Today’s young professionals belong to a generation that is famously getting a bad reputation. You may have heard them referred to as Millennials. Criticisms of this tech-heavy generation include: They are too social-media obsessed. They have no loyalty. They know little of responsibility and accountability.

In reality, most millennials are wildly misrepresented – especially in the workplace. They crave successful career longevity and advancement, are self-motivated and entrepreneurial, and they desire value in their respective workplaces. As they are rapidly becoming the largest population in the workforce, reconsider how you can attract, develop, and hold on to millennial talent. We can help shed some light on this generation, and give reasons as to why they are not the undesirable workforce that many believe they are:

Millennials Crave Career Advancement Opportunities

Millennials often get a bad reputation for getting and quitting jobs in rapid succession. However, consider this: when new graduates leave a position within 12 years, it is more often than not because they haven’t been engaged or challenged. Employees want to feel challenged and engaged, no matter their age. They want to provide value and substance. They want to know that rewards are certain and imminent. The fact of the matter is, they want transparency.

Provide details of opportunities for personal growth and career advancement in recruiting new employees. Make your investment in the success and longevity of their careers explicit. Highlight any internal mobility programs, mentorship programs, and encourage how employees can challenge themselves and grow over time.

Millennials are Self-Motivated, Entrepreneurial, and Ambitious

Contrary to popular belief, millennials believe that a strong work ethic and hard work are the keys to success. Craving autonomy and independence, millennials have an entrepreneurial spirit, many of whom desire to create and develop their own businesses. This self-motivation and entrepreneurial spirit can be misunderstood as headstrong and stubborn, but use this competitive spirit to your advantage as an employer and manager. Create fun competitions based on reaching goals.

Millennials Crave Quality of Culture

If there’s something true about how millennials are seen, it’s that they enjoy collaboration and sharing. This is evident in social media-openness, group texting, group gaming, and a preference for collaborative group projects. This collaborative nature leads many millennials to crave a strong sense of culture and camaraderie in the work field.

Employers can start using this collaborative nature to the best of their ability by hiring in groups. This will allow new employees a chance to experience a new environment and grow together. Encourage strong mentorship relationships to provide millennial employees with support and guidance. Include them in brainstorming meetings, encouraging them to share new ideas and new perspectives.

Millennials are quickly becoming the largest population in the workforce. For more information on what you need to know about millennials in the workplace, read this article on understanding the St. Cloud Millennial, written by a successful St. Cloud employee and member of the baby-boomer generation who works closely with many millennials.