There is so much talk about Generation Y (those born between the mid-80s and late 90s) in our society, and at least some of the talk around this generation is inaccurate. As I’ve said before I love a good conspiracy, so today I’m going to debunk some of the misconceptions about millennials in the workplace.
While more millennials are unemployed than other generations, this is more of a reflection on the younger members of the generation (those aged 18-24) which is clearly skewed by their being in education. Instead of seeing the fact that a lot of this generation are in further education as a negative because they are unemployed, we should focus on the fact that they are bettering themselves and ensuring that they are well-qualified and knowledgeable for their future employment.
While they may enter a new position and expect more than past generations, especially in terms of development, this isn’t a misplaced sense of entitlement, but is in fact the way that they were brought up. Millennials were raised with a sense of empowerment, being told that they could do anything they could ever want for their entire childhood. This generation work hard to get what they can, whether this is continuing their education in order to start in a slightly higher position than otherwise, or working relentlessly in order to move up the ranks.
Sure, this generation grew up with more exposure to technology than their predecessors, but in terms of how technology works they are no better (and no worse) than any other generation. Therefore, while millennials are probably more aware of new trends or programs, keeping on top of the latest memes and social media sites, and this could benefit your company when considering your brand and online presence, don’t expect them to know how to fix your broken laptop any more than someone who is 45+ could.
While they are more open to new job opportunities and are more likely to leave a job, there is evidence that once a they find a company and/or position that they enjoy and believe in, their loyalty goes beyond that of past generations. The reason for this misconception about millennials in the workplace is perhaps because they are more sceptical about working with corporations, asking more questions and approaching everything with more caution than their parents’ generation.
Although this isn’t directly related to how they are in the workplace, the argument that millennials aren’t politically active can be debunked by looking at the amount of people in this generation who registered to vote in the USA before the most recent presidential election. 91% of millennials in the USA were registered to vote for that election, and this really proves that this generation are a lot less apathetic than the media would lead you to believe.
I hope that this has helped to straighten out some of the myths around Generation Y and will make you consider how millennials can benefit your company. If you are interested in reading more blogs around recruitment you can check out our blog!