ORLANDO, Fla. -- Millennials want to be mentored, Cam Marston, president of Generational Insights, told a packed session at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s national conference here on Friday.

Indeed, considering that the advisory industry’s talent shortage and need to attract younger employees as well as clients were among the topics dominating discussions at the conference, it wasn’t surprising that a session promising advice on recruiting for an “age-diverse” workplace drew so much attention.

Advisors who want to hire millennials, also known as the Gen Y generation who are in their 20s and early 30s, need to extend a hand, Marston said.

“Millennials seek mentors that will take an interest in them and help them grow towards goals,” he explained. “They’re used to feedback and they want it in the workplace.”

Advisory firms recruiting millennials must also focus on their needs and future, not on the firm or the owner’s background, Marston said.

“Talk about how you’ll train them, what they’ll do, who they’ll work with and how they will grow,” Marston suggested. “They also want to know who will mentor them and how they will be rewarded.”

Baby boomers shouldn’t assume millennials have the skills boomers had at their age, Marston asserted.

“To retain and motivate this generation, you must realize that their ‘life stage’ is much younger than their birth age,” he said. “You should subtract about 5 to 7 years from their actual age. This is a group that is transitioning into adult life behaviors later than previous generations.”

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