By Laura Gayle, Business Woman Guide

If you want to reach customers from the millennial generation, you might consider incorporating more millennial employees into your hiring strategy. Millennials, also referred to as Gen Y, are currently the largest living generation across the globe. At this point, they’ve been joining the workforce for years, and many are now transitioning to management positions. During this time, they've had a big impact on how modern workplaces are shaped.

As a business owner, you've probably observed the differences millennials display in their purchasing habits when compared to previous generations. They don't respond to traditional marketing methods; “in your face” advertising doesn't impose the same effect for them that it did for earlier generations. Yet, with a purchasing power of about $600 billion per year, millennials are a market segment you probably want to find ways to attract. To accomplish this, it's a good idea to think about adding more millennials to your team.

Millennials Know What Makes Other Millennials Tick

Millennials can play an important role in shaping your business' success. Look at it this way: If you want to attract this powerful demographic to buy your products or services, you'll need to know what makes them tick. And who better to show you than other millennials? Here are some things we know about millennial consumers:

  • Gen Y values experiences over possessions. Outdated ad approaches that throw things at them will fall flat.
  • A marketing strategy for millennial audiences has to feel like a natural experience. Traditional one-way advertising won't reach them; they want to be a part of the conversation.
  • Gen Y audiences view traditional advertising avenues as intrusive and largely ignore them — so newspaper, television, and radio ads won't grab their attention. In fact, they’re probably so busy reading news online, streaming videos, or listening to music on a streaming app that traditional ad formats wouldn’t even reach them, anyway.
  • Millennials are digitally savvy and frequently check their Twitter or Instagram feeds for interesting information. This group is more likely to listen to social media influencers than spokespeople for companies.
  • Millennials are socially conscious and community-oriented. They want to know how or why a product or service generally makes life better for people. “You need to have this” hard sales approaches won't work.

Reaching millennials requires a creative approach because they expect to experience a real value proposition. Businesses that can effectively deliver this will earn their brand loyalty, but it often requires a “native speaker” to make the delivery. By choosing the right team members from the millennial generation, you can shape a well-equipped team to develop solid marketing strategies and reach this target market.

Millennials are Good Problem Solvers

Gen Y believes technology offers a solution to most problems. They have adapted easily to accomplishing daily tasks via their smartphones, such as online banking, ordering groceries, taking classes, and even calculating taxes. They are strong multitaskers consistently looking to automation in search of faster and less expensive ways to get things done. Consider how valuable this trait is in a business setting.

  • Gen Y members are constantly connected digitally. They can share informed ideas about the best communication channels to reach consumers of their generation.
  • Gen Y values streamlined methods of buying (i.e. Amazon's one-click ordering) and can help employers develop appealing ways for other millennials to make their purchases.
  • They understand the urgency millennial consumers feel during a transaction, as they, too, want easy-to-access online answers and suggestions on demand.
  • In most instances, millennials want a fully automated customer experience from beginning to end; they can help provide unique ideas to get this accomplished.

Through automation, millennials can help their employers find ways to save money and stretch their budgets in a more efficient and, perhaps more importantly, an effective way.

Millennials are Disruptors

Millennials tend to be more altruistic than other generations and want to make things better for the world. Since they have a propensity to question the status quo, their disruptive mindsets can be pretty valuable when it comes to developing inventive marketing and sales strategies. Traits they display include:

  • Innovative ways of thinking and problem-solving
  • Tendency to question where things can be improved
  • Willingness to suggest new ideas not considered before
  • Eagerness to share their thoughts

Millennial employees can be a great barrier against the dangers of group-think. Companies that aim to move forward in a competitive industry should strive to avoid group-think because it creates a stagnant environment and dampens a company’s ability to make the best decisions. As natural disruptors and creative thinkers, millennials can easily help their employers hop this hurdle.

Millennials are Good Influencers

Millennials place a high value on the quality of their experiences. Consider how this can augment a marketing campaign: They have a full understanding of what millennial customers want in their brand experience.

Millennials are also social media experts. They know the best corners of the web to share thoughts and ideas, and they know what types of content their generation shares and talks about on digital platforms. If you want to bring your brand to the next level or to new market segments, put a millennial in the position to be a social media influencer and see how well they get the job done.

To attract millennials to your team you’re going to want to offer competitive salaries and opportunities for growth. Consider combining on-the-job training with certifications (if your industry has any), that way your employees know you’re invested in them. Try losing the traditional workplace hierarchy but make sure you’re providing feedback on their work. Offer to send some of your employees to trade shows and conferences. The ones who want to go will consider this a perk, especially if it’s in a cool city.

Working with millennials is easier than you might think. Companies that look past the negative stereotypes generally find there is a huge population of hardworking, energetic, positive thinkers wanting to take on responsibility. If you're looking to expand your team and simultaneously reach an important marketing demographic, try looking at millennial talent. Chances are, you'll find refreshing — and lucrative — ways to bring your company into the soon-to-arrive next decade.