How Millennials Can Thrive in Your Workplace

Jason Dorsey at SmartRecruiters

“There is no one perfect employer, we’ve never visited a company that has done it all right. They get some of it right, but not all of it.“  Jason Dorsey explained the key is being willing to meet in the middle and accept what every generation has to offer.

In part 2 of our sit down with Jason Dorsey, a best selling author, keynote speaker, television guest, and Chief Strategy Officer, told us he travels the world evaluating workplaces to create more productive offices that respect each generation and are able to capitalize on all of their talents.

“There’s this perception that other generations either thought they had to cater to Gen Y or they thought Gen Y had to cater to them,” said Dorsey.

This is a stereotype I am all too familiar with; my generation (millenials) is always being accused of having a sense of entitlement.  Dorsey explained this isn’t the case, when it comes to multiple generations working together, there needs to be understanding and respect. The misunderstanding between generations has unfortunately led to a hesitance to hire, and power struggles within the workplace.

Jason Dorsey at SmartRecruiters “One group was saying, ‘Hey I’m the employer I’ve been doing it this way for 20 years – you have to listen to me – why aren’t you doing it my way?’ And the other was saying, ‘I’ve got all these cool skills – I’m energetic – why aren’t you listening to me?!’ The truth is there is room for all of it.”

Isn’t this a battle we are all dealing with, who has it right? Dorsey provides solutions for the workplace that allows all generations to see eye to eye. During our sit-down Dorsey explained how employers can attract top Gen Y Talent.


Top 3 Secrets for Employers to get the Most out of Gen Y

First: “Show authentic pictures of where you actually work. Everybody shows the fake pictures. It’s a total turn off.”

Second: “Interview your ACTUAL employees of different ages talking about what it’s like to work there and what they really like.”

Third: “In your job descriptions talk about the challenges candidates will face in the first year. Everybody talks about responsibilities or they talk about pay or all this stuff. Gen Y is very challenge driven so they want to know when they show up these are the kind of challenges they’ll have to face in the first year.”


Dorsey’s advice is a lesson in employer branding, and creating awesome job ads. Some might say that Gen Y’s “need to know” comes from a sense of entitlement, or nerve. I argue that’s not the case. We’ve grown up in a generation of accessibility, because of that information is available with the click of a button. When we’re applying to jobs we expect the same thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just like employers don’t want to waste their time hiring a bad candidate, we don’t want to waste our time applying to a job that would be a poor culture fit.

 “Every generation brings something different but how they want to give that ‘something different’ requires you to engage them differently than you have in the past, and that growth is good for all of us.”

By showing pictures of where you work, candidates get a feel for the office.  Videos give candidates an opportunity to take a look at their potential coworkers. We want to see diversity of the minds, and that means knowing all sorts of people are going to be in the office. Providing a creative job description lets us know what we are in for. As far as skills go, we get it. Everyone can learn skills, most people have them (we are the most educated generation), but challenges? Dorsey’s right, we crave them. Gen Y likes to know what’s ahead of them, and Dorsey’s advice is how you show them:

“If we look at the competition, because it is global and because it is mobile, the companies that respond now are going to have the advantage and the ones that don’t are going to fall behind.”

Like Dorsey said, nobody has it 100% right. But everyone can – and needs to – take a step in the right direction. Understanding Gen Y will open the doors to a dynamic and challenge driven workforce, don’t miss out on millenial talent.


jason dorsey millenials Jason Dorsey, the Gen Y Guy, connects generations to build businesses.

Also Read Lexie Forman Ortiz’s interview with Dorsey about Millennnial Job Search Advice. And if you are in the SF bay area and want to learn the best college recruiting tips, attend SmartUp: The Secrets of College Recruiting.


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Lexie Forman-Ortiz Lexie Forman-Ortiz is the Community Manager at SmartRecruiters.
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