How to Hire and Manage Millennials

The addition of millennial generation can make it difficult to manage cross-generational offices. While millennials offer great potential, they also demand new management practices not seen in the work place before. However, it is crucial to learn how to attract and retain the generation of professionals who will be the future of your organization.


Be quick: Millennials have been raised in the digital world, which gives them instant information as quickly as their fingers can move across the keyboard. Do not hesitate to make an offer if you meet someone who impresses you, has all of the credentials, comes highly recommended, and fits your company culture. Millennials are moving very quickly in the current market, and they are not going to wait for a “maybe” if they get a “yes” from another company.

Keep your target market in mind: According to a PwC study, millennials place a greater importance on feeling appreciated and supported, working in a team environment, and having flexibility in when/where they work, in contrast to previous generations, which rated salary and development opportunities higher. Make sure you are selling the correct benefits to your millennial hires. Find out what is important to them first – do not have the same pitch for each potential employee.


Provide feedback:  Millennials respond best when there is constant approval. And while this may seem exhausting to people from other generations, remember that compliments are free. Therefore, this is one of the cheapest ways to keep this generation of employees happy and motivated.

When giving negative feedback, have it be constructive and detailed. Strike a balance by adding in positive aspects of their work as well.

Develop skills through training: Give your employees room to grow so that they do not become stagnant in their current roles. Many millennials approach learning as a lifelong process. Support that mindset, and you will come out with a stronger employee base.

What to train:

  • Minimize the basics – If the first topic you go over in training is how to create a new word document, your audience will become bored and stop listening well before you get to the important training subjects. Train toward a technologically aware audience to keep them more engaged.
  • Keep training experiential – Give them practical examples of work they might be doing whenever possible.  

Think “contribution,” not “productivity”: While millennials have the capacity to be extremely productive through their ability to multitask and technical proficiency, they prefer to think of their work in terms of how they are contributing to an overall goal. This plays to their strength of being team players who are a part of a larger whole, and will most likely get the maximum output from your employees. 

Enable flexibility for work-life balance: Work-life balance does not always mean the job ends at five for this generation. More important to them is the ability to regulate their own schedule to work when and where they feel most productive. If possible in your work environment, give your employees more control over their work hours while maintaining deadlines and expectations.

Energize the team: Create an appealing environment within your office that focuses on group interaction to attract millennials. Create contests for the group, send people to events, or give public accolades for working together. By creating a team that appreciates each other and works together, you will create a cohesive unit that will stay longer to remain in an environment that they enjoy. Make sure to advertise your events on social media to further attract Millennials.

Emphasize the importance of ideas: Millennials struggle to see hierarchies and their importance to the overall success of the organization. Place value on their ideas, and give them input on significant decisions that have an impact. They strive to be heard and can bring refreshing views if given the chance. Consider reverse mentorships to introduce or reinforce this concept.

Benefits for Employers

Promote brand advocacy: A satisfied millennial employee has no problem sharing how they feel on social media, and can greatly improve your brand perception. However, know that bad news travels just as quickly.

Manage quality employees: The reward of hiring good employees is being able to manage good employees. Take time to evaluate your recruitment, interview, and on-boarding processes to build a stronger employee base with people who are engaged and work hard.

Interested in learning more?

Contact Jennifer Pearce at or (202) 861-4200