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Recruiting, Retaining and Managing
Millennials: Insights from Interviews
Juan Meng, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Bryan H. ...
Attract, manage, and develop the
next generation of leaders in the
field of public relations and
communication.
Project B...
Who are the millennials?
No definitive agreement on birth years;
Experts agree that those born between 1982 and
2004;
Near...
Techno-
savvy
Connecte
d…24/7
Self-
confident
Self-
centered Unmotivated
Disrespectful Disloyal
Characteristics…
(criticis...
Characteristics… (be optimistic!)
PRSA 2015 International Conference 5
Results and Insights presented in this
workshop reflect interviews with
PRSA 2015 International Conference 6
36 millennial...
How did we do it?
PRSA 2015 International Conference 7
In-depth interviews conducted by
two classes in the fall of 2014
ADPR 3510 PR Research
 Phone, Skype, or face-to-
face in...
PRSA 2015 International Conference
9
 BBDO
 Chick-Fil-A
 Children’s Healthcare of
Atlanta
 Cohn and Wolfe
 Dodge Communications
 Edelman
 Fleishman-Hill...
What the millennial
professionals are saying…
PRSA 2015 International Conference 11
 Post job openings on LinkedIn
 Provide an honest job description
 Show them how the company fits into the community
 ...
PRSA 2015 International Conference 13
“Millennials want to grow quickly and rapidly
within a company. Promotion promises
retention. They have high expectations ...
 Insight:
 Millennials need to and want to be
engaged and motivated while on the
job. If they are bored or distracted,
t...
Receiving praise or acknowledgement for hard work
Working in a diversified office environment
Attending team outings befor...
PRSA 2015 International Conference 17
“Every day when I come in, I go over my
duties with my supervisor so that I know
what I am expected to accomplish that
day...
PRSA 2015 International Conference
19
 Guide them
 Offer safe opportunities to lead
 Challenge them
 Let them know it is okay to fail
 Allow them to explor...
“It is never too early for millennials to
become leaders.”
PRSA 2015 International Conference 21
Illustrative quote
“When you leave work, you should mentally leave
work.”
Work is an important part of life, but it shouldn’t take
over life....
PRSA 2015 International Conference 23
 Choosing a hobby that regularly forces a person away from
media or a cell phone for a few hours.
 Creating a schedule f...
“Even if work-life balance is the
millennials’ responsibility, employers
should value work-life balance and
understand tha...
What the executives are
saying…
PRSA 2015 International Conference 26
Approach
Aptitude
Attitude
Three A’s of Recruitment
PRSA 2015 International Conference 27
 Agencies look for people that are curious, creative
and have a global mindset; meaning that they are
culturally aware an...
 Millennials have to be incredibly smart. Public
relations or communications requires a genuine
global curiosity and an i...
 Employees must understand that they have to be
professional. They have to present themselves in a
way that is appropriat...
 Contribute to an organization’s culture
 Provide reliable service to an organization and its
client
 Demonstrate impec...
PRSA 2015 International Conference
32
Two-way communication
Challenging assignments
Opportunities for growth
Training prog...
1. Listen
2. Give opportunities
3. Provide experiences
4. communicate
PRSA 2015 International Conference 33
4 steps to eng...
“As a leader, if I don’t have that road
map [defined of millennial
employees’ goals] then they could
very well leave becau...
PRSA 2015 International Conference 35
“Millennials’ energy and personality
impact an agency positively. When
millennials are excited about their job
and their w...
PRSA 2015 International Conference 37
“A strategy to retaining millennials is to
provide opportunities to advance within
the agency. More importantly, recognize...
Real life stories in working with
millennials from Mickey Nall
PRSA 2015 International Conference 39
Thank you!
&
Questions?
PRSA 2015 International Conference 40
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Recruiting, Retaining and Managing Millennials: Insights from Interviews

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Attracting, managing, and developing the next generation of public relations leaders has emerged as a key challenge in the field. Though academic and trade scholarship addresses millennials in the general workplace, there is a relative dearth of information about millennials in public relations. This project offers a practical perspective of millennial professionals’ expectations of the field, and executives’ management techniques. As the numbers and statistics show an increasingly-influential group in the workforce, recruitment, retention, engagement, and development of millennials become crucial to organizational success.

Researchers, Dr. Juan Meng, Holley Reeves (doctoral candidate) and Dr. Bryan Reber, interviewed millennial PR professionals and the executives who hire and manage them. Several key themes emerged — relationships are key; workplace diversity is embraced; leadership development is expected; technological savviness is innate; and social responsibility is a workplace enhancement.

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Recruiting, Retaining and Managing Millennials: Insights from Interviews

  1. 1. Recruiting, Retaining and Managing Millennials: Insights from Interviews Juan Meng, Ph.D., University of Georgia Bryan H. Reber, Ph.D., University of Georgia Mickey Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide PRSA 2015 International Conference Atlanta, Georgia
  2. 2. Attract, manage, and develop the next generation of leaders in the field of public relations and communication. Project Background This project is funded by PRSA 2015 International Conference 2
  3. 3. Who are the millennials? No definitive agreement on birth years; Experts agree that those born between 1982 and 2004; Nearly 90 million individuals entering the workforce; 40% of employed Americans by 2020. PRSA 2015 International Conference 3
  4. 4. Techno- savvy Connecte d…24/7 Self- confident Self- centered Unmotivated Disrespectful Disloyal Characteristics… (criticism maybe?) PRSA 2015 International Conference 4
  5. 5. Characteristics… (be optimistic!) PRSA 2015 International Conference 5
  6. 6. Results and Insights presented in this workshop reflect interviews with PRSA 2015 International Conference 6 36 millennials PR professionals 39 PR executives who hire and manage millennials
  7. 7. How did we do it? PRSA 2015 International Conference 7
  8. 8. In-depth interviews conducted by two classes in the fall of 2014 ADPR 3510 PR Research  Phone, Skype, or face-to- face interview  Millennial PR professional  Questions focused on:  Recruitment and retention  Engagement  Leadership development  Work-life balance JRMC 7940 PR Foundations  Phone, Skype, or face-to- face interviews  PR executives who manage millennials  Questions focused on:  Recruitment  Engagement, motivation and development  Impact and retention PRSA 2015 International Conference 8
  9. 9. PRSA 2015 International Conference 9
  10. 10.  BBDO  Chick-Fil-A  Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta  Cohn and Wolfe  Dodge Communications  Edelman  Fleishman-Hillard  Golin  Jackson Spalding Participating organizations (partial list)  Ketchum  NBC Universal  Novelis  Ogilvy  Porter Novelli  Southern Company  The Coca-Cola Company  The Home Depot  UPS  Weber Shandwick PRSA 2015 International Conference 10
  11. 11. What the millennial professionals are saying… PRSA 2015 International Conference 11
  12. 12.  Post job openings on LinkedIn  Provide an honest job description  Show them how the company fits into the community  Offer them a flexible work environment  Let them ask questions  Show you can promote them eventually  Encourage a face-to-face environment  Give them long-term opportunities  Don’t overwork them too quickly PRSA 2015 International Conference 12 How millennials want to be recruited and retained?
  13. 13. PRSA 2015 International Conference 13
  14. 14. “Millennials want to grow quickly and rapidly within a company. Promotion promises retention. They have high expectations in the workplace and want recognition, praise and congratulations for their hard work. Millennials are more interested in companies who are involved in meaningful work—ones who have social responsibility contributing to a greater good.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 14 Illustrative quote
  15. 15.  Insight:  Millennials need to and want to be engaged and motivated while on the job. If they are bored or distracted, they may look for other job opportunities. PRSA 2015 International Conference 15 How millennials want to be engaged?
  16. 16. Receiving praise or acknowledgement for hard work Working in a diversified office environment Attending team outings before or after work hours Having opinions and ideas heard and valued by management Being paid well with the opportunity for a raise or promotion PRSA 2015 International Conference 16 Top Five Factors of Engagement
  17. 17. PRSA 2015 International Conference 17
  18. 18. “Every day when I come in, I go over my duties with my supervisor so that I know what I am expected to accomplish that day. If my duties were not clearly stated, my day would not have any direction and I’d be bored trying to create work for myself.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 18 Illustrative quote
  19. 19. PRSA 2015 International Conference 19
  20. 20.  Guide them  Offer safe opportunities to lead  Challenge them  Let them know it is okay to fail  Allow them to explore new interests  Pair them with veterans PRSA 2015 International Conference 20 How to turn fresh talent into the next great leaders?
  21. 21. “It is never too early for millennials to become leaders.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 21 Illustrative quote
  22. 22. “When you leave work, you should mentally leave work.” Work is an important part of life, but it shouldn’t take over life. A lack of work-life balance leads to unhappiness and it is definitely less tolerated among millennials. PRSA 2015 International Conference 22 How is millennials’ expectation on work-life balance?
  23. 23. PRSA 2015 International Conference 23
  24. 24.  Choosing a hobby that regularly forces a person away from media or a cell phone for a few hours.  Creating a schedule for each day, and sticking to it. Doing this ensures that enough work gets completed during work hours, which allows employees the chance to concentrate on other sectors of their lives while at home.  Supporting co-workers in their lives and hobbies outside of work, builds office relations and a sense of community. If employees feel connected to their coworkers on a personal level, they are more likely to be happy with their job, and less likely to want to search for a new one. PRSA 2015 International Conference 24 Ways to achieve adequate work-life balance include:
  25. 25. “Even if work-life balance is the millennials’ responsibility, employers should value work-life balance and understand that millennials have a life outside of work. Millennials value this highly, and it can go a long way toward retention.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 25 Illustrative quote
  26. 26. What the executives are saying… PRSA 2015 International Conference 26
  27. 27. Approach Aptitude Attitude Three A’s of Recruitment PRSA 2015 International Conference 27
  28. 28.  Agencies look for people that are curious, creative and have a global mindset; meaning that they are culturally aware and open to new experiences.  Attitude is probably the most important. PRSA 2015 International Conference 28 Attitude
  29. 29.  Millennials have to be incredibly smart. Public relations or communications requires a genuine global curiosity and an intellectual ability to quickly learn about multiple subjects.  Professionals have to use this acquired knowledge to come up with solutions on demand. PRSA 2015 International Conference 29 Aptitude
  30. 30.  Employees must understand that they have to be professional. They have to present themselves in a way that is appropriate to the environment. PRSA 2015 International Conference 30 Approach
  31. 31.  Contribute to an organization’s culture  Provide reliable service to an organization and its client  Demonstrate impeccable work ethic  Produce quality work  Strive for excellence  Receive constructive criticism and are not defensive Some qualities are desired from millennials: PRSA 2015 International Conference 31
  32. 32. PRSA 2015 International Conference 32 Two-way communication Challenging assignments Opportunities for growth Training programs Recognition of accomplishments Clear purpose of organization Set goals to achieve
  33. 33. 1. Listen 2. Give opportunities 3. Provide experiences 4. communicate PRSA 2015 International Conference 33 4 steps to engage millennial employees
  34. 34. “As a leader, if I don’t have that road map [defined of millennial employees’ goals] then they could very well leave because they could find another agency or someone else that could help provide that.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 34 Illustrative quote
  35. 35. PRSA 2015 International Conference 35
  36. 36. “Millennials’ energy and personality impact an agency positively. When millennials are excited about their job and their work, they can accomplish great things for themselves and the agency. It is important to keep millennials enticed to come to work everyday.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 36 Illustrative quote
  37. 37. PRSA 2015 International Conference 37
  38. 38. “A strategy to retaining millennials is to provide opportunities to advance within the agency. More importantly, recognize when the employee is ready to grow. By keeping opportunities in line with recognition, employees are apt to remain.” PRSA 2015 International Conference 38 Illustrative quote
  39. 39. Real life stories in working with millennials from Mickey Nall PRSA 2015 International Conference 39
  40. 40. Thank you! & Questions? PRSA 2015 International Conference 40

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