In an opinion piece in the Seattle Times on June 19th, a young millennial, Raffi Wineburg, wrote a great editorial “Lip service useless for millennials.” As he pointed out, unemployment for 16 to 24 year olds is running 15%. After investing in college, many young adults are coming out to no jobs available. These new additions to our workforce have talents to be leveraged if only we could put them on our radar and explore what they might have to offer. Instead so much of the conversation seems to be focused on what’s wrong with millennials. This is absolutely the wrong conversation. We should be instead seeking them out based on their inherent talents and asking how they can contribute in a meaningful way. If all organizations shifted their screening practices, we could make a major dent in the unemployment numbers of millennials.
Each new generation brings with it the seeds of social change and innovation. We as leaders should be trying to figure out any way possible to get these new folks into our organizations. They have grown up in complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. They have grown up in a totally networked world. They do not have the hangups that older generations have. They need to be brought into the interview process not screened out. What really sets the current new generation apart from past generations? They demand to be treated with respect. The old “just do what I say, I am the boss” approach is certainly not respectful, and is a sure fire way to get rid of millennials. But that assumes that you have been willing to hire millennials in the first place. If they are being screened out of the process for lack of experience, the screening process must be changed to screen on talent not resume. If they are being screened out because management does not want to create respectful management processes, I suggest that management must change. So many of our managers were trained to manage in a world that no longer exists. Get with the program would be my recommendation.
Changing manager behaviors to be respectful is a tall order, however, changing the screening process is actually quite an easy change. We are talking about looking for early talent. Some companies like SAP, actively recruit for early talent. They have set up process and goals to seek out and hire early talent. What they found was that the resume screening process that they had used and that most organizations use actively screens out early talent. They made the change to screen on talent before ever looking at the resume. To make this shift they selected Predictive Index (PI) as their assessment of choice to screen for talent. They generate a job profile for each position, this functionality is built into the PI solution, then every applicant takes a PI assessment. They have 70,000 employees BTW. The applicants PI is matched with the job profile to select first on talent. They then look at resume and decisions to select those who they will interview. The bottom line, if the applicant has an inherent talent match with the job profile, they are in the game. With the typical resume screening process, they would never make it out of the screening software and if they did, they would be discarded.
So if we are to take hiring millennials seriously, we need to consider changing our selection process to start with talent screening first. Hidden benefits are a much more efficient and effective process needing fewer people. And what you do get out of it? Employees who inherently can do the work they are hired to do and will excel in doing so. A win win all around.
If you would like to learn more about this process, workforce analytics, and people big data and how it can transform an organization, please contact John Inman at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 425-954-7256.