How to Interview and Manage Millennials

by | Farr Factor

Some tanning salon owners find it difficult to manage their younger workforce.  Baby Boomers were raised to believe that having a job was a privilege, while Millennials grew up receiving trophies just for showing up.  Needless to say, these vast differences between both groups can lead to frustration and misunderstanding.  Managing Millennials can be trying at times, but it’s not impossible.  Here are some tips to help you bridge the Generation Gap in order to lead your employees:

How to Interview Millennials

If you struggle to manage Millennials, you might be tempted to say, “Well I just won’t hire anyone in their twenties.”  Such an outlook is not realistic.  Unless you’re willing to pay upwards of $14 an hour for your bed cleaners, chances are good that Millennials will be the ones applying for your salon’s job openings.  Since this is the case, it’s important to properly interview these 20-somethings when they’re in your salon.

During the interview process, probe to see what their work passions are.  As they answer, pay close attention to whether this person might be able to walk the walk, so to speak.  To do that, get them to open up about their past work experiences and why they were successful.  Also ask them what they hope to learn from working for you.  Here’s a hint: Only wanting a paycheck is not a good enough answer!

Something else regarding the interview process – rather than asking simple questions that require a yes-or-no answer, try asking open-ended questions that require applicants to provide more detail.  Here are some examples of open-ended questions you can ask your Millennial applicants:

  • “Tell me about a time in one of your past jobs where you had to find a way to turn around an irate customer.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to resolve an issue between yourself and a fellow employee. What did you do to fix things?”
  • “Describe the best boss you’ve ever had and what made them such a good leader?”

Once You’ve Hired a Millennial

Every boss wants to get the most out of their employees.  I recommend every salon owner treat their employees the way you would like to be treated.  When you do your best to make your employees feel appreciated, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for you and your business.  Millennials are no different.  But how do you motivate a generation who received trophies just for showing up?  Generally speaking, offer recognition for true performance, such as consistently high PTA and EFT closing ratios, and true effort.

To better help you manage your Millennials, here are seven easy tips any salon owner can utilize:

  1. Provide solid structure in the way of policies and procedures.  For example, making it clear that they cannot use their cell phones during shifts.
  2. Provide them with flexibility in the area of customer service.  For example, your younger staff members shouldn’t need permission to give a free tanning session away to pacify an angry client.
  3. Let them earn your praise and show them how they can do this.  Remember, too many members of “Generation Snowflake” were given far too many participation awards.
  4. Remember to keep the lines of communication open. This generation is used to talking directly to authority figures.
  5. Don’t be afraid to challenge them.  Millennials grew up playing video games and continue to do it into young adulthood.  They often respond well to product and membership sales contests, etc.
  6. Utilize their love for tech.  Millennials practically grew up with cell phones in their hands.  Put their social media skills to good use by letting them help with your online marketing.
  7. Take the time to train them. Millennials respond well to learning from peers and online training.

Why Managing Millennials is Important

Do your Millennial employees drive you crazy?  You still need to learn how to properly manage them.  These kids will make up the majority of your work force, and you’ll need to overcome the generation gap between you and them.  Yes, they’re a lot different than you and other people your age, but you can motivate them to give you their best.  That’s the essence of human resources management, after all.  Good luck!

How to Interview and Manage Millennials

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