Over the past decade, Millennials have received a lot of flack for being born between the infamous years of 1980-2000. How the corporate world has come to write off an entire generation of talent, I will never know, but I think it needs to be addressed.
‘Entitlement’ is a term that is used a lot by these same critics, and without trying to solve every issue in one article, I hope to shed some light on why I specifically hire Millennials to work for me.
As a Sheridan College grad myself in 2005, I was (and am) by all standards a Millennial. I own a Digital Marketing Agency, have been married for 7 years, have 4 kids and have felt entitled to nothing. My successes have been achieved through long hours, hard work, flashes of brilliant inspiration and yes, my millennialism.
“We eat, breathe and work with technology every day” – Darrell Keezer
Millennialism doesn’t just come with common problems, but also strengths. Any generation that believes it doesn’t have inherent social issues (looking at you Boomers), is plain ignorant. But what we need to do is focus on our strengths as we work to integrate into the workforce. Here are 4 advantages that make Millennials awesome people to hire:
1. Digital Natives – We eat, breathe and work with technology every day. There is no need to train us on Microsoft Word, or how to perform a mail merge. Most technical tasks are second nature to us, and if we don’t get it, we will troubleshoot it ourselves. Take that week long corporate training programs!
2. Connected – Boomers may have a nice rolodex of contacts they have built through the years (maybe even have an original Rolodex on their desks too), but Millennials are able to stay in touch with hundreds (and even thousands) of people through Social Networks. They may not have the best phone manners, but don’t doubt their networks.
3. They want Purpose – In my own experience, I have met a lot of disenfranchised Millennials that don’t want to work for The Man. But that doesn’t mean they are useless. They want to work for a reason, not just work in an isolated bubble with annual reviews on how many widgets they can produce. If you can provide this purpose to them, they may just be up to the challenge.
4. They speak the Language – My company runs Social Media Workshops for small businesses and the most common question we get (from older generations) is ‘What’s a Hashtag?’. This is a problem. Today’s senior marketers don’t even understand the language of the people in their target market. Pick up a Millennial at your local college, involve them in creating content for your next campaign and you may be amazed at how well they do.
I am aware that not all Millennials have these advantages, but get to know them first before you dismiss them out of hand. Just don’t call them – send them a text and invite them for a decaf latte at your local Starbucks.
Written by: Darrell Keezer, Founder of Candybox Marketing Inc. and a Sheridan Business alumnus.