Reading a Nicholas Sparks novel or a memoir from a celebrity (Amy, Tina, Mindy) seems like a usual winter day trend.
But as much as we learn about other people’s lives and how to find love, how much time do we put in our lifelong journey of our careers?
But, as an employee, do we really read about our work needs and what we need from our boss?
If you have ever take a personality test at work, which seems intrusive, but understandable, you might have taken one from The Predictive Index, a work personality test used as a consultative and research tool for Human Resource (HR) professionals.
Through working with over 8,000 clients globally, The Predictive Index has a few predictions for Millennials in the 2016 workplace. Their predictions are for both job seekers and for current employees.
Top 3 Workplace Trends in 2016:
1. People Will Use Technology to “Shop” for Their Ideal Employer
2. More Personal Connections between Employees and Employers Will be a “Must Have”
3. Video will Change the Hiring Game
I spoke with Heather Haas, President at ADVISA, a certified partner of The Predictive Index, to learn more about these workplace predictions and what it means for Millennial job seekers and businesses.
Because liking your job takes teamwork—you and your boss working together—to understand each others needs.
Job Seekers Will Use Technology to “Shop” for Their Ideal Employer
Shop for Ideal Employers:
Even if your boss isn’t flying you to Rome, it’s no secret that we are in a global competitive market. With transplants moving for the right job, the right college, and to make the right connections, employer websites and review sites like Glassdoor are becoming game changers.
“It’s commonplace to receive a LinkedIn email from someone requesting information about what it’s like to work somewhere or asking to meet for coffee to discuss the work culture prior to an interview,” Haas notes.
Motivation: Why Do Millennials Go to Work?
There seems to be a shift in the work that Millennials value. They want to make a difference, they don’t simply want to go to work.
Haas speaks about the need for companies to see Millennials’ desire to change the world.
“[Leaders] must articulate ‘the noble why’ of what the company does and authentically inspire people to connect with the company’s purpose.”
Creating a “why” is the first step. The second step is living out that mission.
“Given that the Millennial talent pool is eager, connected, and craving meaning at work, priority one for all organizations competing for top talent must be equipping their existing leaders and managers to create this kind of inspiring, dynamic work culture for Millennials,” Haas notes.
Creating an Impact: Volunteering:
As we learn about what we like and don’t like and our passions, it’s important to pursue them.
“Millennials…are more connected than any other generation to what’s happening beyond their front door,” Haas says., “Millennials are undaunted and impatient in their quest for information, engagement, meaning and action.”
When I got my first full-time job in Chicago, one of the benefits was that employees could take two days off to volunteer. I loved this idea, and planned to use my two days to volunteer for Techweek, a growing national technology conference held in various metropolitan cities.
I didn’t realize how much I valued being part of my community through volunteering. Now, there are a lot of Chicago conferences that I want to participate in. Being able to help lead a conference by MCing for speakers, helping with setup and promoting conferences, is now one of my passions.
“It’s not about a particular cause or opportunity that is offered as much as it is about having a voice to influence which causes or opportunities are pursued and then having a direct impact,” Haas notes.
The key takeaway is that being passionate isn’t enough for Millennials, they want to feel and know that they are impacting others by using their passion and skills.
Millennials Want Personal Connections with Employers:
One of the ways that Millennials find meaning in their work is through their relationships.
“Employees want to know, trust and connect with their supervisors. They want to be coached, developed and recognized,” Haas notes.
To develop these relationships, leaders need to:
- Give skill building exercises
- Emphasize trust in teamwork
- Understand employees strengths/weaknesses
- Coach and support development
- Establish rules/boundaries – write a handbook and share on Google Docs
3 Skills Millennials Need:
Producing good work and being a good employee are two very different things.
Haas spoke about some of the areas that Millennials needs stronger coaching and directions:
“[Millennials] also need a lot of self-awareness and self-management experiences because they may lack formal professional experience and have growth up ‘socializing’ virtually. ”
- Face-to-Face Communication
“Millennials need lots of opportunities to collaborate, present and communicate face-to-face so they can learn how to articulate themselves clearly and how to influence the attitudes and opinions of others through not only their words, but their tone and posture.”
Face-to-face communication is an important skillset that David Deming, an associate professor of economics at Harvard noted in his paper, “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labour Market” that The Daily Telegraph references in the article, “Want to Do Well in Life? Learn How To Talk To People.”
There are some articles that state Millennials want face-to-face communication over virtual communication, like this article in Millennial Magazine, “5 Reasons Millennials Actually Prefer Talking Face-to-Face.”
- Critical Thinking
“…[Millennials] need to reality test and filter the world around them for what’s true and accurate, and then apply that information to solve real problems with real people.”
Video: FaceTime and Skype Interviews:
Video is here to stay. Rather then having a face-to-face meeting at the office, several employers conduct video interviews through FaceTime and Skype.
This adds pressure to interviews because you can’t just look the part, you also have to think about other aspects like sound quality, lighting, background noise, and streaming quality.
Haas talks about the challenges of video interviews.
“In the same way that typos on a resume would detract from the candidate’s position, poor video or audio quality in a video interview would similarly detract.”
Video, while a digital medium, relies heavily on both technical functionality as much as it does personal communication, a skill that seems harder for Millennials to express with texting, group hangouts, and Snapchats.
I realized more and more, that I get fewer texts and more communication on social media like Snapchat, Facebook messenger, Twitter, and Instagram. It almost feels weird to text. And phone calls are only used for extreme emergencies or for conversations with family.
When we are use to filtering and framing are images and content, how do we develop those real-time, face-to-face communication skills?
Haas notes that video interviews let the interviewee be evaluated on a deeper level—subjectively and emotionally. Those face-to-face communication skills are becoming just as important to work on as technical skills.
As for the application process, employers have the technology to receive video resumes.
“Video is becoming more mainstream in the hiring context; however, most companies aren’t yet ready for it,” says Haas.
But, video interviews aren’t the only ways that companies are building relationships with employees.
In addition, companies are adding video messages to their career page of their website in an effort to energize their employer brand and reach out directly to Millennials.
Things to Think About as a Job Seeker:
We are all working on ourselves, especially in January.
While you map out your career plan and write your resume, think about these tips:
- Use online platforms (Twitter, Glassdoor, LinkedIn) to network with current and past employees at your dream job
- Write down three personal motivations for why you go to work
- Familiarize yourself with videos—you don’t want to be camera shy
- Work on critical thinking skills, face-to-face communication, and self-mangement
- Build your personal brand
“Many companies are moving to a more iterative, project based approach to product development. This approach often pulls in outside consultants, contractors and entrepreneurs who can lend their expertise without being tied down long-term,” notes Haas.