Why Some Companies Fail When Hiring Millennials For Social Media
It’s All About Setting Expectations
As a business owner or an executive in charge of a marketing department: Would you hire a young professional and expect them to immediately be up to speed, know everything about your company’s mission, take complete control and be ready to go as soon as they start? Would you put them in charge of any department and let them roam free without guidance?
What Companies Do Wrong When Hiring Millennials
Yet that’s essentially what many “seasoned business people” expect of millenials and social media. Because they (millenials) grew up with social media they should know how to apply it to business marketing, right? Specifically to your business marketing plan, right? Wrong.
Companies often fail when hiring millennials because they set the wrong expectations out of the gate. The company essentially tells the their new hire: “Here’s our company information. Go “do” social media for us…” They forget that marketing with social media, like any business function, takes training. There’s a learning curve.
Someone in the company needs to…gasp…spend time teaching (dare I say mentoring) the people they hire – especially millenials. They’re learning about the business world (just like you did when you first got out of school Mr. CEO or Ms. Business Owner. Remember that?) Don’t blame it on the person you hire. Don’t put them “in charge” on day one. Give them the opportunity to learn, grow and eventually lead.
Take a step back and realize you have an amazing opportunity in front of you…
The Opportunity to Mentor and Develop Tomorrow’s Leaders
Just to put it out there: If you want someone to hit the ground running without much training then yes, you need to hire someone with a few years of experience in your specific field.
If you’re hiring an intern or a recent grad to run your social media:
- Provide leadership. The fact that millenials understand the inner workings of social media is a great start. Combine their knowledge of social media with your expertise in marketing to create success. Roll up your sleeves and lead.
- Provide time. Realize and create reasonable expectations with time. Yes, you’ll need to invest in your new hire. The key word is invest. If you don’t have time to train then don’t hire someone that needs training. If you can make the time – you can enjoy the ROI.
- Provide guidance. As with any employee or contractor – set up a system for feedback. If something goes wrong, let them know what went wrong then teach them how to correct the problem.
- Millennials don’t have to “un-learn” outdated marketing strategies. Social media is still a new(er) medium and only a part of your company’s marketing strategy. A millennial won’t say “But that’s they way I’ve done it for the last 15 years; why should I change now?”
- Millennials can grow with your company. Your social media strategies are going to change. A lot. That recent grad is used to the fast paced world of social media and, with your help, will change and grow with you as your company’s marketing needs shift at a faster pace.
- Millennials can teach YOU. Yes, you read that right. Ray Kroc said “As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot.” The most seasoned business person should still be learning. Millennials provide fresh insights, new ideas and opportunities you might not have thought about.
At the end of the day, the question to ask yourself is: Are you ready, willing and able to be a teacher and mentor?