Entering the workplace in record numbers, Generation Y, has different demands for their careers than previous generations. “Demand” indeed, Gen Y, is the most overindulged, irresponsible and self-centered generation ever. I know because I’m in it. Exaggerations aside, Gen Y qualities are what the workplace needs.
Millennials are not enamored with corporate America; we saw family friends and our own parents laid off, lose pensions and sometimes their homes. The modern workplace needs renovating, and the changes desired by the Millennials will help everybody.
Understanding what interests and retains Millennials will help you secure top talent, keep them satisfied, make them productive and ensure they are not snatched up by a competitor.
Learn this fast, Gen Y won’t put up with hearing no replies in the job search process. We’ve rarely faced delays in acquiring information. We can look up the weather, see our March Madness bracket standings and download dubstep remixes almost instantly. Why do we have to drive across the country to meet with you when we could do a video interview? Why do we have to email you for months to hear how we did in our interview? Don’t treat us right in the hiring process and we’ll be gone quicker than you can say “skinny jeans.”
You won’t get our undivided attention. Our attention spans are constantly assaulted. If you don’t have some flashy, snappy job description or neat digital interviewing going on, then forget it. Hook Millennials by having something outrageously different about your employer branding. We Millennials were told we’re uniquely special, so we want to work for a company that is too.
Many of us grew up in houses where both of our parents worked, so we know the importance of work-life balance. We don’t want to be at work any longer than necessary. Why spend 40 minutes getting ready and drive in rush-hour traffic when all that is needed to complete the work is an internet connection? Telecommuting can help employers cost-wise. Perhaps evaluate candidates on their productivity, not the hours they keep. If telecommuting isn’t an option, a nice gesture would be allowing us to work in a neat looking office and/or allow us to wear jeans.
Pretentious, Sniveling Brats
Did I really receive a ribbon for coming in 22nd out of 23 runners at my sixth grade cross country meet? You bet your pension check I did. A 22nd place ribbon is burnt orange in case you were curious. We were raised with the self-esteem movement…and it shows. Our parents and teachers wanted to be our friends instead of authority figures. In the workplace, paying dues doesn’t work the same way as before. We think our voice matters; when we want something, we make sure everyone knows. Companies can benefit from this. Hearing input from outsiders or new hires can make a company even better. Instead of looking at years on the clock, look at our idea.
Yes, we Millennials are high-maintenance. Our parents told us we can do anything, and if we get strong mentors and excellent support, then maybe we can. We are the most educated generation after all. Our wanting more means companies have to be more. Candidates should know where they are each step of the hiring process, company culture should matter, job descriptions should be attractive, suggestions should be heard, good work should be recognized, management style should be reevaluated occasionally and companies should take advantage of new recruitment technology. Cupcakes should be given to the entire class…
Rajpreet Heir (Millanial) is Social Media Strategist and Community Manager at RIVS.com, a Chicago based digital interview software. Image drawn by Ely Tran.