Over 80 million millenials in America have become a focus in the workplace of late: How to manage them… how to connect with them…. and— most relevant to hiring managers—how to recruit them. In recent years, society has meticulously dissected the behavior of millenials, questioning their potential to successfully fill a position.
Whether assuming they are only good for tech-savvy positions or that they need constant coddling and praise, millenials aren’t all the same—and believing so may have you passing up on some invaluable talent.
In her new book, Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes, Jessica Kriegel flexes her change management and talent developmental skills, which she also offers in her work with the Oracle Corporation. By debunking myths of generational labels, Kreigel attempts to shed the biased lens in which many hiring managers and organizations view millenials.
“We make generational assumptions at work without realizing it. But what if our assumptions were racially or ethnically driven? Replace the word ‘millennial’ with Hispanic: “Millennials are entitled, lazy, innovative, want to save the world…”
Acknowledging that millennial stereotyping is prevalent in your workplace is the first step to reversing the stigma, she contends. The challenge may beg for deep-rooted change. Finding a solution on how to shed the stereotyping habit will take time and teamwork.
For hiring managers, waves of millennial resumes crash onto their plate every day. “Don’t feed the hype” by fueling your frustrations with articles, books, and seminars that pick on millenials or question their abilities/wants/needs as if they’re a different species.
Spreading the word and sharing stories to speak up for millenials in the workplace can help create a positive and encouraging conversation that alleviates such stereotyping in its tracks.
Review and eliminate areas of stereotyping in your organization, such as tthose that may exist in training, documents, or recruiting practices. This same type of spring-cleaning goes for colleagues. Find those who are most affected by the generalizations and ideate the best ways to put the stigmas to rest together.
Go a step further and start at the top. Brainstorming changes in language with executives will have a trickle-down effect. Fitting a framework that inspires healthy working relationships and employee dialogue will help to reduce unfair labels.
It is an essential duty as a hiring manager to integrate premium talent, no matter the ethnicity or year someone was born in. Equal opportunity applies to millenials, too.