Why should you hire a Millennial? The fact is there are more job opportunities in agriculture than there are graduates to fill them. Meanwhile, nearly 40% of the U.S. labor force are Millennials, born between 1980 and 1995 (or 2000 depending on the source). Millennials, or Gen Y members, have to work to overcome many of the stereotypical attributes associated with their generation. Employers may be quick to say, “you know how it goes with those Millennials!” Gen Y is “attached to technology, entitled, wants constant attention, feedback and rewards.”
We went straight to Millennials to get the scoop on what they bring to the workforce. We asked Lauren Shotwell, HR services account manager, AgCareers.com, for some insight. “I’d like to think that I’m not your typical Millennial, but after working on the top 10 positive attributes they bring, I’m completely okay with that label,” said Shotwell. “I reached out to my social network (imagine that), tweeted, posted on LinkedIn and Facebook and asked my professional and personal network what they thought were positive attributes of Millennials. Some I wouldn’t have thought because I feel like it comes naturally, but maybe that is what makes us a benefit in some office environments.”
1. Networking – They know how to build and leverage their networks online, on the plane and at Thirsty Thursday happy hour!
2. Communication – They know how to utilize multiple communication channels to keep everyone in tune with their status and have a great understanding of appropriateness/professionalism.
3. Confidence – whether it is in a meeting, on the farm, or turning in a project, Millennials are confident in their abilities and themselves.
4. Innovation/Resourceful – Millennials are very innovative, and using what they have in an effective way as well as utilizing their resources successfully…they didn’t teach us to not recreate the wheel for no reason in school!
5. Tech-Savvy –Just got a new iPhone? A Millennial can probably figure out how to use it within minutes and show you a new trick. Can’t remember what formula to use in that excel spreadsheet? Ask a Millennial.
6. Entrepreneurial Thinkers – Their minds tend to lean towards being an entrepreneur. Use this entrepreneurial spirit to your advantage if you want to expand and grow your farm.
7. Enthusiastic/Positive – They are very excited and positive about work. They enjoy talking about their jobs and sharing with others about what they do. This can sometimes be confused with me-centric, but look at is as having a wonderful ambassador for your farm.
8. Adaptable – Using a Millennial to fill in while someone is on maternity leave or until you fill an opening is okay because they can adapt very well. Change is not going to make them less motivated, and it actually might make them recharged and more motivated.
9. Social Media Opportunist – They see social media as an opportunity and will have great ideas on how to use it to capture a new market.
10. Collaborative – They grew up working in groups (some good, many bad), so take advantage of their collaborative spirits and put them in teams to get assignments done. Makes sure you let them know the expectations and don’t be surprised if they take the lead away from someone else…it’s what they do so well. For more information, contact [email protected]
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.