LIFE LESSONS OF A HEADHUNTER: Millennials Schmillennials

While 1 in 4 Millennials might say they are feeling overwhelmed by debt, the rest of us in the working world are feeling overwhelmed with dealing with them. Them being the millennials, the GenY’ers. InfoGraphic Millenials Preparedness Gap, Ashton & Associates Recruiting

Millennials are the generation of people born between 1982 and 2000. Other’s say they are those born in the early years of the 2000’s. I’d say it includes all of them. It is generally accepted that the years are not set in stone. And as a recruiter, I’d have to say I am a bit more than overwhelmed with them — I can be as frustrated as many of the employers I am called on to help.

Millennial Perceptions

While 66% of business leaders say hard and soft skills are equally important for success in the workplace, the same percentage (66%) of millennials believe that older generations don’t understand them. Really?

What older generation ever understood the ones coming up? My parents certainly never did. But then nor did they try to stop me from getting out on my own to learn how to live life on life’s terms. Thanks Mom. It worked.

69% of millenials are confident that graduating from college is a sign that one is prepared for the workforce.

Qu’est-ce que c’est, a sign? What do you do with a sign? Preparedness for the workforce means things like organizing your life so that you can get to work on time. And not bringing your personal life to work with you. Or how about being grateful that you have a job? Can’t anyone under 25 put in a day’s work without posting it as an accomplishment on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr… what-EVerrrr.

Millennials are being touted the biggest group of customers on the planet — deal hungry, money driven and tech crazy, yet so many of them don’t know what it is to buy their own car and pay the insurance and put gas in it, never mind figure out how to turn on the washing machine.

So how do we, the work-ethic-is-everything boomer generation cope with hiring and doing business with a group who have such widely divergent value systems from ours?

First, what are their values meant to be?  I have met some wonderful under 25’ers who work hard for and appreciate everything. The foreign students we are privileged to have at our Canadian colleges and universities teach us loads about work ethic and commitment.

As for so many others, I can tell you I have personally witnessed some pretty outlandish behaviour. One fellow I recently recruited could not understand why I was upset when he waited until after both I and my client had interviewed him and offered him the job, to announce that he needed to take 3 weeks off in the coming two months because his parents were coming to visit from England. The lad was bright and had skills in high demand. I would have turfed him on the spot but the really surprising thing was my client thought it was okay. Because he’s a millennial too! No surprise that that employment relationship didn’t work out.

Millennials and GenY’s might be the future of the workforce, but it seems they are more interested in shaping work around their lifestyle than doing a good job.

What were their parents thinking?

Research shows GenY’s have a huge sense of entitlement compared with older generations of professionals. Just check out the numbers on the chart.

Expectations for higher pay = 74% of respondents, flexible work schedules = 61%, a promotion within a year = 56%, more vacation and personal time = 50%!!!!

So what are we really talking about here?

recent report by Bentley University for example, found more than half of corporate recruiters rated recent college graduates with a grade of C or lower for preparedness; nearly seven in 10 said young workers were difficult for their organization to manage. The Pew Research Center found that more than half of college presidents thought today’s students were less prepared, and studied less, than students did a decade ago.

Barbara Ashton is the President and Founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting.
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This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google.