Quick - Hire a Millennial Before They're All Taken!

In 2001, I was fortunate to participate in a small group discussion with one of the board members at Credit Suisse.  He asked us about what he called our "hot" issues – things that didn’t float up to his level but probably required immediate attention.  

I was on the derivatives trading desk and responded that we needed instant messaging…and fast.  His response was polite - but he was very skeptical, "instant messaging, seriously?  My teenage daughter uses that with her friends, but why would we need it on the floor?" 

I had been communicating both internally and externally with IM for at least 6 years at my previous firm.  Even though most transactions occurred over the phone, IM was a great tool to efficiently connect with clients and colleagues.  

Within a few years, practically every trading desk in every firm was utilizing IM.  We would have been left far behind if he didn’t have an open mind and allow us to push the ball forward with it.

Don’t forget a picture…

What is astonishing in 2013 is how much pushback we get when talk to people about incorporating social marketing into their process and creating a digital fingerprint.  

To think that the person sitting across the table from you is going to be sourcing information in 2 years, 10 years or 20 years from now the same way that person did 2, 10 or 20 years ago seems a bit crazy.  Not only is the technology different but so are the people.  

…And these people connect differently with their colleagues than we did and they speak in a different language than we did.  

It’s not just the Milliennials doing it.  

What percent of your peers still don’t have a LinkedIn profile?  My guess is that it is less than 10%.  And I’d be willing to bet that nearly all of them that are on LinkedIn, probably have included a profile photo.  

Would you have done that five years ago?

But it's not just LinkedIn... check out Trusted Insight.  They expect to have 100,000 LPs (allocators) on their site by year end.  AssetTV has 400,000 subscribers globally.  ACEportal has $1bn of transactions running through their technology….

“They” say it takes seven touches to convert a cold customer into a sale (I would argue with all of the noise out there, the number is much higher).  Social media should be a big part of that.  

Most Millennials use social media as an afterthought.  Don’t let their age fool you - they are experts.  They have been communicating with technology most of their lives.  The financial services industry will get dragged out of the 90’s at some point – might as well attach yourself to someone that is involved in leading the way. 

By JD David