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Posted 03/10/2016

Surprising Reasons to Embrace Millennials – Part I  

By welcoming eager, talented workers, we expand America's potential for growth and our competitive culture of invention and possibility. - Ron Conway (Brainyquote.com) The solution to the precision manufacturing industry’s talent shortage could be our country’s nearly 75 million Millennials. Unfortunately, Millennials who are of age to seek satisfying careers are rarely well-understood as a group of potential employees. Look below the surface and you find they are a generation shaped by technology, debt, recessions, questioning, permissiveness, and boundary-pushing. While these attributes may feel uncomfortable to a hiring manager from a different generation, manufacturers must find a way to explore Millennials as a workforce resource if they are to sustain business. How can the precision manufacturing industry best appeal to this generation, attract them as workers, and retain them as employees? A snapshot of the millennial worker Millennials are also referred to as Generation Y. Typically, they were born between 1981 and 1996, which makes them aged 18-33. They differ from the Generation Xers, who were born from 1965-1980 and certainly from the Boomers, born 1946-1964. Understanding the millennial workers can help manufacturers build appropriate onboarding, training and development, and retention programs to fit the millennial’s style of learning as well as their passions. Following are the first three of six reasons Millennials are appealing. A Millennial has a strong work ethic with a sense of purpose. Though they were raised during a time when the world and its economy seemed in a state of uncertainty, they remain positive-minded about the future.  They also have high expectations of their employer - especially when it comes to the company’s agenda, which in their opinion, should be on helping to improve society and foster a higher purpose. A Deloitte study corresponds Millennial’s satisfaction with a company’s sense of purpose and its financial improvement. Manufacturers who wish to attract millennial talent and drive results need to communicate their vision and help Millennials feel they make a difference. They don’t want to hear what they can’t do; they want to hear what they can do to press toward the urgency of their dreams. Millennials want to experience everything Besides online and with friends, Millennials want workplace experiences. They look to challenges of new projects or participating in a cause they support. They also prefer to have interactions with senior executives as they respond to a flattened organizational structure even though they elevate friends to family status. They will appreciate it when you provide a development path they can see. Allow Millennials to have a voice in solving problems. Provide interaction and engagement opportunities - particularly those which help them see the bigger picture. Millennials have ease with technology They have always known about the existence of computers, cell phones, the Internet, color TVs, and monitors. They grew up accepting social media as commonplace and would rather text or post than check email. Manufacturers can benefit from tapping this technologically savvy generation by developing online training programs or enlisting Millennials to coach more mature colleagues on technological advancements. Helping Millennials feel connected gains their respect and loyalty. They prefer groups to one-on-one interactions. It is important for manufacturing firms to separate fact from fiction when it comes to hiring and developing millennial talent. Tapping into their strengths, or embracing their differences, will help to shape the future of precision manufacturing. For more insight on Millenials, come back for next week’s blog. We will discuss three more reasons to embrace Millennials. Meanwhile, if you need qualified talent, talk to MPS Technical. Not only do we understand the needs of precision manufacturing companies, but we have also listened to and understand the talented people we have as candidates—including Millennials. Let’s talk today.