How to Make Millennials Part of Your Small Business

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
Originally published on February 26, 2015. Last updated October 26, 2020.

Millennials: The generation that needs to grow up, stop texting, and needs a trophy for everything they do, right? At least that’s what many individuals think of them. However, it’s actually incorrect. In fact, a recent IBM survey shows millennials are a better generation in the workforce with stronger values and work ethic than 

How to Make Millennials Part of Your Small Business

many thought. Knowing this, if you’ve been wondering how to hire millennials for your small business, we have everything you need to feel confident.

What Classifies Someone as a Millennial?

If you want to feel confident in hiring millennials, it’s important to know key facts about the generation. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, Millennials are:

  • Between the ages of 21 to 34 years old.

  • Now the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S. population.

  • The first generation to be completely raised in the technology age.

  • Known to value community, family, and creativity in their work.

  • Interested in human capital and have invested more in it than any other generation.

  • More likely to have health insurance coverage during their young adult years.

Why Does Your Small BusinessNeed Millennials?

No matter how you slice it, millennials are the future leaders and workers of the country. Because they have such a keen understanding of technology, they’re extremely valuable to small business owners.

Furthermore, your small business needs creativity and employees who are forward thinking - all of which millennials are known for.

How to Hire Millennials

Millennials will play a large part in your small business’s future, so, what’s the best way to go about hiring them? Let’s go over five steps.

Step 1: Realize There Are Similarities Between All Generations

Sure, millennials grew up in an entirely different world than many small business owners and some of their more experienced employees, but this doesn’t mean they’re all that different. Millennials are actually very similar at the core.

In fact, millennials say performance-based recognition and promotions are a priority at the same rate as baby boomers do. Both millennials and baby boomers also say fairness, transparency, and consistency are the top three attributes they want in a boss (source).

In short, don’t be afraid of different generations - they’re not too different from yourself.

Step 2: Be Honest as You Interview

When interviewing millennials, cut out the fluff - be honest with them. They want to know how they’ll be treated and what is expected of them. Plus, because millennials have been directly impacted by Affordable Care Act, they’ll want to know if you offer health benefits.

Step 3: Look for Millennials That Have a Good Work Ethic

Though millennials have been given a bad reputation for being lazy, really, any individual from any generation can be lazy. As such, what’s the best way to know someone’s work ethic? Check their references.

It’s best to call at least three millennials’ references and ask their contacts what their work ethic was at previous jobs. This will give you a good idea of how they’ll work for you.

Step 4: Check for Work Experience and Schooling Combined

Millennials are more likely to focus exclusively on studies instead of combining school and work (source). Having said that, it’s important to watch for a millennial with both real-world experience and education combined.

Don’t hire someone who solely relies on either their education or real-world experience - they need a good balance of both to be a good, valuable worker.

Step 5: Hire Fast

Millennials are a pretty fast-moving group of people. They don’t like to wait long for things. So, if you interview a millennial who impresses you in person, on paper, and who has outstanding references, hire them. If you don’t you may lose out on an opportunity.

Related: How to Hire Right the First Time


Despite common misconceptions about millennials, they’re an integral part of the country’s workforce and are the future leaders of both small and large businesses. So, it’s highly important to understand how to integrate millennials into your small business and make them part of your plan to succeed.

What questions do you have about hiring millennials? Comment below.

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Topics: Small Business, HR
Originally published on February 26, 2015. Last updated October 26, 2020.


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