This article is part of an ongoing series profiling participants in the PubTech Connect conference, presented on April 20, 2017 by PW and the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Publishing.
Millennials are the core of today’s workforce: they’re the founders of startups, the digital-natives powering great brands, the engineers behind new ideas, the people pushing industries into the future. And no one understands them better than Kathryn Minshew, CEO and co-founder of The Muse, an ambitious and hugely successful online resource for millennials looking for jobs as well as for the companies that want to hire them.
Originally founded in 2011 by Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos (who is now the COO of the company) and Melissa McCreery, The Muse began as an informational resource for job-seekers looking for great companies, and has grown rapidly to encompass a widely-used job board, a content hub for career resources, and a platform for career counseling that serves millions. Minshew began her career as a management consultant for McKinsey and went on to work for the Clinton Health Access Initiative, before co-founding a career site for young women and then The Muse. She was twice named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media list and to Inc.’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech.
She speaks and writes prolifically on business and contemporary corporate culture, and is also the author of the forthcoming book The New Rules of Work, due out in April. She’ll be bringing her vast store of knowledge and experience to PubTech Connect, where she’ll be giving a talk entitled "Making Your Company Attractive to Millennials Today."
She talked to PW about today’s young workforce and how companies can make themselves into the kinds of places the smartest Millennials will want to work:
What’s different about millennial’s attitudes toward their professional lives from their predecessors?
Every generation brings something new to the workplace, and millennials are no exception. As a group, they tend to be highly educated, love to learn, and grew up with the internet and digital tools in a way that can be highly useful when leveraged properly. For better or worse, millennials are also often on the forefront of trends in digital consumption habits, whether it be short, social media-friendly videos or the much-maligned rise of multitasking.
What advice would you give companies looking to hire highly motivated millennials?
As a cohort, millennials are unique in their social consciousness, and they make decisions based on that awareness. Keep them engaged at work by showcasing a culture of paying it forward and tying the day-to-day into the larger purpose of the organization. Anything you can do to show a connection between employee value and work, such as providing opportunities for volunteering to a worthy cause, can go a long way towards keeping those employees engaged.
Millennials tend to appreciate regular feedback because they want to feel that their work matters and that they are making a difference in the workplace. As the youngest generation at most organizations, they also tend to be hungry for growth and development opportunities. Communicating with them regularly will give them the motivation they need to stay plugged in and motivated at work.
Feeling connected both inside and outside of the office is important for many in this generation. Managers should devote time to team-building and encourage socializing (within reason) to keep their teams excited and engaged.
Anything else companies seeking the best young employees should know?
There's a great quote I love by Laszlo Bock, who used to run HR at Google: "The only thing that’s different about the Millennial generation is that it is actually asking for things that everybody else wants."
Learn more about the PubTech Connect conference and buy tickets here.