Why Millennials are a Gift to HR Shared Services

According to Forbes, “Millennials… will be 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.”  That’s a good thing for the HR Shared Service Centers.  Here’s why:

Most service centers operate using the Tiered Service Delivery Model.  Therefore, they’re banking on Self-service to maximize “Tier Zero Resolution.”

For years, the greatest challenge an HR Shared Service Center faced has been user adoption – getting employees to use the Self-service portal, instead of emailing or calling Tier 1.    HR has brought in marketing experts and change agents to devise strategies and  tactics to get more employees to go to Self-service first.

So, why’s the Forbes’ forecast (Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025) good for shared services? Because Millennials prefer self service channels.  You don’t have to sell them on the idea.  They automatically go there, because that’s who they are.

A growing percentage of your employee population is hard wired to use HR self-service.  That’s good, right?  Of course it is.  But while every challenge presents a new opportunity, the converse is also true…

Every opportunity presents a new set of challenges.  Call me a cynic, but I swear – it’s true.

While the influx of Millennials means more portal visits, they expect a superior portal experience than Generation X and The Baby Boomers do.  This means you’ve really got to get your portal right.

A Portal Party Metaphor

Think of it as if you’re throwing a party to impress the cool kids.  Throw a great party, and you’ll  win their loyalty.  Deliver anything less, and they’ll be reluctant visit your house again.

Priorities of the Portal Party Planner

When designing an HR Self-service portal that your Millennials will love, there are five factors to focus on.  Those include appearance, content, personalization, presentation and mobility.

Get the Décor Right

So, it looks like a lot of people will show up at the party.  Your house better look great.  That’s the first thing they’ll notice.  How are the portal graphics?  Does the home screen grab their attention?  Or does it look like a bland IT support screen?  Getting the graphics and design right may seem superficial, but it matters.  A lot.

Stock Up on Consumables.

While appearance matters, you can’t eat the scenery.  Stock plenty of food and beverage.  In portal parlance, that means knowledge base content, service and transaction tools like chat, smart forms, and the like.  Stock up. No guest should leave unsatisfied.

Know Who Your Guests Are

Do you know who’s coming to the party?  Not just the group, but the individuals within the group? Who’s a vegetarian?  Who loves sushi?  Who likes hipster cocktail party music?  And who likes double IPA’s?  Match the content to your guests.  In other words, make sure your knowledge base is serving the right answers to the right Millennials.

Presentation Counts

Millennials are picky people when it comes to the experience.  So simply personalizing the content may not be enough.  You also need to serve it with style.  Do your Knowledge Base articles all have the same easy-to-read font?  Are they short and pithy?  Do they contain enough graphics and videos?  Delivering content that’s correct is one thing.  Making it delightful to consume counts too.

Mobility Matters

Every Millennial is inextricably linked to their cell phone.  You can throw the best portal party in the galaxy, but if they can’t get their on their smart phones, they’re probably not going to show up. So, make sure your Portal is optimized for mobile access.

In Summary

Millennials’ preference for self service is a boon to the HR Service Center.  But their insistence on a great portal experience requires that HR cover five key areas when designing the employee portal.  Those five are appearance, content, personalization, presentation and mobility.  Cover these bases well, and you’ll win their loyalty.


Millennials love a good party, so give them what they came for.

Millennial Party