LIMA — Millennial job hunters are looking for opportunities for rapid career advancement and to use their lifelong learned technology skills, and it is proving to be no exception for those seeking jobs in the education field.
“This is how we have to adapt to attract new employees,” said Lima City Schools Superintendent Jill Ackerman.
Ackerman said the district first experienced a big wave of Baby Boomer retirements two years ago, but a group of technology-driven, hard-working people have shown an eagerness to step in and apply their skills.
“The younger kids are much more tech-savvy,” Ackerman said. “They are being taught in a different fashion, and they have been around technology their whole lives. They grew up with it.”
The sky is the limit as far as creativity for using technology. Some teachers have used Microsoft PowerPoint to create review games based on famous game shows such as “Jeopardy.” Some have students use PowerPoint presentations that incorporate photographs, diagrams, sound effects, music or video clips using smartboards, iPods and other devices for learning and creating class webpages.
Ackerman said the school held a technology workshop Feb. 17 where teachers could pick out from a variety of technology-driven educational training ideas that was very popular.
Ohio Northern University Human Resources Director Tonya Paul agreed that Millennial job seekers are definitely standing out in the technology field. She said signing up for benefits and other employee perks is often done with technology, and Millennial hires need no explanation.
“Sometimes you will have to try to explain things with an older generation,” Paul said. “With the Millennials, they simply ask, ‘How do I log in?’ That’s all they need.”
Paul said one main difference with Millennials vs. prior generations is that they want to know they are doing a good job. She doesn’t see it as a negative so much as a difference.
“Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to stop and comment on how they are doing,” Paul said. “They want to engage; they want to know that they are doing a good job and are doing what is expected.”
Ackerman said that Millennials are also looking for flexibility in their work schedule and for opportunities for advancement. In a recent Pew Research Center study, researched found opportunity for rapid advancement rated as the No. 1 job attraction, ahead of both wages and training programs available.
“The Baby Boomers were a very loyal workforce,” Ackerman said. “The Millennials are more forward-looking, so skilled labor positions such as a custodian or a maintenance worker have lost the negative stigma to them.
“They see it as an opportunity to work their way through, and they are more eager to start where they need to start.”
Waynesfield-Goshen Superintendent Chris Pfister said that the differences are very noticeable, but he could not say any of them are negative.
“We have hired some very good people,” Pfister said. “They are bringing new ideas and new approaches that are very helpful. They are very hard working and are very used to technology and social media.”
Ackerman said that the Millennials are very used to social media, and sometimes appropriateness has to be communicated to them when seeking employment in certain positions.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm