Get Out Those Job Descriptions, Millennials Are Coming!

By JDXpert - June 01, 2017

College graduation is upon us and that means an influx of millennials eagerly awaiting entry into the workforce.

Having worked with this generation for the last decade or so, HR departments are relatively versed in what makes this group tick. All workers, no matter the age, appreciate security, variety in career, being challenged, and being part of a company that brings them pride. However, millennials differ from their predecessors in their motivations, expectations, and communication preferences. So how do HR departments recruit, foster, and retain millennials who bring value to the organization? Let’s start by looking at what motivates this generation and what they expect from their employers.

Millennials are characterized as being tolerant, goal oriented, independent and optimistic. These ideals are often reflected in their motivations and expectations. This group is motivated by purpose and thirsts for meaningful work. They want to know that they are contributing to the overall success of the company and resent their opinions being ignored. They can sometimes be characterized as resistant and slightly arrogant because they do not attribute much worth to hierarchy. It’s not that they disrespect their superiors, but that they truly believe that the company will benefit from hearing everyone’s ideas.

Millennials also crave recognition and expect that their supervisors will provide approval and accolades for a job well done. They also expect transparency and do not want to wait for feedback. Frequent and timely check-ins are preferred by millennials because they see performance not as a means to a promotion or a raise, but as an ongoing journey of growth and as an indication of overall professional success. So why do job descriptions matter so much to the success of the millennial employee? Job descriptions, especially digitally derived ones that are current, consistent and applicable, are vehicles that managers can use to recruit and engage employees. 

Millennials desire transparency and crave mentorship. With a job description, supervisors can initiate constructive conversations about expectations, goals, performance, and learning opportunities. The employee can review their job description and note the importance of their position and what is expected of them.  Motivated by meaning, if millennials feel that their work is significant, and are able to see how it contributes to the success of the company, they are more likely to attribute value to their current position and the company. They are also encouraged to stay and grow within a company if they feel that they are being impactful and their work is making a difference.  

Managers can also use job descriptions as a guide to outline what specific attributes and accomplishments warrant recognition. This is highly valued by the millennial worker, and managers who can connect accomplishment with the job are likely to garner meaningful feedback. This, in turn, leads to the overall growth and happiness of their employees. Employee contentment is something that should be incredibly valued, as millennials are quick to look for something else if they are not happy with their current circumstances at a specific employer.
Job Description Management (JDM) Software also provides HR the opportunity to clearly outline a career path for their employees. Millennials are incredibly focused on the trajectory of their career, and if provided with a clear avenue towards career advancement, they are likely to work towards the goal with less emphasis placed on compensation and more emphasis placed on their overall merit and contribution. If they know that there is an opportunity for growth and they know how to get there, they are more likely to value long-term employment.

An accurate job description sets expectations and goals from the outset of the recruitment process. When recruiting for new employees, job descriptions give recruiting managers a guide to what type of employee is best suited for the job. Matching the right candidate to the right job is critical to reducing unnecessary turnover. Millennials are quick to move on from a company that does not reflect their values and nor foster their ambition. Recruitment ads and interview questions that derive from job descriptions that reflect a corporation’s culture, values, and expectations, only reinforces the chances of finding the right employee for the job. 

In short, an accurate job description can provide an employer with the tools to not only find the right employee for the position, but also to provide that employee with the tools to thrive in the workplace. Companies need to embrace the change in culture that accompanies the millennial employee in order to thrive in the future. The job description and JDM software provides a critical piece to this puzzle by allowing corporations the tools necessary to nurture the needs of the millennial. 



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