Considered Generation Next
Direct Recruiters, Inc.
Considered to be one of the most unique generations that our country has ever seen, the Millennial Generation (a.k.a. Generation Y) is now entering the workforce and they’re considered a hot commodity. They are well-educated, optimistic, talented, open-minded, achievement oriented, and technologically savvy. However, they have one simple work philosophy: It’s all about me. So whether you are resellers, system integrators, manufacturers, or distributors, get ready because this wave will affect you. To help you better prepare for the Millennial’s arrival at your workplace, this article is the first of a 3-part series providing information on how to coexist with a generation labeled as one to watch.
The Millennials are a generation almost as large in number as the Baby Boomers. They also outnumber their Gen X colleagues. This means that when the Baby Boomers retire over the next 5-15 years, it will be up to the Millennials to be our next managers, executives, and leaders. Thus, Millennials know they are needed and indispensable and enter the workforce with higher expectations than any generation before them.
While some may still argue the official start and end dates for this generation, according to the book Millennials Incorporated by Lisa Orrell, most demographers agree that approximately 80 million Millennials were born between 1982 and 2002. That means they were raised in the most child-centric time in history. They received showers of attention and praise from parents, teachers, and coaches. They received awards, trophies, and recognition for simply participating in the classroom or on a sports team. As a result, they display a great deal of self-confidence and work well in groups. In addition, they are good multi-taskers, having juggled school, sports, and social activities. And as you might expect, they are also technically literate like no other generation. Technology has always been a part of their lives whether it’s a computer, the Internet, cell phones, and iPods, etc. This makes Millennials well connected so if an employer can’t or won’t meet their expectations, they will inform thousands of their cohorts with the click of a mouse.
Although there is no one set of traits to describe all Millennials, I have listed six common characteristics regarding their work ethic:
- Goal-Oriented: They believe they can achieve anything. Many arrive on their first day of work with their goals on paper.
- Confident: They’ve been raised by parents emphasizing high self-esteem and personal respect. If they feel that an employer does not value them, they will leave for greener pastures.
- Demanding: They have high expectations for themselves and others. They will work hard to get what they want and have no problem voicing their opinions.
- Inclusive: They are used to being organized in teams and prefer to work as part of a team rather than independently. They expect equal opportunity in their workplace and will fight for fair treatment.
- Civic-Minded: Community service has been part of their lives. They are very familiar with volunteerism and think in terms of the greater good. They expect companies to contribute to their communities and care about the environment.
- Fun Loving: They require a balance between their career and personal life. They expect employers to be more flexible with work schedules so as to meet their other commitments such as yoga class. They also tend to be more casual when it comes to work attire.
No doubt this is a fascinating generation and one to watch. So much so, that on November 11, 2007, CBS’s 60 Minutes and Morley Safer aired the segment, “The Millennials Are Coming.” Safer began by exclaiming: “Stand back all bosses! A new breed of American worker is about to attack everything you hold sacred; from giving orders to your starched white shirt and tie.” Safer goes on to report how corporate America is so unnerved by the Millennials that large, renowned companies such as Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young, and Disney are hiring consultants to teach them ways to deal with this new generation. (Full story can be found at: (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/08/60minutes/main3475200.shtml)
In fact, the time has come for companies of all sizes to learn as much as possible about the Millennial generation and prepare for the inevitable changes. This generation will transform your office and the way business is done. However, there’s no need to brace yourself or shake in your shoes. These changes just might be positive ones. I recommend that you take time to review and adjust your recruitment strategies and management style in order to attract the Millennials. By investing in this new generation of employee, you are investing in the future of your business.
Direct Recruiters, Inc., Human Capital Resource Specialists since 1983, focuses on Supply Chain, AIDC, RFID, and Mobile Enterprise. Top industry companies rely on DRI to help build solid teams in Sales, Sales Management, Marketing, Engineering, and Technical Support.