial mindset and skills to create the job you love and generate better results for your company.

Read that again — a job you love that generates results for your company. Is that possible? Sure it is. Many have done it. Not all openly call themselves intrapreneurs, but the population of these inspiring and talented people is growing. They are changing their companies’ cultures from within, and launching hugely successful products. Think of companies like 3M, Sony, Vodafone, Dell and Google, just to name a few. Intrapreneurs are absolutely essential to these organizations. Most of them started their careers at the same point as you. They experienced the same frustrations as you. And just like you, they knew change was needed.

They had similar ideas and the same urgency to challenge the status quo and figure out how to get things moving. But instead of walking away from those challenges and leaving their employers, they decided to drive the change they envisioned.

Being a change-maker takes passion, persistence, patience and resilience. It’s not the easy road. And it’s not how our generation was raised. We’ve been told that the choice is always ours, that we can have whatever we want, and that participation is optional.

GenY operates with the mantra, “If we don’t like it, we don’t do it.” If you don’t like your job, it might seem easier to quit, but that will not necessarily help. You may still end up feeling unfulfilled, with no stage and no audience (plus a lower salary, or none at all).

Isn’t it more exciting and rewarding to show colleagues, managers and senior executives that we Millennials can fulfill our promise of being innovators, connectors, change-makers and leaders?

The next time you envision yourself as Steve Jobs, picture yourself on the same stage announcing the same breakthrough innovation — but wearing a shirt with your current company’s logo. A successful and happy intrapreneur. Doesn’t that feel more fulfilling than endlessly chasing gigs? You still get your monthly salary, and if you do it right, you’ll grow your income faster than you would as an entrepreneur.

Still Not Into Intrapreneuring? Consider This

Like many GenY workers, you may feel inspired to play your part in changing the world for the better. Multinational corporations and other big organizations play a major role in change-making, believe it or not.

You can take a shorter shower to save water, but compared to the consumption of big industrial corporations, it’s a droplet. You can talk for hours about the financial crisis, but as long as big banks and institutions don’t change the way they operate, will it ever be solved? Transforming education is a must, but if there’s no work for hundreds of millions of young people, why care?

Multinational corporations and big organizations are crucial in changing the world for the better. And the only way to make them frontrunners in that process, rather than followers, is for next-generation employees to drive change from within.

What’s Stopping You?

Ready to apply yourself to the ideas that will help you become an intrapreneur, rather than an entrepreneur? The best way to start is by learning how to perform better at your current job and in less time. Your time can be better spent investing in interesting side projects, engaging in more strategic relationships, and building your reputation.

Are you in?

Hans-Balmaekers-founder-sa.am_-001(Author Profile: Hans Balmaekers is the Founder and Director of, a resource for young professionals who care about their future, want to make a difference, and want to develop the mindset and skills to become change-makers. This month, is launching an online intrapreneurship course to prepare aspiring and new intrapreneurs for success. Connect with Hans on Twitter, or on LinkedIn.)

(Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Brazen Life, a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, the blog offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Hiring Interns? Choose Wisely (Infographic)

“Good Enough” May Not Be So Good

If you’re looking to add value to your company, taking on an intern who’s only “good enough” just doesn’t cut it. Of course, every internship applicant isn’t going to knock your socks off with stellar skills, experience, and a fresh perspective. But what should you expect?

Let’s face it: Hiring interns can be a challenge. Although candidates may look good on paper, interviews often reveal a whole different story. Some students and recent graduates may stumble into your office lacking any knowledge or interest in your company. Others may offer attractive skills or experience, but want a hefty salary. And others may balk at an entry-level role that seems uninspiring.

What To Do?

Building a strong internship program starts with a long-term vision. It’s about finding talented young candidates who demonstrate potential to transform into full-time hires. What should you look for on you mission to find a rockstar? Consider the “best” and “worst” profiles in the following infographic from InternMatch, an online platform that specializes in connecting intern candidates and employers. It highlights some fascinating statistics about Millennials (aka Generation Y):

  • 89% say that constantly learning on the job is important
  • 40% think they’re smarter than their boss
  • 40% say they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance
  • 50% prefer unemployment to working at a job they hate

What Have You Discovered In Hiring Interns?

Do you agree with these statistics? What traits matter most when you hire interns from today’s pool of young talent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

InternMatch Infographic Best and Worst Intern Candidates

Class of 2013 Goes To Work #TChat Recap

Written by guest blogger, Katie Paterson

The HR community is so generous! This week at the SHRM conference in Chicago, as well as in online #TChat discussions, you’ve helped Achievers and TalentCulture spotlight issues and opportunities facing the next wave of graduates who are entering the workforce.

The ideas flowed freely throughout the week, from the moment we started pouring margaritas at our #SHRM13 booth! Below are summary points about key #TChat topics, followed by resource links and a Storify highlights slideshow. Thanks to everyone for contributing such useful insights!

Social Tools For Job Seekers

LinkedIn received resounding support as the top social hiring hub. Twitter earned some votes as a secondary portal, with other major players like Facebook and Google+ mentioned in supporting roles.

An interesting sidebar thread touched on tools for showcasing professional portfolios. Pinterest was mentioned as a smart choice, as well as tools designed specifically for portfolios, such as Seelio.

Onboarding Improvement

Mentoring received popular support as a way to strengthen employee indoctrination. Workplace “sherpas” are a natural, easy way to introduce new hires to company culture, workgroup standards, and individual responsibilities. And #TChat-ters agreed that this practice is effective for both recent grads, as well as workforce veterans.

“Buddy systems” were also mentioned as a way to connect new hires with one another as they move through the new-hire experience together. Seasoned employees can offer organizational context, but new hires can bond as they learn from each other, in parallel.

Performance Evaluation Frequency

I think @ValaAfshar said it best:

The #TChat community universally applauded continuous constructive feedback, and @Achievers couldn’t agree more. Several chat participants pushed the concept further — indicating that those who are responsible for providing for feedback should also ask for feedback and suggestions, in return.

Why Recognize Employees?

This point might be preaching to the choir, because #TChat-ters were emphatic about recognizing great performance. But it’s noteworthy that two kinds of benefits were mentioned:

1) Human motivation: Many responses focused out how important it is for individuals to hear about their progress — especially when they meet or exceed expectations.

2) Business advantage: Other comments focused on the fact that recognition helps align employees — reinforcing and redirecting work to keep everyone moving together toward organizational goals.

Improving Retention

To engage recent hires, you recommended multiple ways of involving them in the organization. We couldn’t agree more! Offering meaningful work, fostering an inclusive team environment, and tying individual contributions to a broader mission keeps employees engaged and coming back for more.

It’s important to ask for opinions, provide opportunities for growth, and demonstrate consistently that employees are valued. If you inspire passion in your employees, they’ll reward you — not only by remaining loyal, by being your most consistent and vocal ambassadors.

For more information on what motivates the graduating class of 2013, check out Achievers’ latest whitepaper.

#TChat Week in Review

WED 6/12

#TChat Sneak Peek:  Kevin W. Grossman examined the emotional factors that drive employee engagement in a teaser post: “Feeling The Future Of Work: #TChat Meets #SHRM13.”

SAT 6/15

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced the week’s topics and special #SHRM13 events in his post, “Stronger! #TChat Preview #SHRM13 Edition.”

SUN 6/16 Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how companies should attract and retain next-generation talent. Read “Smart Leaders Engage Tomorrow’s Workforce.”

MON 6/17

Margarita Monday Meet-up: #SHRM13 attendees timed-out with Meghan and Kevin at the Achievers booth, while hearing about the latest research on “The Class of 2013: Understanding the Needs of the Future Workforce.” If you missed this event, we invite you to attend the Achievers webinar on June 26 (or on-demand after that date).

WED 6/19

#TChat Twitter: #TChat-ters came together on the Twitter stream for our dynamic weekly idea exchange. If you missed the real-time Twitter action, or would like to review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “Looking Forward: Class of 2013”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about the Class of 2013, or future workforce opportunities and challenges? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week we’re tackling a big topic — literally! Big Data in HR! Stay tuned for details this weekend. And remember: starting next week #TChat Radio moves to Wednesday nights at 6:30pmET — back-to-back with #TChat Twitter!

Until then, the World of Work conversation continues each day. Join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

katieprofile.lpeg(Author Profile: Katie Paterson is the Social Media Community Manager at Achievers, where she is focused on building an online community of Human Resources professionals who want to learn how engaged employees can impact business results. She is passionate about the world of social media, its impact on the workforce, and how it can be integrated into the our lives personally and professionally.)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng


Stronger! #TChat Preview #SHRM13 Edition

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full review of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: The Class of 2013 Goes To Work.”)

Hello Chicago: #TChat Is In The House!

Buzz is everywhere in Chicago and on social media channels, as nearly 20,000 human resources professionals descend upon the city for the annual SHRM Conference & Exposition.

And, as Kevin W. Grossman noted in his recent SHRM “save-the-dates” post, he and his TalentCulture co-founder, Meghan M. Biro will be working the aisles, leading live events and posting updates on the  #SHRM13 Twitter backchannel throughout the week.

As promised, below are details of #TChat events that talent-minded professionals don’t want to miss. So join us! Whether you’re live on the floor, or half-a-world away — the lights are always on, and you’re always welcome to contribute to our “world of work” conversation!

Bolder. Better. Stronger.


Visit the SHRM conference community site

These three words capture the aspirations of #SHRM13 organizers. Nice choice. To those of us at TalentCulture, they represent the promise of a workforce that is empowered to redefine organizational culture and performance. It’s a fearless approach to the future. But talent-minded professionals don’t have to go it alone. Instead, we can leverage the power of a broader professional community — sharing ideas and experiences that can move us all forward, faster.

But what do these three words mean for the next wave — those who are graduating from school, and looking at the world of work from a fresh perspective? It’s estimated that by 2025, Gen Y “millennials” will represent more than 75% of the workforce. That’s a huge generational shift. No wonder Meghan Biro says in that it’s smart for leaders to engage tomorrow’s workforce.

Building Bench Strength: It’s A Process

It’s one thing to recognize the importance of connecting with next-generation workers. But that begs another question: What can organizations do to drive engagement? It’s time to share some credible insights. And that’s the focus of our special “Class of 2013” #TChat events this week:

Achievers Promo

Learn more about the #SHRM13 Meetup

MONDAY JUNE 17 — 3:15-4:00pm Central Time (4:15pmET/1:15pmPT)
Margarita Meet-up at Achievers Booth #2455
“Class of 2013” Panel Discussion

Not to be missed. Meghan and Kevin will multi-task — mixing margaritas while moderating a live panel of HR executives! This should be a fun and fascinating discussion. We’ll highlight key results from a recent workplace expectations survey of 10,000+ graduating students, conducted by our partners at Achievers, in association with ConnectEDU.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 19 — 6:00-7:00pm Central Time (7-8pmET/4-5pmPT)
#TChat Twitter — with Moderator, Katie Paterson, Community Manager, Achievers
“Looking Forward: The Graduating Class of 2013

Let’s talk in more depth about why and how the next generation of leaders is influencing change across all HR functions — from recruiting, onboarding and development, to peformance management, recognition and retention. More importantly, what do these changes imply about the future of work, and the nature of employer/employee relationships?

Q1: What digital “social” tools are job seekers using today to leverage their networks and find jobs. Why?

Q2: How do orgs improve onboarding for new grads with little or no work experience? For seasoned veterans?

Q3: If performance drives business, how often should employees be evaluated and why? What about PT and contract?

Q4: Why is it important to recognize the individual in the workplace regardless of age or experience?

Q5: What can HR leaders do to improve retention for hired new grads and all talent ecosystems?

What are your thoughts? Whether you’re onsite or not, we hope you’ll weigh-in with your ideas, questions and opinions.

We’ll see you here in Chicago — and on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap

Meeting of the Minds — Leaving Age at the Door

It can be done. Really. I’ve experienced it first-hand. I imagine you have, too. Many different people of all generations, gender, race, shapes and sizes can come together to create a unique, powerful and separate “whole.”

Think of industry conferences. Birds of a feather — flying in from near and far — converging in tiny groups — gathering around tables in a gigantic ballroom. We arrive brimming with energy and ideas to share. We offer attention and interest to others. We flock together — eager to exchange, to learn, to expand our perspective, to imagine possibilities.

Together We ARE Better

We’re united by our passion for world-of-work topics. Topics that touch us all, everyday — in the main office, the home office and the office-like locales in between. This is the beauty of social learning environments. But, of course, like all things social, this is not a homogeneous pack, and our behavior reflects that reality.

Some cluster with peers from their current work groups. Others gravitate to colleagues from long ago in their careers — reconnecting and catching up. Still others seem slightly disconnected, as they focus intently on real-time smart phone connections. On occasion, we hear a witty quip that hints at generational differences, like, “What if I’m really not Pinterested in that social site?”

Some managers and subordinates sit side-by-side, joking with one another about why they’re so afraid to tweet on behalf of their company, even after receiving formal permission. And there are thought leaders and panelists of all generations, discussing the value of trading isolated metrics for integrated analysis that can elevate business by driving growth, engagement and the bottom line.

No, we don’t all work together in the same mother ship. But then again, we kinda do. After all, with all of its many variations, there really is only one world of work.

A Collaborative Conference Snapshot

SourcingRecruiting_Summit2013_Logo-700pixelsThis model came to life for me this week at the Recruiting Trends Social Sourcing and Recruitment Summit in Washington, DC. An eclectic room, for sure, although many participants work for government agencies, or government contractors — not the first thing that springs to mind when we think of organizations at the forefront of open, transparent, social business models. However, Meghan M. Biro and I moderated a discussion with some very smart folk about social business and social HR trends and issues. And the end of the day, we all agreed that a sound social recruiting strategy comes from understanding how different social sites complement one another, not how they compete.

In many ways, it echoes what we learned from this week’s #TChat conversations about age bias in the workplace. Organizations are comprised of many people who span multiple generations. Through workplace collaboration, we can dispel harmful stereotypes, while simultaneously gaining business value by leveraging the complementary strengths of team members.

#TChat Week-in-Review: Guests

It truly takes a “village” to run a professional community — and this week proved the point, as we took on “The No Labels Workforce.” Experts from across all generations helped us examine myths and truths that perpetuate workplace stereotypes, and helped us consider how to move beyond those perceptions.


Watch videos with Ashley Lauren Perez & John Wilson

The common thread throughout this week was Ashley Lauren Perez, a WilsonHCG Sourcing Specialist, who is also a valued #TChat Ambassador and a highly regarded HR blogger in her own right. Thank you Ashley, for your contributions to the TalentCulture community – not just this week, but on an ongoing basis! And thanks to everyone else who participated!

#TChat Week-in-Review: Resources

SAT 4/6  Google+ Hangout “sneak peek” videos:  Our community manager Tim McDonald, briefly framed the week’s issues with two human resources management experts from WilsonHCG John Wilson, Founder and CEO, and Ashley Lauren Perez.

SUN 4/7 column: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, tackled generational bias head-on in her poast, 5 Ways to Smash Generational Stereotypes.

MON 4/8  We outlined the week’s theme and key questions in the #TChat Preview: Age at Work: Just a Number?


Listen to the #TChat Radio show recording now

TUE 4/9  #TChat Radio: Host Meghan Biro examined workplace age bias with three talent management experts — WilsonHCG Recruiting Director Cynthia Cancio and Sourcing Specialist Ashley Lauren Perez; along with Recruiting Trends’ Sr. Director, Anna Brekka,

Ashley also contributed a thoughtful blog post about this topic: Age at Work: Moving Beyond Birthdays

WED 4/10  #TChat Twitter The whole community came together on the Twitter stream to talk about age in the workplace — similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses, myths and realities. As you can imagine, there was no shortage of personal opinions, professional perspectives and ideas for how we can let go of stereotypes and leverage talent, across generations. In

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: “Age at Work: Just a Number?”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: Again, thanks to Ashley Lauren Perez, John WilsonAnna Brekka, and Cynthia Cancio for contributing your time and expertise to help us dig deeper into generational biases in the workplace. Your insights and expertise brought depth and dimension to the discussion.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about “humans as a service” or related issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we’ll take a look at the trends and technologies that are defining today’s world of work, with our special guest, Elliot Clark, CEO & Chairman of SharedXpertise, the publishers of HRO Today.

Until then, we’ll continue the World of Work conversation each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned blog/community website. The lights are always on at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay

Age at Work: Moving Beyond Birthdays

“How old are you?”

What do you feel, think, and say when you hear that question in the workplace? Do you suddenly get tense, wondering how others will perceive your answer? You’re not alone.

No matter when you were born or what kind of upbringing you’ve had, you’ve likely dealt with some sort of label. And regardless of the situation, we can all agree that no one likes to be unfairly stereotyped. Despite attempts by organizational leaders and HR to reduce discrimination and adversity, it still lingers in some forms. Not surprisingly, age-related stereotyping is on the rise, now that more organizations have a multigenerational workforce.

Generational Generalizations

As recent studies illustrate, every generation is affected by damaging biases. For example, do profiles like this sound familiar?

  • Baby Boomers = materialistic, technologically illiterate micro-managers
  • Generation Xers = cynical, disloyal and skeptical of authority
  • Generation Y “Millennials” = lazy, entitled and self-serving

Although these generalizations may have emerged for a reason, why should we assume that they are widely applicable or even relevant? Perhaps some high-profile individuals have displayed these characteristics, but their actions shouldn’t be the basis for defining a whole generation.

The Price of Stereotypes

More often than not, typecasting like this comes from lack of awareness, communication or understanding. It’s important to identify this issue quickly and bridge the gap, before it destroys our talent pools. Otherwise, organizations are at risk of missing out on the strongest talent — internally or externally.

What Can Individuals Do?

As I continue to progress in my career and become more involved in networking opportunities, I make it a point to avoid conversation about my age. Quite frankly, it’s not important. And, as a Millennial, the last thing I want others to do is marginalize my capabilities upfront. I don’t want them to presume I am a lazy or cynical person — I want them to evaluate me for my skills, abilities, goals and accomplishments. Isn’t that how it should be?

The workplace is rapidly developing into a collaborative environment, where everyone is expected to step up and contribute toward common goals. To do this effectively, employees must avoid animosity toward one another that starts with preconceived notions about age. We need to let go of misplaced biases and instead focus on the thing that matters — an individual’s capacity to contribute something valuable to the team and to the organization.

I look forward to engaging the TalentCulture community in a dialogue about this topic — not just at this week’s #TChat Twitter forum, but beyond. It’s important to every one of us. So, I ask you to consider one simple question:

How are you creating a “no labels” workplace?

(Editor’s Note: Want to hear more from Ashley? She was a featured guest last night on #TChat Radio “The No Labels Workforce.” Listen on-demand, anytime. She also moderated #TChat Twitter this week. To read the full recap of this week’s events, see “The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap”)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Age at Work: Just a Number? #TChat Preview

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

What’s the truth about the interplay of generations in today’s workplace? Are we moving forward, or do “generation gaps” still hold us to the past?

Is this topic old news? I feel like it might be. Not sure if it’s just me. Perhaps I’m just wishfully thinking we should have moved on by now. But it’s important. And it deserves another look.

Age Stereotypes: A Reality Check

So, just between us, let me ask: Do you still catch yourself making snap judgments about people based solely on their age? Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X…whatever.  We fret over how to recruit Millennials. We wonder how to manage them versus others. Does all this conscious attention to generational differences help or hinder progress?

Age-based stereotyping is deeply ingrained in our history, our culture and our collective social psyche. Now, in the 21st century world of work, it holds back individual advancement, business performance and innovation. But how do we move past reactions that seem almost second-nature? That’s the topic we’re tackling this week, in the TalentCulture community.

Getting Over Generational Bias: Growing Pains


Watch the #TChat “Sneak Peek” videos now…

To begin the conversation, I suggested ways to smash age-based stereotypes in my column yesterday.

Rethinking stereotypes requires some deep internal soul searching. Gaining self awareness is the first step — and it’s not necessarily easy.

Facing your biases is an emotional exercise, as well as an intellectual one. But the process can be highly rewarding for professionals and the companies they serve. Fortunately, now there’s strength in numbers, as our #TChat forums take on generational stereotypes as a collaborative effort.

#TChat Weekly Topic: The “No Labels” Workforce

Leading us through this week’s conversation are two human resources management experts from WilsonHCG John Wilson, Founder and CEO, and Ashley Lauren Perez, Sourcing Specialist. Both John and Ashley helped us set the stage for this week’s topic in brief Google+ Hangout “sneak peek” videos. Check them out now!


Tune into #TChat Radio live on Tuesday or on-demand after

I hope you’ll plan to join us at #TChat events this week, where we’ll take a closer look at labels in the workplace, and how to build cultures that value diversity in all of its forms:

As always, throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter stream and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us and share your thoughts, concerns, opinions and ideas.

#TChat Weekly Questions

Why not start now? Take a moment to consider this week’s discussion guide and tell us what you think. Your comments are welcome, early and often:

Q1:  In the world of work, how are the generations the same? Why?
Q2:  With Millennials, we have myriad misconceptions. But for all generations, what are the most pervasive?
Q3:  What is the role of leaders in helping to smash stereotypes about generations in the workforce?
Q4:  Does tech facilitate cross-generational interaction? Why/not? How can we forge more connections?
Q5:  Innovation and free-thinking go hand-in-hand. But does innovation ever encourage age stereotyping? Why?

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Flickr – Mark Turnauckas


"No Labels" Workforce: Sneak Peek Videos

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

Age discrimination. Sometimes it’s very subtle. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. Either way, it still can play a role in workplace culture. How can organizations move beyond the labels that hold back individuals, teams and corporate performance?

That’s our focus this week in the TalentCulture community. Our guests sat down for several minutes in Google+ Hangouts with me to discuss several key issues. Check it out:

One of our very own #TChat Ambassadors, Ashley Lauren Perez, defines key terms and offers advice for professionals who are considered part of “Generation Y”…

Next, Ashley’s boss, John Wilson, Founder and CEO briefly explains why labels don’t make sense in the world of work…

It promises to be a fascinating week! The more voices who join the conversation, the better.

So join us at #TChat events this week, where we’ll take a closer look at labels in the workplace, and how to build cultures that value diversity in all of its forms:

NOTE: If you don’t see the G+ Hangout videos above in this post, you can watch them on YouTube:

“No Labels” Workforce: Sneak Peek Videos

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Best-of-All-Ages Workplace #TChat Recap)

Age discrimination. Sometimes it’s very subtle. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. Either way, it still can play a role in workplace culture. How can organizations move beyond the labels that hold back individuals, teams and corporate performance?

That’s our focus this week in the TalentCulture community. Our guests sat down for several minutes in Google+ Hangouts with me to discuss several key issues. Check it out:

One of our very own #TChat Ambassadors, Ashley Lauren Perez, defines key terms and offers advice for professionals who are considered part of “Generation Y”…

Next, Ashley’s boss, John Wilson, Founder and CEO briefly explains why labels don’t make sense in the world of work…

It promises to be a fascinating week! The more voices who join the conversation, the better.

So join us at #TChat events this week, where we’ll take a closer look at labels in the workplace, and how to build cultures that value diversity in all of its forms:

NOTE: If you don’t see the G+ Hangout videos above in this post, you can watch them on YouTube:

5 Important Workplace Factors: Recruiting & Retaining Today’s Young Professionals

The young professionals you will be trying to attract to your organization today are members of Generation Y, also known as Millennials or The Internet Generation. Technology was a part of their childhood and still plays a huge role in their everyday lives. They don’t have many boundaries between work and life, are tech-savvy and innovative, and in high-demand.


Generation Y expects several types of opportunities in their professional career. Number one, they are looking for a chance to grow and excel in a company – somewhere that will give them opportunity for promotions and other perks if they perform well and choose to stay there long enough.

They also are looking for opportunities to be challenged. Millennials aren’t looking for “just a job” or to “go through the motions” everyday – they want a job that will utilize their expertise and education in new, challenging and exciting ways.

Finally, Millennials want opportunity for personal and professional growth. This can be through challenging projects, collaborative tasks, conferences, etc. This generation is easily bored, and you need to be able to retain them through offering these types of opportunity.


Gen Y expects flexibility in their work hours, schedule and work environment. Many Millennials want to telecommute or work remotely at their ideal jobs. Although they expect flexible hours and schedule, this generation is more plugged in than any other –meaning they will likely work after their “scheduled” hours and have less boundaries between life and work.


Since they’ve grown up with the latest gadgets, Millennials expect them in the workplace, as well. They’re used to constant connectivity, and if your workplace doesn’t offer that, they’ll likely look elsewhere.


In order to recruit today’s young professionals, you need to have a great corporate culture that will intrigue them. Think: socially responsible, innovative and great people to work around. Millennials tend to work for companies that they believe in and share in their mission.


Members of Generation Y want to learn something if they work for you. That’s why providing a mentor for each new young professional is vital to keeping him or her at your organization longer. Not only can a mentor aid in skill development, but also they become a personal connection that the employee trusts in your workplace.

With more than 80 million members of this generation, you’ll need to understand them in order to attract and retain them at your company. For more information on Generation Y in the workplace, download an infographic loaded with statistics here.

VIP Treatment for Hiring Managers and Recruiters: College Campuses

Today’s guest post is by our talented colleague and friend  Karla Porter.  Karla is the Director of Work Force Development and Human Resources for a chamber of business, industry and economic develop­ment agency in Pennsylvania and blogs about Human Capital & New Media at You can follow her on Twitter @karla_porter for “all things human capital, career, recruiting and new media… maybe more.”

In 2008, college students and their parents were wearing out their worry beads thinking there would be little hope for a long time for graduates and no way to pay students loans for many years to come. Post graduate enrollment increased with students thinking they might as well stay in college rather than face unemployment or have to deal with underemployment. At least that way they could stave off student loans a while longer.

At the same time, in one of life’s ha ha I fooled you moments, employers coming out of recessionary shock realized the economic woes were going to be a chronic case of global acid reflux not a mere blip on the radar, but they couldn’t necessarily hold out on hiring any longer. What to do?

In many companies the answer has been to help manage budget cuts by hiring recent college graduates with the aptitude to do the job at entry level salaries, rather than seasoned professionals with track records that command heavyweight salaries.  At the very least, hiring managers are much more willing to interview and seriously consider recent graduates than perhaps they have ever been. Whether it will prove to be a wise business decision in the long run or not, it’s the hand many hiring managers and recruiters have been dealt.

So, why not enjoy the VIP treatment college and university career services centers are delighted to bestow upon you in order to help place their grads, especially in these times of a tight job market? Get to know the players, build rapport with them and they’ll turn into a team of willing assistants for you. It might even help ease the pain of a “light” placement fee for third party recruiters or a smaller bonus for in-house recruiters.

Here are some tips to tap into talent – even if you don’t have a budget to get out to on-site campus recruitment events. I’ll use computer science/engineering majors as an example.

Do you have any tips you would like to share for tapping into fresh college graduate talent? Interested to hear your stories and examples.