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How to Hire Millennials That Will Stay

Hiring a new employee is expensive and time consuming. And when you finally find the perfect fit, you invest even more resources into training the newbie and getting them acclimated to your culture. After all of that, you breathe a sigh of relief. At last – the team is complete and running at full strength again.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, you get slapped with a resignation notice. Or worse, you get ghosted and your employee just stops showing up. Irritated and confused, you start the search again and hope for a better outcome this time.

Unfortunately, current trends aren’t on your side. Millennial turnover, particularly due to lack of engagement, is a prevalent problem. In fact, it costs American employers billions of dollars per year!

So how do you engage them?

Sure, you can (and probably should) offer an attractive benefits package and work environment, focused on flexibility and feedback. But – you should also ensure that you’re hiring folks that will be successful in your organization. When employees can utilize their strengths and ace what’s expected of them, they feel empowered and happy. They are engaged.

How do you ensure that your new hire will be successful?

You put them in a role that’s in harmony with their innate skills and traits. Your hiring process must be designed to reveal these. With an effective process, there is less need to speculate if the new hire will work out. You’ll have a high degree of certainty.

There are two main components that can be adjusted for this purpose: the interview and the assessment. However, you should take a step back and do some pre-work before tackling these.

Before beginning your search, you should:

  • Identify the vital traits and skills required to be successful and mesh well with your culture
  • Review high performing employees and find commonalities – is there a secret sauce?

These elements should be the foundation of the job posting. By incorporating these points in the first contact a candidate has with your company, you’re increasing your chances of attracting like-minded individuals from the get-go. The Omnia Group can help you craft job postings that target key behaviors.

Once you’ve gotten in some good resumes and completed your initial screening steps, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty.

The Interview

There are many ways to design an interview. Some hiring managers prefer to have a loose conversation over a structured discussion. While this technique may result in a few good hires, its long term success rate is generally pretty low.

Of course, the interview should be a reflection of you and your brand. But, the purpose of the meeting is to determine if the candidate and position are a good fit for one another. To achieve this, you should ask behaviorally-based questions.

These questions are exactly how they sound. You ask the candidate to tell a story that’s intended to highlight a certain behavior, trait, or skill that’s relevant to the position. The idea is that past behavior and success can predict future behavior and success. It isn’t perfect, but because personality remains relatively stable over time, and personality influences behavior, it can provide useful insight.

An example question might be: Tell me about a time when a sales prospect made an objection during your presentation.

Don’t Forget the Follow Up!

Instead of quickly moving through the questions on your list, try to practice mindful listening and truly hone in on what the candidate is saying. You will see natural opportunities to prompt for additional information. You can make connections to previous answers, ask the candidate why, or simply say “oh?” to keep the discussion flowing. By doing so, you will gain more clarity regarding who this person is and what they are capable of.

By the end of the interview, you should see how the candidate handles situations and carries themselves. Is it in accordance with your firm’s culture and position requirements? This information is also useful when comparing candidates as they can be ranked based on whose responses best align with the company and role.

The Assessment

The interview can help you to identify your top candidates. As a final step, you should use a behavioral assessment to validate and enhance what you’ve learned about them.

This type of assessment illustrates how the candidate approaches work and is an excellent predictor of how they will operate on the job. There aren’t right or wrong answers, or good or bad results. However, you’ll come away knowing if your candidate is assertive or cautious, people-oriented or analytical, fast-paced or methodical, and big picture focused or detail-oriented.

By truly understanding your open role and organizational culture, the ideal combination of the above will be obvious. And by hiring someone that embodies those characteristics, you’re setting them up for success, engagement, and long-term employment with you.

Final Thoughts

By honing in on your ideal candidate and employing behaviorally-based hiring strategies, you’ll no longer be left wondering if you’re making the right choice. You can be confident that you’re selecting a great fit for your team because your decision is based on sound reasoning backed by data. Because of this, the Millennials who join your team will be successful and more likely to stay – saving you both headaches and dollars.

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Author: Wendy Sheaffer, operations and product manager for behavioral assessment and consulting firm The Omnia Group. Omnia helps companies hire the right person the first time, manage more effectively and build high-performance teams using normal everyday tools and concepts. For more information about employee behavioral assessments and job postings, call Carletta Clyatt, SVP, 813-280-3026 or email:

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