A generation of our race that loves to get in the media for ruining everything from restaurant chains to marriage1
Despite whatever opinion one might have on this generation, there is no debate that they’ve disrupted how the world works. Despite some general points (which I’ll get to in a minute) the world should look to millennials for their pros above their cons.
If it wasn’t for the generation obsessed with taking selfies, vlogging, using our phones, instant gratification we wouldn’t have things like groceries delivered to our doors, social media being a way we market, Amazon, Netflix, or a Google as sophisticated as it is.
Millennials have created a demand for things which have made our lives better. They’ve also affected business by affecting how we shop online: no lines, free-shipping.
They’ve changed the way we work with their mantra of “Work smarter, not harder,” working from home, being flexible of the 9-5 grind. They want to be engaged and they are in-tune with social issues and do both masterfully from their smartphones (which 72% have) 2
They’ve changed how customer service is done with social media. Things like Taco Bell and Wendy’s “viral” social media are a direct effect of those (and probably millennials running those accounts) even down to how business can talk directly to their customers now. This comes down to the idea that millennials, for better or worse, prefer non-verbal communication with their services. They don’t want to talk through a bunch of people on the phone and would rather it be done digitally, quick & snappy 3
Nearly half of B2B researchers for C-Suite Execs are millennials.4 Which makes sense as the millennial generation is the one raised by computers and digital media. They are professionals at surfing the web since they’ve been doing it since they were practically in diapers.
Now, I’m not oblivious. There are some issues with millennials that make HR pros hesitate to pick up the phone for that second interview.
Doing away with the stereotypes of “Lazy”, “Media obsessed,” etc. they are, however, lacking in literacy which can lead to problems in technical, legal or healthcare fields. As they are a generation about being open with feelings and sharing their thoughts rather fluidly, some millennials are prone to office drama and gossip about their co-workers. 5 There tends to be a loyalty issue where the days of working for a company for 20 years are gone. They move on to the next thing if a better thing comes up.6
Some millennials, as proven by their attitude to fix everything digitally, are averse to picking up the phone for some direct person-to-person communication.
Also, the idea of criticism (even if constructive) is a touchy subject as they grew up being told the world is their oyster. Parenting aside, it leads to the generality that “I’m awesome,” on behalf of the millennial.7
So obviously there are some issues with hiring and working with millennials, but businesses should hire them (if they fit) for their pros and train the parts where millennials are lacking in terms of personal communication / thinking more than just their immediate area. That’s what I see when I look at the things they are accused of. The pros of digital speed, out-the-box thinking and general empathy outweighs the cons for me as I can train someone to use a phone.
While no generation has controlled everything—too many people for that—Millennials are a great example at looking at the power of communication to get something across and sell a product or service. They’ve been completely disruptive to the world of business which has led to some of the world’s favorite things.
Maybe we should give them a little more credit.
1 K. Paul “Here Are All The Things Melennials Have Been Accused of Killing” marketwatch.com June 25 2017, Web July 26, 2017
2 C. Roth “4 Reasons Small Businesses Should let Millennials Have Their Way” entrepreneur.com Jan. 31 2017, Web, July 26 20172 3. J. Rohampton “How Millennials Are Redefining Customer Service” entrepreneur.com Nov. 3 2016, Web, July 26 2017
4. K. Synder “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing,” Google Newsletter, March 2015, Web, July 26 2017
5. N. Murphy “The Pros and Cons of Millennial Employees” recruiter.com May 14 2015, Web. July 26 2017
6. N/A “Hiring Millennials: Risky or rewarding?” theadvancegroup.com July 22, 2014, Web. July 26 2017
7. S. Heathfield “The Downside of hiring Generation Y” thebalance.com August 12, 2016, Web, July 26, 2017