It’s the age of millennials. As of Q1 of 2015, this generation has surpassed Gen. X as the largest group in the U.S. labor force, according to Pew Research Center. There’s no doubt they’re changing the shape of the modern workplace, so companies have to make sure they can keep up.
One of the most radical differences between today’s workplace and that of previous generations is the presence of social media. It’s part of recruiting and, for many employees, the job itself. So don’t shy away from this change — embrace it. Here are three things millennials know about social media that you should know about, too.
1. Social Media Should Be Part of Your Recruiting Process
This generation wants to know what your company’s personality is. A report from Achieve found that company culture is the second most important factor for millennials when deciding to apply for a job — the only thing they care about more is what the company actually does or sells. The best way to express the organizational culture is over social media. Photos and stories that show what it’s like to work at your company can draw candidates in.
And using social media in your recruitment is great for you as well. According to Jobvite, 44 percent of recruiters say that using social media has improved both the quantity and the quality of the candidates they find.
2. Social Media Improves Job Performance
But don’t assume you should go back to business as usual once you get a candidate in the door. Social media can help your business outcomes as well. McKinsey Global Institute estimated that social media could add between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion to the economy by boosting things like communication, collaboration, and information gathering. It’s a tool for workplace productivity, and we should learn how to leverage it.
3. Social Media Isn’t Inappropriate
If you’re still feeling uncomfortable with the idea of social media in the workplace, it might be because you think of embarrassing Facebook photos of wild parties or unprofessional ranting on Twitter. But don’t let a few people’s bad judgment color your perspective. Social media can be used appropriately by people who know what they’re doing. And if anyone is experienced enough to understand the ins and outs of Snapchat and Facebook, it’s millennials.
A study by IBM found this interesting contrast:
- 27 percent of millennials say they “never” use personal social media accounts for business purposes.
- Only 7 percent of baby boomers say they “never” use personal social media accounts for business purposes.
So don’t worry: millennials can understand the importance of social media etiquette.
There’s no need to hide your head in the sand about the rise of social media. If you get proactive about leveraging its potential, your company will reap the benefits. And you’ll be poised to keep up with millennials as they evolve the workplace.