<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5751651&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">
Taking Technology Further
default-header.jpg

Leadership Blog:
A High Performance Culture

SUBSCRIBE

Recruiting Millennials Part 1: The Right Environment

by Jeff Gau on April 6, 2017

Obviously there has been a lot of discussion about millennials – probably as much as there is about the baby boomers on the other end of the spectrum. As leaders, we know that the future success of any organization depends on its ability to recruit, train and retain young people. How are you attracting millennials?

I believe the first step is to build a culture they want to be a part of. We’ve taken this seriously at Marco and intentionally work to create an environment where millennials want to come to work – and spend their careers. Millennials, as we define it, were born between 1988 and 1999.

So, how do we do it? I sat down with one of our HR recruiters (and millennial superstars), Andrea Hagberg, to identify some of the key elements to our success. What we have learned is the environment matters most and if we do it right, they will tell their friends about us. So, this is the first part of a two-part series on recruiting millennials. In part two, we’ll share the qualities that capture their attentionand can set you apart.

Jeff & Millennials .jpg

Culture matters to millennials. That’s why we’ve seen organizations like Google and Facebook turn the workplace upside down with slides, scooters and impromptu ping pong games. Those certainly do make the workplace fun. But here is what we have found is important to millennials and helps them effectively contribute to an organization:

  • The ability to help make decisions or take the lead.
    Early on, we give millennials opportunities to help make decisions or even lead a project. “I felt like my ideas were taken seriously right away,” Andrea said. She has been a part of the decision-making on several key efforts for our organization and is currently leading a new culture initiative with another millennial at Marco. We want to hear from our millennials and when they have an idea, we want to help them run with it.

  • Encouragement to try something new, even if it fails.
    Failure can still be forward movement. We don’t expect our team members to have all the answers or get everything right. (None of us do.) We want them to have the courage to innovate and when it doesn’t work, fail forward faster. We know achieving success means making mistakes and even failing along the way. You just can’t do it all the time.

  • Autonomy to do their job well.
    One of the most important items we measure on our annual employee survey is “My supervisor trusts me to do my job without looking over my shoulder.” It is important that millennials feel that way, too. So, we give them job responsibility and show we’re confident in their ability to do it. In the culture initiative that Andrea is co-leading, she helps execute the plan with the team, engaging others as appropriate. (She even tells me my role and how I can help the initiative succeed.)

  • Feeling invested in.
    Millennials want your time. They want to learn from you. Seize those everyday opportunities and intentionally create more formal efforts. At Marco, we have established more formal sessions to mentor our millennial team members. Ten of our millennial women meet monthly with a group of our women leaders for coaching and development. We also encourage team members to get involved in organizations focused around young professionals.

  • Genuine connection with leadership.
    The most important relationship is the one millennials have with their managers. They want to genuinely connect with their supervisor and members of the leadership team. It starts with regularly checking in with their millennial team members, understanding their needs and showing they care. The leadership team also needs to reach out. I try to spend time with our millennial team members to listen to their career goals and share my perspective. They seem to appreciate the casual and comfortable conversation.

  • Affirmation of their work and future potential.
    Millennials like feedback – and more specifically words of affirmation. They want to feel that their work matters to your organization and are valued. They want to know what they are doing well – and where their potential is. The more frequent the feedback, the better. It’s important to indicate what their career path might look like and how they can grow within the company.

A good first step to attracting and retaining millennials is to create a contemporary workplace that employees of all ages want to be a part of. What often deters people from joining and staying with a company is an old-school culture. Look around your company, what do you see?

Get a New Copier for Your Business 

Topics: Culture, Recruiting, Professional Development

Hearing What Isn’t Said

Papers rustle. The occasional nod. A chuckle. Eyes gaze out the window. Keys click on a computer. Nails tap the screen of a smartphone. A phone vibrates the table. Heads turn. These all tell us...Read more

How Self-Aware Are You?

How well do you know yourself? I mean really know yourself. Do others see you that way? You can be successful in a profession and not have a high level of self-awareness, but not in leadership. You...Read more

How Do You Create a Strong Culture?

To mark six years of my Leadership Culture Blog, I thought I would try something new – a live streamed video blog. I’ve done lots of videos, but this time we were live and unscripted. At Marco, we’ve...Read more

A Look Back at 6 Years

Time flies when you’re … writing a blog. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve committed to writing this bi-weekly blog on leadership, growth and culture for six years now. I remember writing the...Read more

Leader to Follow: Trevor Akervik

The best leaders I know are masterful at execution. Trevor Akervik is one of those guys. Trevor currently serves as our Senior Sales Director of Managed Services. He led the development of our...Read more

Have You Lost Your Mojo?

There are times when we feel like everything is heading in the right direction. Our work is rewarding and we’re enjoying time outside of the office. Then, we hit a slump. We lose our mojo – our...Read more

Plan B Is OK

We like to think that as organizations we can execute on our primary plan (Plan A) and strategies and get the results we’re looking for. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way. Then we turn to Plan B...Read more

What I Liked About Iceland

My job gives me the opportunity to travel all over the world from New Zealand to Argentina. But there was something special about a recent trip I took to Iceland that was purely for pleasure. It’s a...Read more

Becoming Fast Followers

I was recently asked, “Who do we follow?” It was a challenging question. It’s common to follow the top organization in your industry or maybe even the competition. But as a company, we really...Read more

Leader to Follow: Steve Gau

I get to work with some pretty amazing leaders every day who continue to help me grow. I have been profiling a few of them in this Leaders to Follow series. Today I get to talk about the leader that...Read more

Hiring Sales: Finding the Right Fit

People at Marco often hear me say “Not much happens around here until we sell something.” As a growth company that uses direct sales as our primary method to drive revenue, it’s essential for us to...Read more

Recruiting Millennials Part 2: Qualities that Attract

What makes a millennial want to come to work for you or not? It’s a question worth considering when more than one-in-three American workers today are millennials. As I shared in part one in this...Read more

Recruiting Millennials Part 1: The Right Environment

Obviously there has been a lot of discussion about millennials – probably as much as there is about the baby boomers on the other end of the spectrum. As leaders, we know that the future success of...Read more

You Can Max Out as a Leader

Have you maxed out as a leader? It happens. As we get bigger, I see more people max out as leaders. Not everyone can scale with the operation. It’s a documented management concept called the “Peter...Read more

Leadership Defined: Size Matters

As we prepare to go on our 35th Marco sales incentive trip with our quota achievers next week, I recall my first trip and how much has changed since then. What started as a small group of about 15 of...Read more

Leader to Follow: Barry Opatz

Three decades ago, Barry Opatz came to work for Marco with his first order of business: Develop a new logo to reflect our brand. At that time, office furniture and supplies were the biggest drivers...Read more

What I Learned at Barrett-Jackson

I recently returned from the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s a trip I look forward to every year. What started as an opportunity for me to connect with a co-worker on our...Read more

LEADER TO FOLLOW: SCOTT ROEDER

I’ve had the privilege to work alongside a team of really great leaders at Marco. We’ve had a successful run because of the attributes that each brings to the team. They have taught me a lot about...Read more

What Does it Take to Get Hired?

Job openings hit an all-time high in the United States last year and 2017 is predicted to be the best job market in years – especially for experienced workers. Millions of jobs reportedly went...Read more

Making Strategic Planning Matter

It’s planning season here at Marco for fiscal year 2017, which reminded me of what separates a good year from one that goes down in the record books. Most people would say a great year is exceeding...Read more

How to Find Team Fit

I like to interview job candidates for certain positions within our company. I am pretty focused on one particular criteria: team fit.  Team fit is one of the most important aspects of success...Read more

Replicating Our Culture

After acquiring more than 30 companies, one of the most important things we have learned is that growth is more than a sales revenue number. It’s also about replicating our culture and brand in our...Read more

Why Our Employees Love to Volunteer

On any given day, you will find Marco employees volunteering in the community. Some spend a day volunteering their time to help a local cause - cleaning, painting, packing or building. Some serve as...Read more

The Sale of Our Company: One Year Later

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year ago already since we made our boldest move: Selling our company to Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading investment firm headquartered in the Twin Cities. We...Read more

We’re Not Very Good at Hunkering Down

“It’s time to hunker down.” As leaders, we have all heard it and experienced situations when the impulse is to pull back and cut back. At Marco, we’ve learned that we’re not very good at that. When...Read more