The Misguided Obsession with the Millennial Workforce

Rick Raimondi

The recent practice of trying to determine what millennials want from work has spawned a new growth in book publishing, seminars, and industrial psychology.  Millennials have been characterized as being lazy, spoiled, entitled but what is the reality behind this stereotype?

What most employers and hiring managers need to recognize is that millennials in the work force grew up as the most stressed generation ever, facing  intense competition not only locally but internationally, predominantly from the best and brightest students from China and India. Academic requirements for colleges have grown more demanding than the previous generation.  For example, today’s VP’s that graduated from the University of California (UC)  system, frequently mention that they would not be admitted into the same UC school where they went to college.

As a result, what you see in today’s highly educated workforce are highly disciplined individuals whose behavior is still dictated by supply and demand market forces.  Due to the nature of the demand for high skill talent, millennials currently have the advantage of benefitting from this demand.  What’s different, is that due to the developed IT infrastructure, the perquisites afforded to the millennials far exceeds what previous generations of workers were offered.  When the demand drops, so will the perks.

In short, Millennials want a satisfying job that pays well, career advancement opportunities, coworker they like and trust, and the reassuring pat on the back.  Do you know of anyone that doesn’t want those things?

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