Also known as Generation Y for people born somewhere between the 80’s and early 2000s. Some say that they are lazy, spoiled and entitled. While there could be some truth to this statement, I believe that it is not all true.
Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer of CompTIA commented, “These are young professionals who are already out there making a difference. They’re eventually going to be leading this industry in a very short period of time. “By 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce.”
At the recent channel event, Todd Thibodeaux hosted a panel discussion on the subject with a couple of great examples of millennials Samantha Ciaccia from Datto and Brittani Von Roden from Erb’s Technology Solutions, who are currently working in the IT space. They shared their thoughts about their experiences.
Interestingly, neither of them had planned to enter the IT industry nor did they have a technology background. Both were eventually drawn into IT because they saw it as being dynamic, energetic, fast moving and rewarding. One took the interview for experience and ended up taking the job. In some ways, the IT industry is ideal for the millennials as they use technology from an early age and it continues to be a natural part of their daily lives.
If millennials are already working in your company or you are planning on hiring some, then here is some advice from them.
1) They want to be challenged
2) They want to be part of a dynamic environment
3) They want feedback (good or bad) more often – weekly if possible
4) They want mentors to help guide them
5) They want to try new things differently and be mobile
They all want to succeed and make it big faster, so this may be the real challenge for businesses to align expectations while offering fast-growth options.
Todd Thibodeaux outlined five ways in which they are bringing about change:
Products are disposable. If something breaks or becomes outdated, they’re quick to buy something new.
Brand isn’t king. They’re more willing to try new brands and more likely to change brands if they’re not serviced and dealt with on their own terms.
They’re software centric. Applications are what it’s all about.
Tech training is cool. They’re eager and willing learners, but not in a traditional classroom setting. They’re more receptive to — and expect — new training methods.
No more geeks. Or at least not the stereotypical geeks. Rather, millennials are different kinds of geeks, in usability, in content, in information.
It is inevitable that millennials will be the ones to actually get the World on the right path. If not them, who will? There has been much done from the previous generations that needs to be realigned for a better future. I may be overly excited about the potential of the millennials because my daughter is also one of them. I only see great things coming from this generation.
While I also see the lackadaisical characteristics of the millennials, I think there is some element of this in just about every generation especially in their early days. With some good education, experience and guidance from parents and other mentors, anyone can become great.
Regardless of what you think about the millennials, they are here to stay and they will be soon running the businesses and country. It is in our collective best interest to step-up to meet them halfway, understand and mentor them to take over. I can tell you from personal experience that they learn very fast and can do things much better than you may think.
Millennials are like sponges as they absorb information at an extreme rate. If you can keep up by constantly feeding them with knowledge, experience and support, it will not take long for them to take over, and yes, probably do a better job than expected. Their ability to quickly find out information through the Internet and their friends’ network is truly amazing. Their social networking skills are unprecedented and so is their ability to amplify any message quickly.
I believe that we are in good hands with the millennials if we help them make the transition properly to take over. My best advice is to always take the time to pass on your knowledge while guiding them instead of preaching to them. I have been doing this with my millennial daughter right from the beginning to the point where we constantly use a phrase that I got from a movie “are you trained or untrained”.
So… Hire millennials sooner rather than later. Transfer knowledge and mentor them. Listen to them and while you may not always agree with their methods, give them the space to do things differently. You may be surprised as to just how much they can achieve.