Hi, my name’s James and I am not a millennial…you can tell this by checking out my picture on LinkedIn. Although I still think I’m 18 years old, I now know for a fact – after a recent visit to a well-known high growth sportswear brand in Birmingham, where I was the one sticking out like a sore thumb in middle-aged chino brigade outfit, whilst all the cool kids were dressed like a scene from Gucci crossed with Men In Black – that I am most definitely not!
But I just don’t get it? Why is there such a big deal being made about this generation, I don’t think parents have ever understood the generation below them have they? Whether it was rock music in the 50s or rave culture in the 90s, it has always seemed a bit different, hasn’t it?
According to Wiki – Millennials also knows as ‘Generation Y’ or ‘Gen Y’, are the generational demographic cohort following ‘Generation X’ and preceding ‘Generation Z’.
And if you happen to work in HR – this seems to be the second worst thing people like to talk about. (That is after why hasn’t HR still got a seat at the top table. DON’T START ME!)
The thing I think companies do need to consider when recruiting these days is that information availability and choice are greater than they have ever been. I recently posted a blog that I wrote following an interview with Simon Brown, around his experience of a recruitment process – the gist of it was that it was not a great experience. I think a lot of this comes down to trust. Employers still seem to be stuck in the dark ages – micromanaging people, not giving them any freedom and expecting lots from them, but giving nothing in return. Check out most job adverts and you will see what I mean.
There are so many things that are easily done to build a productive and happy workforce – whatever the ‘generation’. Trust is the missing ingredient in my mind… many employers simply don’t trust people to do the job they are paid to do. I remember a senior MD (at a firm I used to work) told me as a newly promoted Director “INSPECT rather than EXPECT”. Seems a bit archaic today, but many people still have this as their mentality.
I don’t think that labelling an entire peer group is particularly productive – instead, we could all treat people like adults regardless of their age. Whether that be through the recruitment process, the onboarding process or throughout their career!
To discuss further, you can email me on James@refind.co.uk.
You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.
Hiring an Interim Executive? You need to get it right! Discover the 8 step process you should follow, by downloading our free eBook here.