How to Tap Into the Millennial Market – Part 1

Recruiting, Managing, and Retaining Millennials

The HR world has been abuzz with discussion about the generational dynamic between the aging baby boomers and the Web 2.0 world of Millennials. This five-part series is designed to give the rest of us some perspective.

A “Millennial,” demographically speaking, is a person born after 1980. They are the youngest members of today’s workforce. Experts estimate that by 2010, Millennials will outnumber both Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Millennials (a/k/a “Gen Y”) are our society’s “digital residents,” which means that they have enjoyed the luxuries of digital technology their entire lives, including the massive world of video games. Their digital residence has given their generation characteristics employers never seen before.

Some sociologists believe that as a result of their residence in the digital world (think instant messaging, Facebook, and MySpace), Millennials are significantly peer-oriented and constantly seek instant gratification. The bottom line: Millennials don’t necessarily buy into the idea that in order to succeed at work, you need to get in early, stay late, and consistently work hard.

These characteristics can make it difficult for employers to adapt how and who they recruit, and how they manage and retain their new human resource. In short, Millennials are changing the way employers do the business of, well, employment. The next three installments provide tips on how your organization can tap into Millennial talent.

For more insight on Millennials and how they fit into your organization, consider the text “Millennials Incorporated” by Lisa Orrell. Ms. Orrell hosts the blog “Lisa’s Generation Relations Blog.” And, on May 20, 2008, will host Dr. Diane Gayeski, contributor to the Wall Street Journal and consultant to some of America’s top employers, in an audio conference titled “Are you ready for the Millennials? What HR Needs to Know to Recruit and Manage the IPod Workers.

The focus of the next post in this series is Recruiting Strategies for the Next Generation.

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