Hiring a Millennial?

Here are some tips that can help, from knowing how to communicate with them (go Slack) to looking past the obvious stereotypes. These business leaders have figured out a few techniques–and one of them is to not focus so much on their age.

1. Look past stereotypes

“We need to first look past the stereotypes we label them with. Tap their ambition and sense of achievement by giving them freedom to pursue their interests. Experiences and memories are what they value. Understand they don’t respond to a structured path like past generations do.” – George Popstefanov, Founder and President of Fort Worth-TX based digital agency PMG

2. Know “the brand”

“Through our mobile ethnography work with Millennials, we’ve learned that they perceive themselves as brands. They grew up in the age of branding, and many were literally schooled on how to merchandise themselves through social media for college applications. What this means for employers is that opportunities and projects need to be presented to them in a way that’s motivating to them as a brand entity–not as an employee. They need to know what’s in it for them, their own growth and their personal development–not just how it will benefit the institution.” – Malinda Sanna, Founder and CEO consumer insights and technology company Spark Ideas

3. See the asset

“Millennials are arguably one of the most powerful assets that our agency has–they’re deeply engaged and their word of mouth is infectious. We’ve found that they thrive, professionally and personally, when they’re in a culture of openness and inclusion. At RQ, we’ve focused on building transparency and inclusion across all facets of our agency to encourage organic participation and continuous engagement. They’ve grown up with the internet, and they expect to be interconnected in all areas of their life, including their place of work.” – Brian Salzman, Founder of RQ, a relationship marketing company

4. Discover the passion

“We show appreciation to our Millennials by finding out what are they passionate about outside of work, then bringing it to work. For example, we have Bar Method trainers, chefs, political activists, personal trainers and more come in for everyone because I understand that their lives need to be more than just a 9-5. And this is coming from a Baby Boomer who ran for town mayor.” – Marshall Grupp, Co-Founder, COO and Partner, Sound Lounge, an audio post-production company

5. Scare them

“My approach to Millennials is to, well, scare the living hell out of them, then engage on a basic fundamental level, and then from there we can develop a productive work dynamic. It also helps to use words like Lit, Hesh and Pop.” – JJ Lask, cofounder and partner of creative editorial/post-production company PS260

6. Give them real responsibility

“The key to working with Millennials is giving them real responsibility and recognizing they want to actually do work. Millennials are independent-minded and want to do it their way. With clear goals, guidelines, and process to follow they can be given room to work their way while ensuring that the outcome is what is required. Win-win all around.” – Kristy Sammis, the cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer at influencer marketing agency Clever

7. Communicate constantly

“In order to work with Millennials, you have to use any and all communications possible to foster a sense of belonging, including Slack, Instagram and Snapchat. However irritating it might be that the bonus you gave in December funded your millennial’s three month tour of the Southwest in February, support their exploration and share in their joy. Encourage oversharing no matter how much it makes your Midwest/WASP/British Gen X heart cringe. Create a tone for internal communications that you would be delighted for the whole world to see, and an environment that will continue to inspire, support, and excite them.” – M.T. Carney, Founder and CEO, creative business partner Untitled Worldwide

8. See the merit not the age

“Millennials aren’t exotic house pets. They want the same things we all do-career growth, work / life balance, a decent wage, a positive environment. The difference is their multi-tasking, diversification approach to achieving them. So, when working with Millennials, managers need to take into account they believe merit, not tenure should drive respect and upward mobility. They value intangibles such as emotional intelligence, leadership qualities, communication skills and the ability to adapt quickly.” – Justin Tobin, the founder and president of innovation consultancy DDG

9. Encourage mentoring

“Millennials tend to want a balance of independence and structure. In our organization they lean on more experienced coworkers for constructive feedback and help with refining ideation. You want to empower them so they get the sense that you trust their skills and contributions enough, but also make yourself available for one-on-one sessions where they can share feedback, criticism, or any issues that arise in a safe space.” – Jeff Carvalho, the founder and Executive Editor of Highsnobiety

10. Share small details

“They’ve grown up in a culture of co-creation, sharing, and occasionally over-sharing. Leaders who aren’t open, or who’re perceived as guarded and mistrustful, will cause Millennials to disengage. Include employees in the inner workings of your business as much as possible through email, Slack, and Town Hall briefings. Share small details with them on a regular basis, not just the big stuff you think is important.” – Drew Ungvarsky, the CEO, founder and ECD of the digital firm Grow

11. Encourage friendships

“Millennials have always had the ability to educate themselves online, meaning they enter a job with not just a deeper understanding of a role and its responsibilities, but also with alternative approaches to those responsibilities. A stodgy employer–one who is unwilling to even entertain new approaches–exemplifies the traditional corporate structure all Millennials have been trained to avoid. When a Millennial looks around and sees his or her friends in environments where their creativity and ingenuity are valued and implemented and growth is possible, corporate stability and a competitive salary begin to lose their shine.” – Brady Donnelly, Managing Director and Founder, creative digital agency Hungry