How to Hire and Manage Talented Millennials To Field Service

 

 

Are you looking to hire a few good Millennials to join your field services team? These (relatively) younger workers are growing up and coming into their own, and you’ll be hiring more of them as your Baby Boomer technicians retire. You’ll have to follow some new rules if you want to attract them into your employ and manage them successfully, but we suspect you’re ready to embrace them.

(By “them,” we mean the new rules and the millennial workers!)

A Brief Overview of the Millennial Worker

Before we offer some tips to effectively hire and manage Millennial workers (which, by the way, were born somewhere between 1981 and 1997), let’s look at some stats to put this conversation into context:

  • Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce—and they’ve already surpassed Gen X-ers (Pew Research Center)
  • The Millennial population, on the whole, is to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million (Pew Research Center)
  • By 2050 there will be a projected 79.2 million Millennials (Pew Research Center)

Now, factor in some conventional wisdom:

  • They love technology (they’re “digital natives,” after all)
  • They value a work/life balance
  • They want to share responsibility (they’re in a life-stage with career growth ahead of them)
  • They’re eager for feedback, thanks to a can-do attitude
  • They’re socially responsible and value “giving back”

The takeaways? In the foreseeable future, there will be more Millennials in the workforce and they’ll be making up a larger share of your workforce. And you’ll want to tweak your hiring and performance management practices to accommodate their preferences and expectations.

So let’s get right down to it:

How to Attract Millennial Field Service Workers

You might be used to interviewing and hiring experienced technicians who are part of the Baby Boomer and Gen-X generations. What sets Millennials apart is that they’re younger and less experienced. And while that’s obvious, what might not be so obvious is that attracting them to your organization requires a “twist” on the same old, same old. That means that you’ll want to…

  • Appeal to their love for technology – make sure your job postings and interview script includes references to your company’s tech-tools. Put your use of technology up-front-and-center. Millennial field services professionals are sure to be familiar with mobile fleet management tools, and they’ll certainly expect to use them on the job. Get acquainted with The ABCs Of Telematics.
  • Leverage social platforms – find these workers where they’re at, which, at least some of the time, is online. And if they’re using a social networking site like LinkedIn to look for work, you’re going to want to be there where they can see you and check out your company profile. You can find them through common connections or through paid job postings, so long as your company has a social presence. For more, read Social Media Marketing Tips For Field Service Businesses.
  • Highlight your community or environmental causes – if your field services company is dedicated to serving people in a special geographical area or you’re making strides toward “going green,” Millennials will appreciate it. And if you can give them a way to participate in your cause, all the better.

 

How to Manage Millennial Field Service Workers—and Keep Them Happy

Managing millennial workers takes an understanding of individual needs. These workers might lack the years’ worth of experience of your other technicians and they’re in the process of developing their professional skills. That’s not to say they need their hands held through the workday, but they might need extra support. But it’s worthwhile because Millennials generally want to perform well and take their careers to the next level, which means they just might be a future leader of your operation. Some ideas…

  • Appeal to their love for technology – again, these workers grew up with technology and are comfortable picking up new, tech-infused ways to work faster and better. As early adopters of technology, they can even help you champion new technology solutions you introduce to your workforce. So let them. And make sure you provide them with the tech tools and resources they need to get their work done. (If you don’t, they can easily find a competitor who does. But let’s keep this positive!) 
  • Encourage them to build relationships – with coworkers and clients alike. They’re used to working on teams (they got a lot of practice in high school and college), making field service jobs a great fit for the more socially minded folks. They can bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to your internal team. And you can depend on these workers to drive your customer relations forward—take advantage of their willingness to develop personal relationships with clients.
  • Support career growth – provide mentoring, coaching, job training, and opportunities for advancement.
  • Invite them to provide feedback and suggest solutions – appeal to their need for “constructive criticism” and desire to make things better. They value meaningful work and will seize opportunities to share their concerns and contribute their ideas, all for the “greater good.”
  • Reward them – like all workers, they want to know their efforts are appreciated—that what they do matters. This is particularly important to Millennials, so be sure to pat them on the back. A formal rewards and recognition program is a great way to motivate employees of all ages, but your younger workers might be especially receptive to it.

 

A Final Thought

Forbes contributor Micah Solomon wisely says, “Although there are, on average, differences between generations, they are dwarfed by the sharper distinctions you’ll find between individual human beings.  And individual human beings, rather than generations, are what make up a workforce.”

So don’t ignore these 5 Must-Haves to Attract and Retain Your Workforce-on-Wheels, because they’ll apply to everyone on your team. And while you’re at it, follow these 5 Tips To Take Care Of Your Field Service Workers.

 

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