Infographic Shows What HR Pros Think of Millennials

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Volumes have been written about the difference in generational beliefs, habits and self-perception. Each generation is either admired or criticized for their actions or beliefs. We’ve heard of the “Greatest Generation,” those brave men and women from the 40’s and 50’s who fought in WWI and WWII. The “Hippie Generation,” the Peaceful protestors (“Let It Be”) of the 60’s. The latest to gather media attention, even making the front cover of Time Magazine, is the Millennials, the “Me, Me, Me Generation.”


While the Time article begins with the perception that narcissistic personality disorder is three times higher for those in their 20’s (Millennials) than those who are in their 60’s (baby boomers), Nexxt’s team of data analysts came up with more specific findings in their recent Infographic, “Bucking the Stereotype:  Millennials KNOW They Have What It Takes, But They Need To Prove It To The HR Pros.” It’s one thing to have a high opinion of yourself, but in the real world of work, the HR pros still need some convincing.


When you’re looking for a job, your perception of yourself is expressed to an employer through your resume and interview performance. Skill, knowledge, and ability to do a job aren’t tied to a generation. The ultimate seat of power is in the interviewer—the hiring manager or HR professional who holds the only card that matters. The “you’re hired” card. The data found perception disconnects that Millennials need to pay attention to.


Millennials measure their people savvy (65 percent) by their number of Facebook “friends,” or how many times they’re tagged or tweeted in a day. To the HR pros, the Millennials came up short with only 14 percent. How you interact with a co-worker face-to-face or a group in a team meeting is what matters in the workplace. Millennials may be able to text and tweet at the speed of light, but the HR pros perceive them sorely lacking in interpersonal people skills.


Another disconnect is tech savvy. Surprisingly, Millennials don’t consider themselves high on the scale (35 percent) but the HR pros see them as high on the chart (85 percent). When perception meets reality in the workplace, it can make lack of training look like poor performance, which can be unfair to the Millennials who suffer from the misconception they all grew up with a PC and iPhone in their bassinet. 


The biggest gap in perception is the loyalty factor. Only one percent of HR pros thought Millennials were loyal to their employer, while 85 percent of Millennials saw themselves that way. The baby boomers think in terms of years or decades of devotion to an employer. Millennials have a much shorter time span, like today or next week. Ambitious and eager to move up (like any generation) they aren’t afraid of being labeled “job-hoppers,” because, well, their peers do it all the time.


In the “fun-loving” category, neither generation gave the Millennials a high rating. Is work supposed to be fun? The last category, “hard-working” revealed a wide gap in perception. The baby boomers, who grew up with their depression-era parents’ work ethic see the Millennials as slackers who would rather be surfing the Web, connected to ear buds and taking time off every other week than putting in the long hours they had to endure to make it to the top. The Boomers worked hard to earn their titles and paychecks, and they see Millennials as wanting those rewards to be handed to them just because they show up for work, even if they are a little late or distracted.


The infographic gives tips on how Millennials can change the HR Pros’ perceptions to get jobs and keep them. By adopting some of their work styles and interpersonal techniques, Millennials can keep the best of what they have to offer and package it to impress the HR Pros.


Make sure to check out the full infographic here. What do you think? Let us know below!


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  • Susan R
    Susan R
    As a seasoned professional I once had a charge nurse sending naked pictures of herself from the restroom via cell phone. Also a charge nurse tell me to "get out of her face" 3 times in the course of trying to place ER patient's to the floors. A nurse manager busted for diversion and posts on FB that clearly undermine the profession. I find only a few millennials that perform well. Few of them understand the value of post op ambulation and use of incentive spirometry. Yet, they have managers that defend them and assistant managers who got degrees online and think that is ample education to lead or follow. The workforce out there today as nurses scare me into hoping I die suddenly at home. The idea that your long hair hanging loose does not carry potentially dangerous germs goes well with your matching scrubs and clogs and the continued hurling of infectious linen onto the contaminated floor. Millennials will kill us all with the give me attitude of working strictly for personal gain.
  •  Lynn Mari B
    Lynn Mari B
    I work with plenty of "Millennials"  in healthcare and the majority of them are on their IPhones 24/7, or they are busy texting patient health information to their friends bc it is "exciting", or they are sending naked pictures of themselves to their boyfriends while they are on the clock. This is only my true experience and I can only speak from that place. Overall, I am not impressed. Most of the females speak as if they are an actor on a Jerry Springer trash talk reality show, and it is just ridiculous. The way they dress is completely inappropriate, but for the most part it matches their trash talk speech and their overwhelming sense of entitlement. Lastly, they have no mutual respect and think that everything should be handed to them with a pat on the head. SAD, SAD, SAD. It is sad when the nurse who is supposed to be taking care of you is in the closet taking naked pictures of herself to text to all of her friends and co-workers. Maybe some of them should try the adult film industry.
  • Sean G
    Sean G
    Millennials do not measure their people skills in terms of facebook friends and retweets. That perception is particularly lazy.
  • Stephanie E
    Stephanie E
    It's tough being a millennial. I hv a bachelor's degree and im EMT certified. There are no jobs. And people who do want to hire me want me to work for free. How will that pay my bills? There's prejudice on both sides (millennial and HR) that neither are willing to understand each others perspective. Some millennials have the "i deserve it, hand it to me" attitude because we've spent alot of money and time on trying to make it in this country. With cost of living rising and other complexities, it's hard to strive. With population growing, competition is high..we're not blessed with so many job opportunities like the older generations.
  • Mauricio M
    Mauricio M
    We are seeing a gap in definitions. Millenials tend to be more superficial in all their businesses. Millenials don't believe that hard work will render them any equal value reward. They are tired of bosses and corporate ladders. They are anxious to make it big without pouring any true effort (that word that means that even when something is difficult to you, you are willing to tackle it). These are some ideas of why Millenials are having a harder time to convince serious companies of their value to them. Only when Millenials start thinking about issues outside their own goals and obstacles, they will discover that life is easier to tackle than they thought. Companies need to see that you are willing to lift your share of the business weight.
  • Jedidah B
    Jedidah B
    It seems that the author of this article, the boomers, as well as many of the folks who have written in response to this article have already made their minds up about us 20-some things. In my decade +1 year of work, I have seen the following qualities: laziness in all ages which to me reflects on the workplace more than the individual , Evaders that avoid being transparent/ are highly disorganized  with their goals  in the workplace  in order to not do any work or be held accountable, Workers old and young that hide behind titles to hide inadequacies in education or skills. I have witnessed great work ethic, work-a-holic people, people who are over qualified and under qualified but rising to the occasion to demonstrate their ability and loyalty (mind you underpaid is both categories). Unfortunately, I have seen elders frustrated with the demands of their positions and threatened by folks with less experience and young people with skills, knowledge and willingness to learn but stifled creatively/ dismissed  or forced to work with less resources  and get the same result by so called superiors. Perception is injected unnecessarily in the workforce  when there are much bigger issues at stake  like integrity of workers and mission.  Entitlement, yes, everyone should be entitled to gainful employment (not be working poor just because we are at entry level because last time I checked more education means more bills), a workplace free of judgement where contribution is appreciated as well as celebrated no matter what your so called generation ascribes to. HR don’t judge the 20 somethings by their generation, let the job be the test, evaluate solely on performance and invest energy/skills in giving them a start.
  • Abraham T
    Abraham T
    Four points.First, let's get a few things straight. There is a difference between perception and reality. It is easy to show how two generations think differently, it is another to show how much of the perception is based on fact. For this article to have more weight, it should have included a study actually documenting hours worked, knowledge of software and tech skills, records of numbers of employers per candidate and employee evaluations.Second, while the millennials (including this author) lack the same degree of vis-a-vis skills that the boomers had, the lack of those skills comes primarily from an absence of need of such skills, and often is remedied after a few months on the job. Third, unlike the boomers, the job market is much more volatile now that it was during their working days, and it is compounded by the recession. Add to that problem is the tautology of "needing work experience to get work experience", something even the boomers would find ridiculous were they walking a mile in the shoes of the millennials.Fourth, the perception that millennials don't work hard from the perspective of the boomers should not be surprising, considering the boomers got a similar response from their "Greatest generation that ever lived"predecessors. As the boomers progressed and retrogressed in multiple aspects, including but not limited to civil rights, the role and suspicion of government, the support of wars (and so on and so forth), the millennials are also progressing and retrogressing in many aspects when compared to the boomers. It must be accepted and adapted to, not looked down upon merely because it is different.
  • Jack Lo
    Jack Lo
    I think this article was almost right on the money! I am a child of the 60's and 70's, and I would agree that the majority of young adults today are lazy, and they have had everything handed to them. They know technology, but not much else. They can't seem to think for themselves, and thy are not real good at problem solving. Technology has made them lazy, and unable to appreciate hard work and show up to work on time, and be READY to work!
  • Jeremy D
    Jeremy D
    Though I don't fall into either generation, I find myself adopting characteristics from both. I am hard working but have adopted the "I deserve it" attitude from the millennials. This article helped me realize that I need to focus more on hard work and employer loyalty and I will get what I deserve.
  • John B
    John B
    I have taught 'Millennials' in a previous job. It is the digital age that has created the 'ME' generation.  They have become accustomed to having things ( information, money, pleasure) NOW! Not like former generations.
  • Angelique H
    Angelique H
    I would have to concur with HR pros. The millennials think they get a B.A. or B.S. and they are automatically managers. No people skills.
  • Laurel R
    Laurel R
    I totally agree. I am from the 60's generation of Baby Boomers and I can't stand the Millenials. They get on elevators with ear plugs, cell phones or Ipads and never look you in the eye. You cannot have a decent conversation with them. Every other word they say is "like" and they call everything "awesome" and reply in commercial transactions when they are waiting on you and you thank them with "no problem".  They have absolutely no idea of how to communicate in public.
  •  Eva L
    Eva L
    This article states that all HR pro are prejudice. Is that what they want?
    Im old school, so i welcome hard work, Im trying to find a job right now, ill be 49 in july, if i dont find a job where i live, Im going to move
  • David R.
    David R.
    I am of the baby boomer generation.I once worked on a large project that consisted of many Millennials.  First of all, I would disagree that they do not work hard.  We all worked hard.  And they had a sense of teamwork that was energetic and open.  That, I believe, makes them people savvy.  I did not observe that they  had problems interacting face-to-face or in a meeting.  But then, for real teamwork, all parties are accepting of ideas, shortcomings of experiences, and whatever.  The goal was to increase the group intelligence... with good humor and, for lack of a better word, love.I talked recently with a person familiar, long-term, with the company SAS.  Seems that they do not have loyalty problems as much as other companies.  Why is that?  Maybe HR Pros should research this.
  • STAN R
    STAN R
    The "Greatest Generation" did not fight in WWI, considering that probably a majority of them weren't even born yet. As for the Millennials, they have a lot of growing up to do.  
  • Dhana G
    Dhana G
    The younger generation has been short sighted when it comes to jobs. It is an area that they can improve on,  if they also don't try to be know it alls, and see that older workers don't need to be muscled out of the job market to make way for them. Older workers have the experience and knowledge to teach younger workers the skills it takes to work in specialized fields. The new generation of yuppie professionals still seem to have a problem of seeing the value of older workers. It's to their discredit.
  • Carolyn D
    Carolyn D
    Working in the health care industry I perceive the younger generation truly feels they are entitled to receive every benefit around without working for it. They are lazy and have no idea of work ethic.  Most seem lethargic and move at a snails pace.  Stress will definitely kill them. However, drugs and an overdose of tattoo ink may do them in.
  •  Barb H
    Barb H
    Great article... certainly sums it up!!
  • K. Aten
    K. Aten
    As a recent graduate ,(tech/safety program), and living life on a farm, I am a child of the Boomer Generation.  I have a very similar perception of the new up-and-comers in the job market. The 'Think I know but can't prove it' crowd. All of them should have to spend a year on a working farm for a reality check. The cows could care less how fast you can tweet while milking/cleaning/throwing hay, etc.  They think work ethic is a scrabble word.
  • Carrie S.
    Carrie S.
    RE: John F.You took the reference out of context. I made that statement to show every Millennial does not believe in  reward without work. Yes, I believe in advancing my career. However, supply and demand are only a portion of the equation. There are several jobs a person can pursue for money and benefits. What do you do when the experience from a position speaks more than the perks? Money is not everything if your goal is not just to earn a paycheck and have the best benefits. Where I am working it is far easier to network and participate in activities that interest me. I was offered several positions in other industries with WAY better pay, but the industry knowledge and speed of advancement currently outweigh a "more lucrative" option. Also, although an employer is not a parent, you follow its corporate culture, quit, or get fired. So, it a way you are stuck taking some things as they offer to reach your personal goals- unless you just decided to quit every time you do not like something. My perspective is even the worst run companies can teach you what or what not to do. My parents expected me to accept things because that is what they had, and if I wanted anything else I had to earn it.
  • Megan P
    Megan P
    I am finding that millenials are NOT tech savvy. They are addicted to and do everything on their phones.  This translates to not having basic software knowledge (Microsoft Office).  Getting paid to show up is a translation of them getting a trophy for showing up to soccer or baseball.  No actual work or achievement involved.  
  • Christine M
    Christine M
    This article makes me sad. I have worked with several (and as an HR pro I have hired several) millennials and I have a beautiful step-daughter who is one also. The kids I hired could be flakey (they were under 22 when I hired them) but they were a joy to be around, full of wit and energy and they DID do excellent work when they were given excellent guidance and training, and simply given a CHANCE. I am impressed all the time by my step-daughter, who waded through the divorce of her parents, yet accepted me with open arms, and then went to college and now had a degree and a good job and has bought her first house with her husband. She did feel entitled to a new car right off the bat, but you know what - maybe she had the right idea. I suffered (like a martyr) for years with old, beat up cars that broke down every 5 minutes, because my depression era parents enforced THAT stereotype on me. These kids are visionaries, and if they see themselves as cinematographers and filmmakers before they've really achieved it, maybe those are good aspirations and announcing to the world that you "are" something is better than fading into the woodwork like alot of my generation did. My hat is off to them. And we need to give them our support, or the future WILL be pretty bleak.
  •  Ruth M
    Ruth M
    This article is spot on.  I am a Baby boomer who is adjusting to Millennials wanting a "flex day" off twice a month.  Work hours are 8-5 p.m..  They ALL come in at 9 a.m., isn't that over the 8 hours of flex time they want in addition to the 10 they are already taking every two weeks?  It isn't rocket science, it is selfish and utterly ridiculous.
  • john f
    john f
    RE: " As a child, I was expected to accept what was given to me." This is an inappropriate metaphor.Employees are not children - Employees work in order to receive compensation. Employers are not your parents & do not 'donate' pay or benefits to Employees. I believe you were probably taught to work hard - it's unlikely you genuinely think you MUST "accept what what is given to you". If your pay were poor, but you are an exceptionally strong worker,  I sense you would seek a better & more lucrative job. While there is a certain amount of 'give & take' in Employment, compensation & benefits are subject to Supply & Demand. (C'mon - you're smart. You understand this.)

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