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!