Insights

Millennial Executives: Are Younger Executives an Answer to a Tight Labor Market?

Posted by Reed Flesher

The average age for an executive in the U.S. is 54 years old, but one trend now being seen for executive positions is hiring younger executives. With the oldest millennials now getting close to 40 years old, some recruiters and company search teams are starting to wonder if it may be wise to think about tapping this new talent pool. Is hiring millennial executives a good idea? Read on to find out.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Millennial Executives

Millennials share some distinctive characteristics that could make them a good fit for executive positions. They are almost universally tech-savvy, with in-depth knowledge of social media, computers, and in many cases, cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and robotics. Millennials also tend to be forward-looking and have high expectations for themselves and others.

Another trait that may make millennials well-suited to an executive position is their global world-view and experience with world travel. A millennial may have the global contacts and business experience needed to establish new markets and expand a company beyond the U.S. Furthermore, millennials highly value communication and relationship development, which are important traits for today’s executives to have.

Despite these overwhelmingly positive skills and abilities, the main drawback to hiring millennials is that they don’t have the business experience or expertise required for such a leadership position. Many millennials have the education required to become an executive, but they don’t have the years of decision-making experience or the hands-on leadership training that older executives may have.

Preparing Millennials for Executive Leadership

One thing companies can do to transition toward younger executives is to invest in professional development for up-and-coming leaders they currently employ. Instead of throwing a millennial into an executive position and hoping they prove to be equal to the task, it may be wise to set up mentorship and skills training so that these young leaders can grow into the positions that companies may want them to have.

Much like any other recruiting efforts, internal succession planning can be tracked and measured with a tool like Thrive TRM, which can import candidate profiles and track them for an extended period of time. Knowing whether succession planning efforts are successful will help companies fine-tune their recruiting efforts and plan for their future hiring needs accordingly.

Most millennials may not be ready for executive positions yet—after all, the youngest millennials are just turning 18—but the general qualities of this age group seem ready-made for leadership when they acquire the experience they need to apply their natural strengths to the workplace. Some highly educated and experienced millennials may be ready for executive positions. Considering these millennial candidates will fill a talent pool that would otherwise shrink as older Baby Boomers retire.

Thrive TRM can help with all your executive recruiting needs, making the process easier and faster so you can devote your attention to personalizing the search process and making your candidates feel welcomed and appreciated.  Schedule a demo to find out what Thrive TRM can do for your in-house executive search team.

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