"We use what is referred to as pairing, where we have millennials share their values and experiences with older generations or veteran employees, many whom have a 'this is how it is and this is how it's done' mindset. We have found tremendous value in the give-and-take that comes from that. It builds up a certain amount of respect among the generations," says Cullen.
Are Employer's Hesitant to Hire Millennials?
While there are people out there who may choose an older employee over a millennial, Schawbel says the current state of the economy is to blame. "It's the marketplace and less about generational stereotypes. Employers are looking for the person who can do the job the best and add the most value. It's less about generations and more about outcomes. Can you deliver and fit in the corporate culture?
"They are misunderstood and are very talented. The secret is to find out how to manage them," says Cullen. Spend the time to make sure that there is a cultural fit as well as a skills fit. According to Cullen, you really have to have a more open engagement and dialogue with millennials to get inside what their hot buttons are and what's going to help them be their most productive.
"Anytime a company is thinking about hiring a millennial, [you] should spend at least half a day that demonstrates a day in the life of this job. Bring that millennial into your environment and seat them with a person in that role. That way there will be no confusion about what that role is," says Cullen.
Building a Millennial Workforce
Millennials clearly approach the workplace from a different perspective. This is a product of the environment they were raised in and an immersion in tech that started from birth. With that said, other generations have had similar sentiments about the generation that come after them.
The key may be to stop looking at the generational differences and start focusing more on our commonalities. We all want a good boss who listens and understands. We all want more flexible hours, better pay and a company that we are proud to work for.
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