One Reason Why Millennial Kool-Aid Isn’t All-Natural

Fruit JuicePeople love to analyze the characteristics of the millennials and how important it is to adjust the workplace to fit their expectations. A recruiter at a Wall Street bank once told me she regularly spoke to parents calling her to check on the status of their Chip’s or Muffie’s candidacy. It made me wonder what was going to happen after those kids were let loose on the trading floor.

When it comes to technology, someone always has the feeling that their data center will thrive because the new guy can play World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings at the same time. Me? I’m doubting it.

Laurie Ruettimann just re-posted a piece by Recruiting Animal that gets into the real value of today’s youth.

A young enthusiast … might know more about some things than a pro. For instance, when The Toronto Star, the biggest newspaper in Canada, began publishing blogs using Typepad as the platform, I was giving one of the journalists basic tips because her IT department was busy and probably had very little experience with blogs.

So, how many 22-year-olds can fix your IT system? The readers of O Magazine are being told that advanced IT skills are commonplace in Gen Y. My guess is that a lot of guys know how to find (and steal) games, movies and music online but nothing more.

While I think millennials may be a bit more savvy than that, innate tech smarts don’t necessarily translate into business productivity. If I were looking for a blogger who knew their way around social media, I’ll bet the top candidates would be 20-somethings. But a project manager? A data architect? A migration analyst? I’m not so sure.

And let’s not forget the economy. With the job market still slow, the lower compensation younger candidates generally expect is certainly more attractive. At the same time, young hires need extra supervision for a while, and their vaunted insistence on working remotely or having more flexibility may fly in the face of your company’s culture. Then what?

Recruiting Animal’s point is a good one: You can’t judge a candidate by her generation. While the millennials-as-the-answer-to-everything ruckus has toned down a bit, it’s worth proceeding cautiously when someone tailors a job description with requirements that assume in-grown experience that doesn’t exist.

Source: The Cynical Girl

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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