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How to unleash the potential of your millennial workforce

Lee Nania, co-founder and COO, Marlin Green


When Toby Dixon and I founded Marlin Green in 2010, we’d identified a gap for a pan-European contract IT recruitment specialist and knew that a strong set of systems were essential for correctly processing the complexity of a multi-region market and delivering the high level of service needed to achieve a competitive edge.


Powerful processes, however, are only as good as the people who execute them. For us that meant looking for recruits who we could mould into Marlin Green’s ways of working. Presenting a blank canvas on which we could paint our processes, the secret to our success has been an ability to attract passionate, driven, graduates and transform them into industry big hitters.


However, finding and retaining young talent has been much tougher than we first thought. While the latest generation of job seekers has enormous potential, we’ve found that many are either ill-equipped to deal with the curve balls that the job can throw at you or they’re chronically impatient, losing focus or effort before their careers have had a chance to take off.


Fast forward to 2019 and our homegrown millennial talent is some of our most successful hires. How do we find the diamonds in the crowd? Here are the key lessons we’ve learned about finding and getting the best from your millennial talent.


Hire people with potential


The most effective way of unleashing potential is to hire people who already have potential.


The interview process is key here. Employing using complex questioning, psychometric testing to examine each candidate’s natural propensity for following logical processes in an intelligent way.


Through the interview process look at how they manage and conduct themselves. Assessing their ability to take instruction, follow process and meet deadlines. We like people who organise multiple interviews. It shows they’re serious.


Measure behaviour, not experience


Our graduates rarely come to us with experience. Even if they did, it’s not a good indicator of future performance. Behaviour is. Our rule is a candidate’s behaviour in life is a good indication of how they’ll perform at work.


If they love tennis, we explore how often they play, the energy they put into perfecting their art and their appetite for winning. We are testing their commitment and go-getter attitude for their passions, both of which are critical attributes for success in recruitment.


Trigger success early


Recruitment is an immensely rewarding career, but it can take time to realise the rewards. This is problematic for a generation that’s been programmed to expect instant gratification and think nothing of hoping from job to job.


To that end, we’ve developed a special programme of training and mentoring we call ‘Speedboat Management’. A fast-paced, intense training period, which is designed to deliver quick wins.


It’s a permission based, fast-tracking framework of close quarter mentoring that ensures our new recruits find both their feet and success quickly. In other words, we strap them in, hit the accelerator and get them wet.


Drive personal growth


Successful people ask for empowerment and crave responsibility. They want to feel that they’re developing their skills and that they’re progressing their careers.


We’re always pushing our people forward, backing them to achieve their goals and stretching them beyond their comfort zones. They grow personally and professionally quickly, often achieving a career milestone far quicker than they thought possible.


Empower ownership


Team PACE is a handpicked, mix-management group tasked with driving innovation in our environment, our culture and the way we work. Anyone can present an idea to the team, who then work to bring the chosen ideas to life.


The initiative has been created to ensure our people feel like co-owners in the business by helping them make meaningful contributions to the way it evolves.


In short, by empowering people with potential, giving them structure and support and helping them to taste success quickly, we’ve harnessed a powerful formula that brings out their best.


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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