Are Hiring Millennial’s in Sales the Right Move?
“I can’t find any good salespeople out there. I even tried to hire some young college kids and that was a mistake,” said Matt, the sales director of a SAAS Business. “I hired a few of them and they just aren’t engaged, they just seem board.”
Well, they are probably board. Today this age bracket (18-35) looks at things completely different from some of us more experienced in business. Even one generation before can be a black and white difference to this generation.
According to a study from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the YEC, Millennials are highly ambitious, with a majority placing an importance on jobs with chances for career progression, personal growth, as well as freedom and flexibility. Millennials prioritize value and meaning in their work over money — if their jobs are aligned with their passion, they will go the extra mile.
We need to relook at whom we hire, how we hire and how we train these recruits. Our interaction with them will need to be interactive and fluid. This generation has had more freedom, which they crave. If we try to put them into your corporate “box”, you will probably fail.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Business leaders say they want creative thinking. Do they really? One of the challenges in hiring this young, free spirit, creative thinker is watching them do things so differently than we did. Often companies aren’t willing to make internal changes to create this type of environment because it often seems uncomfortable or even wrong. Letting go of the past and the way it used to be is a big part of getting the most out of this generation.
I have been trying to get organizations to hire salespeople that could be true “intrepreneurals” meaning an employee of the organization with a true creative entrepreneurial spirit. To get this kind of creativity and spirit it will be important to give them an environment they can thrive in.
The characteristics most associated with entrepreneurs are; self-motivated, creative, have initiative and risk-taking. They tend not to fit inside the rules and bend them often to make things happen.
Do we want these characteristics in our sales organization? You bet.
Create the Right Environment
So what do we do? Here are some changes you’ll need to make by creating an environment they can thrive in;
- Look on Social Media for candidates. Today these candidates are looking in the non-traditional places; Linkedin, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and glassdoor.
- Create a casual, open environment that encourages open communication and out of the box ideas. Be open to change the rules if there may be a different way of doing something.
- Let them communicate with technology, even if you wouldn’t. This is how they really do communicate. Their first choice may be to put something in an email and not in person, let it happen.
- Use flex-schedules. Don’t hold them to a 9-5 check into the office requirement. Give them the goal and very long leash to get there.
Make sure you are creating this environment. Today this generation checks you out in lots of different ways. One of the most popular sites is glassdoor.com. A critical consideration for candidates today since this job and company review site began.
Millennials are much more productive than they are given credit for. They know how to use technology efficiently, they are completely invested in work when it aligns with their passions, committed when their contributions and ideas are encouraged and recognized. They are also superior at communicating your brand – These make them natural recruits for top talent. There are lots of good reasons to hire them.