Tech savviness aside, here's how millennial hires can give back to your business.
The holiday season is right around the corner. With it, comes a surge in hires at retailers everywhere. According to USA Today, UPS and FedEx anticipate adding thousands of seasonal employees (about 95,000 for UPS and more than 50,000 for FedEx, respectively) to beef up their shipping staff. In a statement, UPS CEO David Abney stated that anyone is welcome to apply, from working moms to students.
Major shippers aside, for small businesses with tighter hiring budgets, now is the perfect time to hire a handful of part- and full-time millennial workers. This particular age group brings a lot to the table beyond their tech savviness. Here's why you should seek millennials out this hiring season.
1. They're open to communicating with customers, in person and online.
This goes beyond greeting customers, helping them find what they're looking for and ringing up their purchases at the register. The National Retail Federation reports that retailers in 2017 will be focused on going the extra mile to follow up with customers on their purchases and respond to feedback about their shopping experience. Bringing on a millennial hire allows your small business to continue that conversation.
If your retail store has a lean staff and not much of a social media presence, you can train the seasonal hire to take on customer service representative duties in-store and online. They can answer questions posted on your social accounts, assist with responding to reviews on platforms like Yelp, create newsletters on behalf of the business to announce upcoming holiday promotions and sales, and make sure your social presence remains active and engaged.
2. Millennials are ready to prove they can go the distance.
There are unexpected and tough challenges for seasonal workers. From angry customers irritated that an advertised item isn't in stock to technical difficulties causing credit card machines to temporarily go down, these positions aren't for the faint of heart.
They are, however, great roles for millennials who have previously demonstrated their abilities in this field, which can include everything from maintaining a patient, calm demeanor to solving problems with customers. However, remember that while millennials may be ready to show off their can-do attitude, it's equally important to understand how that attitude has translated in their previous positions.
When interviewing a potential hire, ask them about prior experiences where they took the initiative and did more than what was required of them and what the outcome was. Doing this allows you to find more than just a few good employees who are ready to roll up their sleeves and work hard alongside everyone else – there may be some natural born leaders in the mix!
3. The better work experience millennials have with you, the more they can expect their future career to thrive as a result.
Maybe you'll hire your seasonal workers on full time or perhaps you can only keep them for a couple of months. Regardless of your workforce situation, while you have millennials on your team, do everything you can to make sure their work experience with you teaches them lessons they can carry on to future positions.
As an employer, it's equally important for you to create a company culture where employees feel like they're engaged and part of the team. Teach them about your brand, encourage them to ask questions and let them know that the occasional small mistakes are not the end of the world but part of the learning process. With nearly 6.7 million millennials and over 23 million small businesses in the United States alone, millennials are poised to inherit the Earth – and it's up to business owners to guide them so they have everything they need to grow and thrive in their future careers.