How to Attract and Hire Millennials to Reinvigorate your Business with MV Python

Millennials were born in the Internet Age

Millennials are currently between the ages of 20-30. They are the newest generation in our workforce and are often heralded as early adopters of technology. Their lives have always revolved around digital technology and they represent the first generation on this planet to have always had access to the Internet. Every answer to every question has always been just a click or a tap away. Stop and think about that for a second. This generation has always been able to learn quickly and on their own time by searching online for articles and blogs, find anything with services such as Google Maps, watch an informative video on YouTube, or post a question to a forum for quick responses from domain experts. This generation is also used to sharing their life and their opinions instantly with the world via social media. They connect with like-minded individuals outside of their social circles about any conceivable topic. In other words, this generation is more resourceful than any previous generation. Constant access to all the information available in the world can change how a person learns and how he or she approaches problem solving later in life.

Millennials are very Resourceful and Competitive

Millennials are so used to the power of the Internet in their pocket that it is no surprise that they are often the first to learn about and adopt new technologies. This generation belongs to more online channels that connect like-minded people to similar interests and projects. Their “sphere of influence” is so much greater than previous generations that new ideas naturally flourish in a realm as wide as the web. Social Media has evolved to help citizens of the Web quickly sift through the vast amounts of data to focus on the news and alerts that cater particularly to their interests or their social connections. Today’s millennial developer is connected to the tech industry in more ways than previous generations with online community sites such as StackOverflow, KickStarter, GitHub, or even focused online technology groups such as HTML5 Rocks or the Python Community. It is very difficult to succeed in this global connected economy without relying on the knowledge and connections to others in a particular technology space. This new workforce is learning about cutting-edge technology from their peers as it happens and are not waiting to read about a new trend in a magazine article or industry journal that is published only monthly or quarterly (which is only one writer’s opinion at that point). Instead they are quickly involved in real-time activity and feedback with people they’ve never met via posts to web forums, tweets on Twitter, or technology threads on sites such as TechCrunch or Slashdot.

Millennials communicate beyond simple text in a competition to get the most views or votes by utilizing more interactive messaging, such as by #hashtags, acronyms, emojis, memes, and links to more info.  Otherwise short messages may therefore convey much deeper meaning, through several references to other popular ideas familiar within this new mashup of digital lingo. They are using these communication tools to find and quickly debate big ideas online that will shape our future. Millennials can be exactly what your business needs to challenge the status quo and to help cultivate innovation in your business. Ideas often originate from someone questioning why something is the way it is, and simply seeing the same problem from a different perspective.

Once hired, millennials are already used to working hard to get ahead because they often faced tough rivalry both in the job market and in their academics. According to the Atlantic, American universities are seeing an enormous rise in the number of international students over the last decade. Similarly, in the job market, more and more people are competing for the same tech opportunities, especially as telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular with the decreasing costs and increasing bandwidth of Internet connectivity around the world. This generation is doing everything that they can to stand out in today’s increasingly competitive job market. In an effort to be more competitive, many millennials are pursuing advanced degrees and certifications online because it is no longer sufficient to earn only a bachelor’s degree. By hiring a millennial, you will likely gain a resource that is more competitive, has attended more higher education courses, and is much more plugged into emerging technical trends that are born on the Web.

Advice for Recruiting Millennials for Longevity

If you’re thinking about hiring a millennial, there are several pitfalls to avoid. First, scanning resumes for work experience specific to your business can actually cause you to miss the best candidates. If you’re scanning resumes in today’s talent pool, millennials are typically the ones looking to land their first real gig in their chosen career field. Their resume probably has a more embellished education section, including their degree, emphasis areas, academic achievements, and even relevant school projects. It may include a thorough description of a recent internship, or how they demonstrated hard work and ethics through volunteering. Where these candidates lack actual work experience, they have an abundance of energy and an eagerness to prove themselves. Try not to focus exclusively on candidates who have hard technical skills as that is a much smaller (and usually more expensive) subset of applicants.  Instead, look for the soft skills hidden within their resumes that can help grow hard skills later (like initiative, hobbies in a technical area, competitive spirit, a willingness to succeed).

The second pitfall to avoid is hiring a candidate without a chance for both sides to “try on the job” through an internship. Internship programs have numerous benefits, but above all, they provide equal opportunity for both sides to decide if the match is a fit or not and are usually capped at a few months. Interns may even be willing to work for free or minimum wage, making the time for your staff to invest in mentoring and coaching the only real cost. Often interns expect to work on a project that will come to a completion prior to when their term expires, so that they can use it for their resumes and/or school credit. Projects can also be a great way to evaluate the intern’s hard and soft skills both for problem solving and for working well with the team.

The third major pitfall to avoid is that of maintaining a culture where younger workers will fail to thrive. If there are currently no millennials in your office, you may want to consider an internship or job opportunity for at least three candidates. You also need to continue this practice each summer for several years to have any shot at succession planning. Training these resources will require time from some of your most talented employees, so you want to be sure that this is time well spent. Training one resource is typically the same cost as training multiple. In my experience, if you train and hire three millennials in one year, one will likely leave within that time for another job opportunity, another will start in one department and likely transfer to another within your organization (still trying to find their calling in life), and the third may survive long enough to learn from your existing business and engineering veterans. Over the course of a year or two, one in three will survive your business, and it often takes this much time before they become truly valuable to your organization. As such, you want a vibrant young culture to emerge so that your millennial workers can make friends with their co-workers and their likelihood of staying with you increases as they gain social connections. The easiest way to create a more attractive environment for millennials is to have an annual intern program and hire more than one at a time. Let the interns see that there is potential for being hired and they will work even harder. Plus, they will bring the fun spirit and ideas with them to help evolve your company later!

Millennials Enjoy Working in Familiar Territory with Python

Now you’re probably thinking that even if millennials have all the initiative and resourcefulness in the world, you still need someone who can start being productive within the first few months of hiring them. This is where we need to find a bridge to your MultiValue (MV) world, where you can lead an inexperienced Python developer into your MV stack. Making your business application quickly accessible to an outside developer becomes the key factor in getting value out of your new hires as fast as possible.

If you’re looking at a resume with a Computer Science degree, chances are high that he or she studied and knows Python as an application language. In fact, Python is now the most popular introductory teaching language at top U.S. universities. Python provides an entry point into the MV world that is your business.  Rocket is pleased to announce that UniVerse 11.3 (released in Oct. 2016), UniData 8.2 (release in Q2 2017), and D3 10.3 (release in Q4 2017) will all include native Python Support. Read all about how you can “Quickly and Easily Harness a World of Open-Source Innovation with MV Python” in my other recent blog post. You can also find all the resources you need to get started today with MV Python at: http://info.rocketsoftware.com/u2Python.html

Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson 6 Posts

Pete graduated with a degree in Marketing from Kansas State University in 2004. Between 2004-2008, Pete has held positions in sales, recruiting, certified financial planning, systems architect and project manager for a “smart home” company, and starting an import and electronic integration business abroad in Costa Rica. Pete shifted his focus to the software world in 2009 in Denver, where he began as a QA Engineer turned QA Manager in 2010, then Release Manager in 2012. He graduated with a Masters degree in Technology Management from the University of Denver in 2013. Upon graduation, Pete joined Rocket Software, where he serves as both Release Manager and Program Manager for Rocket’s MultiValue products.

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