Millennials: Tips for hiring and working with 20-somethings


Kirk Hulett

Kirk Hulett, senior vice president of strategy and practice management at Securities America Financial Corp gave a presentation Tuesday morning at BSC in Dallas on the challenges and opportunities in leading the millennial generation. [And he’s broadcasting live from BSC here.]

Hulett told attendees of FPA Business Solutions 2010 that the millennial generation—those born between1980 and 2000—are the fastest growing demographic of workers, and as business owners, you will be hiring them. For many business owners, that means you’ll have to change the way you lead and manage.

Here are some highlights from Hulett’s session (and you can download the session handout):

Some attributes of Millennials are:

  • They’re intuitive technology users
  • They’re multitaskers – but this can be to their detriment
  • They prefer to type rather than hand-write
  • They’re connected and that’s important to them
  • They have no tolerance for delays
  • They have short attention spans

To successfully hire and employ Millennials:

  • Clearly and repeatedly communicate your business vision and mission, and why your product /service is important
  • Create opportunities to solve problems
  • Encourage and reward innovation
  • Provide clearly defined goals and strong leadership
  • Allow them to take risks and try new approaches

Additional words of wisdom from Hulett:

  • Millennials’ most frequent descriptions of a good boss: “Laid back”
  • Job shadowing is a great approach to use with Millennials
  • Don’t use your experience as a point of reference of how to manage and develop Millennials. “Don’t be the 8-track tape to their iPod!”

Read Kirk Hulett’s latest article “When Should I Re-Hire?” in Practice Management Solutions magazine.

Carly Schulaka
Managing Editor
Practice Management Solutions magazine
Financial Planning Association
Denver, Colo.

3 thoughts on “Millennials: Tips for hiring and working with 20-somethings

  1. I am a member of the so-called millenial generation born in 1981. I have also hired two with only limited success. My tips based on experience with those I have hired: Be prepared to micromanage as they may not be self starters. Be prepared increased prevalence of narcissistic personality traits and keep them busy. Five minutes with nothing to do will turn into 30 minutes wasted on something other than work as they may lack in being proactive. Beware of the stereotypes as we don’t all suffer from laziness and a sense of entitlement. We are the future of this business and we are the first generation who will start as independent planners and stay that way. Watch out world..

  2. I’d respectfully disagree with Justin’s comment. Everybody’s experience is different, but I’d agree with the speaker’s bullet points over Justin’s points.

    If you want to meet some of the most impressive planners I know, come by one of the FPA NexGen events. We will have a track at the national conference this year, and we’d love to introduce you to those that are the next generation of financial planning.

  3. As a member of FPA NexGen and as a Millenial, I agree and disagree with points in this article:

    – I work in spurts. I will be highly productive for a several hours, but then my brain needs to decompress for a short while. This cycle can happen 4-5 times a day.
    – I get frustrated with the mantra “If it ain’t broke….”. The mantra should be “If it’s not the best for clients, if it’s not the most cost-effecient for our business, if it’s not making the best use of our resources and it’s not cutting edge, then change it.”
    – I have to have clearly defined goals in order to achieve. If I’m told that I need to be this good by this time, or have this done by this time, you can bet it will be done early.
    – I appreciate views from planners who have been in the field for numerous decades. However, I’m a trail-blazer and tune out to the advice sometimes – some of it is just not relevant to my situation.
    – I learn by making mistakes, but please let me be in an environment where I can make them!

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