Negotiating With Millennials: 3 Tips
There is no avoiding the fact that Millennials are fast becoming the base of the workforce, both in medicine and every other profession. As baby boomers face retirement, it is largely Gen-Ex that has to manage the new troops and tangle with the social entitlement that so often characterizes the new generation. Without slamming Millennials, it is within reason to note that they are the product of an upbringing unlike any that went before. While we may have spent hours in the library garnering information enough for one term paper, they have had access in minutes to more than enough. In terms of Millennial salary negotiation, that means the cards are largely on the table. Sites like salary.com provide candidates with salary ranges based upon all factors including age, experience, and even zip code. If you want to have any wiggle room, you’ll need to use some finesse. And if you want to use finesse, you’ll have to better understand your Millennial candidate. Here are three things to consider when negotiating with Millennials.
1. Mind the future
Though Millennials start out with reasonable salary expectations, surveys show that they also expect regular and rather weighty raises. One Canadian study cited an expectation of 12-14% increase in salary per year, an unheard of trajectory in times past. Add to that the belief, by 68% of millennials polled, that company loyalty is evident after only 7 months of work… You’ll need to make sure that your candidate has an accurate understanding of their future with your company. It may benefit employers to offer potential pay increases that kick in with more realistic loyalty. Consider a guarantee of renegotiation in two years, rather than one. The higher percentage may turn their heads – and the expectation of longevity will bolster your ability to retain these famously fickle employees.
2. Mind your role
Millennials have been mentored all their lives. Coaches, other parents, and adults in general, have taken every opportunity to step in and guide this generation. Unfortunately, that means Millennials are not good decision makers and even in adulthood look to others for advice and guidance. “Position yourself from the beginning of your relationship as a lesson instructor or a coach/mentor,” says educator Jon Bardos. Though Millennials have facts at their fingertips, they respond incredibly well to a personal delivery. Instead of just countering an unrealistic salary request, consider educating your candidate about the reasons and factors that make the expectation unrealistic. Offer the sense that you’re on their side and have everyone’s best interest at heart and you’ll meet with better results.
3. Mind the perks
Thanks to being constantly scheduled and entertained during childhood, millennials value opportunities to continue the fun. Be sure to highlight the aspects of your organization that fit into that schematic. What does your company culture offer in terms of fun? Whether it’s a bi-annual barbeque or casual Fridays, you’d be surprised to discover what a difference that may make. As part and parcel of the same thing, Millennials differ strongly from previous generations in the value they place on friends and family time. Flexibility and vacation time are key components of negotiating with Millennials. Don’t forget to highlight the perks. Millennials are willing to take a cut to the bottom line if they feel the quality of their lives will actually increase.
Though sometimes difficult, compassion for the Millennial candidate is key. After all, whatever seems off is probably the work of your own generation overcompensating for the lack of attention and care of previous generations of parents. Stand firm in a role of authority, promote realistic expectations on both sides… and have a little fun.