It’s easy to discount their generation because it’s the majority opinion that Millennials have an undue sense of entitlement and are not willing to work for success. To believe this is to buy into a stereotype as unfounded as the belief that women cannot excel as CEOs.
Just about every person I have met who falls into the “Millennial” category is driven and hardworking when presented with a real job. They are not turning down work; they are finding that the positions of gainful employment are few and far between, but jobs in the service industry are plentiful.
Millennials, if they’re not already working in a dead-end job in food service or retail, are not interested anymore in working at a company with no vision.
1— They’re hungry.
You would do well to hire a Millennial. For the most part, they are far more likely to push for that extra inch and innovate better solutions for your business, as opposed to someone who is more interested in doing the bare minimum to ensure they get a paycheck every two weeks.
The bottom line is that, if you interview a young person and they seem incompetent, then they probably are and you shouldn’t hire them. But that is exactly the same way the hiring process has been for all of human history.
What you will find, however, is that the Millennial generation is far more willing to take your small business forward than you may have thought in your preconceived ideas of them.
2— They’re in touch with the Zeitgeist.
There is absolutely no reason why you, as a business owner, cannot have your own finger on the pulse of the greater market and the current global environment; but if you’re not tapped into it and you know it, then you need people who are.
Millennials, in general, are closer to the Zeitgeist than their adjacent generations, which means that they can point your business in the direction towards it, instead of grasping in the dark on your own as you’re trying to figure out where all the people are. That is invaluable to meeting your market where they are.
3— They’re not psyched about the status quo.
The fact that Millennials are rebellious is not because they are young—it’s not the main reason, anyway—they are rebellious because this generation, more than any other, is rejecting the status quo because they realize that it is not working and will ultimately fail if it does not adapt. These are the sort of people who you want on your team.
Though it will not feel comfortable, competent and intelligent Millennial team members won’t go along with what has worked in the past; they will show you what is going to work now and in the future.
Millennials are lost not because they are lazy or unfocused; they are looking for companies who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and appeal to the market that is up-and-coming. They are trying to fit into a business environment that is built on old infrastructure and social constructs that are too slowly being updated while they, themselves, have better ways to do business which the old guard is extremely reluctant to accept.
Don’t be so quick to write Millennials off. Be quick to listen to what they have to say.