In my past blog posts I have provided many of my own opinions about Mentoring, Networking, Employee Burnout, Employee Engagement, and more. I have read many blogs, articles, and studies on how to “Recruit, Engage, and Retain” the Millennial Generation. So today I thought I would continue to put all of this research to the test. I decided to interview another Millennial that currently holds a professional position within a small, locally owned company. I know this individual to be a smart, dependable, ambitious, and caring person. I wanted to see what engaged him, and why he is so loyal to his employer. So I asked him the following questions:
- What is your current job title? What company do you currently work for?
Answer: HR Generalist, Strategic HR Partners
- How many employees does Strategic HR Partners currently have?
Answer: Currently, we have two full-time employees (my boss/owner of the company and myself), one part-time employee, and three contracted employees.
- How long have you worked for Strategic HR Partners?
Answer: 3 Years
- What attracted you to this company? How did you get started in this position?
Answer: In my senior year of college I was very set on finding a position in HR, when I started the job hunt this company really stood out. Through my professional network I was able to connect & talk to the owner of the company. At that moment she was only looking for someone to help her part time. But then after graduation the company grew to the point where I was brought on full time. I was very attracted to this job because I would be exposed to a variety of HR functions rather than specialize in one area.
- What do you like most about working there?
Answer: I love the variety of tasks and job functions. I am able to put my problem solving skills to work in order to come up with sound solutions that best serve our clients. Each day offers something completely new to work on, and it is always challenging.
- What keeps you motivated & engaged in the workplace?
Answer: I really appreciate that I have a lot of control over my own schedule. I have the flexibility to manage my time and to set my own priorities. Additionally, I am motivated by having the opportunities to work with so many different people and I am able to form productive relationships & expand my network. I have to opportunity to learn new things and research and gather information as new situations arise frequently. These constant challenges keep me engaged.
- Do you feel like you have opportunities to move up in this organization?
Answer: Yes. Because I have already moved up. When I started with this company I started as an HR coordinator doing more administrative HR duties. Now I am the HR Generalist and essentially I work very closely with my own clients. I have become the key contact for my client group when they have HR issues. With that being said I think that there is still a lot of room to continue to grow from a personal & professional stand point. As this company continues to take on more clients there will possibly be room to oversee new employees.
- Do you have a mentor within the organization? How has this relationship affected you or helped you in your career?
Answer: Yes I do have a Mentor and it is my boss/current owner of Strategic HR Partners, Cindy Davis. Having a mentor has contributed significantly to my growth. Within the organization Cindy is definitely my mentor. Not only has she provided me opportunities to gain experience but she also has challenged me to develop new skills. She is someone I look up to & value greatly.
- What kinds of things does Strategic HR Partners do for its employees to recognize & reward them for their dedication & efforts?
Answer: Because it is a small company, there are not as many formal rewards & recognition programs in place. I get paid vacation throughout the year, and essentially I have unlimited unpaid vacation/time off. I feel it is a reward to have the large amount of flexibility that I currently have. As long as I am meeting goals and deadlines I am able to start & leave when needed for personal affairs. To recognize my efforts my boss will take me to lunch or happy hours to celebrate our success. She also pays for training & development by sending me to conferences or seminars that I am interested in. I am also eligible for bonuses depending on the success of certain projects. All of these combined makes me feel appreciated & important.
- What is it like to be a Millennial working for a company like Strategic HR Partners?
Answer: It’s been overwhelmingly positive because of the benefits I have, the opportunities I get exposed to, and the experience that I have gained in my three years with the company. However there have been challenges in working for a small consulting business such as Strategic HR Partners. For example, I have had to prove myself & my abilities as an HR Professional each and every time to a new client because of my age. People question my abilities because they think I am too young/green to be able to tackle the tasks at hand. Despite the challenges of my age, this position has helped to prepare me to meet new people and be able to interact professionally and to create meaningful relationships. More importantly, I have realized that my opinions and contributions are valued and this organization cares for me as an individual and professional.
Reflecting after my interview with Jeromy, I came to the conclusion that have the flexibility in work schedules and tasks, as well as, being exposed to varieties of different HR challenges is what keeps this individual motivated & engaged. His strong relationship with his boss & mentor helps him to feel appreciated and recognized. Since he works for such a small consulting company he feel like his opinions matter, and he feels a sense of purpose when he gets to contribute to the success of the company. Overall, Jeromy stays because there is constant growth and development in his current position. Please share your thoughts and experiences in working for small companies. What were your favorite things about it and what were some drawbacks?
Photo Credit: All photos were provided by and approved for use by Jeromy Manke