What propane retailers need to know about hiring millennials

February 15, 2018 By    


For any industry that wants to grow, it’s important to keep in mind the people who are entering the workforce. For propane retailers, this means changing a more traditional means of hiring to accommodate a new, quick-learning generation: millennials.

According to Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, by 2025, millennials will make up as much as 75 percent of the global workforce.

“As millennials become the dominant workforce, we need to become more aware of how to communicate with them,” says Eric Kuster, director of safety and certification at the National Propane Gas Association.

Millennials grew up with an extensive range of technology and social media. They seek information mainly through cellphones, laptops and tablets. In order to reach this generation, propane retailers need to incorporate digital technology into their business strategies, whether through their company websites, social media, e-newsletters or job websites, like Indeed or LinkedIn.

“This industry needs to think differently – what it communicates, how it reaches out to identify and pursue potential workers, and how it does its training,” says Jan Bray, founder and chief strategist at Bray Strategies. “We have to recognize our ignorance and our own inability to learn things.”

Bray also highlighted the importance of showcasing a company’s value and offering a career ladder to potential employees.

Millennials want to know they’re making a difference, and they want to know what they’re doing has value. Because of this, propane retailers must present them with information about the industry: why it’s important, how it’s changing the realm of energy and what millennials can do to improve it. Younger generations won’t seek out this information unless it’s presented in a clear, easy-to-locate manner.

“This industry has to have a career pathway, a career ladder,” Bray says. “If they [millennials] cannot find information on this industry or its career pathway, then they will ignore it.”

Millennials seek information mainly through cellphones, laptops and tablets. Photo: iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Propane retailers also need to illustrate the value they offer to potential employees, the economy and their communities. Millennials want to know they have both growth and learning opportunities at their companies; otherwise, they won’t feel compelled to stay.

According to Deloitte’s 2017 millennial survey, 38 percent of millennials globally would leave their jobs within two years if given the choice. These decisions could stem from a lack of growth, professional development or even monetary advancement.

“Be prepared that people today do not spend 25 years in an industry,” Bray says. “They [millennials] will move when they think it is time to move. They are a company of one. They want to make sure their work has value. And if they can’t do it with you, then they will find somewhere else to do it.”

Propane retailers need to showcase their companies’ achievements, milestones and community relations. They need to sell themselves to millennials through digital avenues and keep those avenues relevant and updated. It’ll benefit both their companies and potential employees.

“This industry, just like every other industry, needs to think about the people coming into the industry and how to meet their needs,” Bray says. “Because by meeting their needs, you’ll be meeting your own needs.”

Allison Barwacz is the senior digital media content producer for LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at abarwacz@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3796.

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About the Author:

Allison Kral was a senior digital media manager at LP Gas magazine.

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