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How do you deal with millenials?


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Old 31st July 2017, 11:47 AM   #46
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And your point is what exactly? That we shouldn't hire millennials because you've seen a few checking their twitter feed?
The millennial struggle for employers is a REAL one, documented and studied... while there are some non millennials that also fit the mold it is small in comparison to the number of millennials who do
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Old 31st July 2017, 12:02 PM   #47
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The millennial struggle for employers is a REAL one, documented and studied... while there are some non millennials that also fit the mold it is small in comparison to the number of millennials who do
Again, you're suggesting we shouldn't hire anyone under 35 if we can help it?


I think the way to answer the question the interviewer put to the OP would be to say, "I would handle the millennial worker the same as any other age group - with respect and professionalism - instead of treating them like tall children." Since this is an industry that will require him to work with and get along with younger workers extensively they were probably screening him for the kind of attitudes you clearly seem to have about this subset of workers.
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Old 31st July 2017, 12:08 PM   #48
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SCIF - style facilities, not difficult in my industry. Between the machinery, high voltage grid and metal buildings, EM interference is high and mobile phones don't work well, or at all, inside.

There's the miracle of the landline phone to conduct business, and the hard-wired network to the company server to process all those work orders and sales invoices.

Issue phone, track phone; issue vehicle, track vehicle. Right to work state. Draw the acceptable amount of corruption and abuse line and terminate any or all who exceed it.

I feel for those in the electron industry. In mine when hands are busy and death is close by, self-preservation generally ensures focus. Or Darwin wins and we all move on.

One question I'd ask is how does the military handle millennials. It's got scores of them. What would Mattis do?
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Old 31st July 2017, 12:49 PM   #49
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Again, you're suggesting we shouldn't hire anyone under 35 if we can help it?
No... in my company we try to hire under 35..
We being older and getting closer to retirement everyday we want our company to be stocked with young people.

That they come with struggles doesn't mean we don't hire them but we have fired them for their struggles.
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Old 31st July 2017, 3:39 PM   #50
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I think the way to answer the question the interviewer put to the OP would be to say, "I would handle the millennial worker the same as any other age group - with respect and professionalism - instead of treating them like tall children."
I like it, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 4th August 2017, 5:35 AM   #51
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My observation is that freedom is the thing that motivates them. Freedom to check their social media, freedom to get in late, freedom to just 'be'! As painful as it is, you have to cater to what morivates them.

Set your expectations low, and stretch the boundaries to suit yourself.

Eg, you want them to start work at 9am? Make their start time at 8.30, and they'll probably start at 9. Don't give them breaks, they don't need it. Just give them a five min one three times per day, on top of lunch. And lunch is only 30 mins. 45 max.

Pay them less, they won't even notice.

Even better, try to employ a mature-aged, sensible person.
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Old 8th August 2017, 1:28 AM   #52
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Pay them less, they won't even notice.
Yes, pay an individual less because of a stereotype you've decided to blanket over a group of people. Because that's always a great idea.
Is this part of your "dream big" plan
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Old 8th August 2017, 2:53 AM   #53
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My observation is that freedom is the thing that motivates them. Freedom to check their social media, freedom to get in late, freedom to just 'be'! As painful as it is, you have to cater to what morivates them.

Set your expectations low, and stretch the boundaries to suit yourself.

Eg, you want them to start work at 9am? Make their start time at 8.30, and they'll probably start at 9. Don't give them breaks, they don't need it. Just give them a five min one three times per day, on top of lunch. And lunch is only 30 mins. 45 max.

Pay them less, they won't even notice.
Good luck trying to hire an even remotely-competent software developer with those "perks"!

I think a lot of you have no idea how software development companies work (which is the OP's profession). First off - coders are hugely in demand, especially if it's the US that you are talking about. They're probably getting offers from other companies a few times a month if they have an even moderately-active GitHub profile. If you don't give them a good reason to want to work for you, they'll find someone else to work for.

The second important point is that successful tech companies are realizing that it doesn't really impact their bottom line at all if coders don't clock in at 9am sharp or have lunch strictly from 12pm-1pm or stick to a set number of breaks a day. What DOES impact their bottom line is being able to get the cream of the crop to want to work for them, and keeping them motivated with opportunities to better their skills. Take a look at the office policies of the most successful tech companies in the world, if you don't believe me.

The advice that some of you are giving is laughably outdated - it's like you think the OP is being asked how he'd manage a machinery production line in the 1950s or something. I assure you that he'd be nexted real quick if he answered that interview question the way some of you are suggesting.
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Old 8th August 2017, 3:11 AM   #54
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Set standards high and hold them accountable. They need guidance like any generation of young people.

What I've learned in nearly 30 years of mentoring is people's performance rises to the level of expectation. Set low standards, get poor performance. Mediocre standards, better performance. If you want excellent performance, you better have excellent expectations and standards.

Of course that also requires excellent communication, preparation, provisioning, and follow through. Leadership.

Millenials are really no different from any other generation of young people. The older generation has always struggled to understand. But, they want to achieve too. The real problem with millenials is not the kids themselves but the leadership they have gotten to this point. Parenting. The problem is us. We're soft, so we've produced a soft generation. The good thing about youth is they are resilient. Give them the appropriate guidance and they'll deliver. Just like every generation before them has.

We talk about this all the time in our mentoring group. We've gotten the best results when we push the kids hard. Encourage and demand excellence.

And the kids - for the most part - perform like champions. We have to raise our expectations.
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Old 8th August 2017, 8:51 AM   #55
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... and keeping them motivated with opportunities to better their skills.
I like this answer, thanks!
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Old 8th August 2017, 10:27 AM   #56
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Unfortunately, a part of the "millennial" conundrum is due to the American education system that they have been brought up in. The passing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2003-2004 created an education environment that doesn't stress personal accountability. The ins and outs of that act took away an entire generation's (along with their parents) responsibility in the learning process and put it square on the teachers and administrators. Especially when the media got their hands on things and ran with it.

NCLB attempted to establish a business model for the education system but the logic was flawed. Here's the best analogy I can give:

A company (the schools) bring on employees (the students) and the overall company efficiency was based on evaluations (state standardized tests). In the business world, an employee is responsible for completing their day to day tasks and their continued employment is dictated by how well they complete those tasks. Under NCLB the employees (students) task is to learn and that learning was assessed via these tests. Unfortunately, unlike the business world, there are no repercussions for not completing the task (i.e. learning) so there is no incentive for the employee (students) to do their job. So, all of the accountability fell on the schools and teachers; many students don't care how they score on those tests yet the schools would lose funding and be reprimanded for poor student performance.

The media got their hands on these poor test scores and started comparing the U.S. education system to other countries. However, there is a major difference; other countries run tracked systems. The tests they administer determine whether or not a student actually progresses on to a university track or a trade track. So, the overall scores of tests within the U.S. were being compared to the top 10% of the scores in Western Europe and Asia.

So, the U.S. schools themselves shouldered the blame for poor student performance and grades and none of it was placed on the students or the parents. If a kid isn't learning, it's only because the teacher isn't doing their job. It's not because the the parents and students aren't taking an active role in the learning process and it truly is a 50/50 deal. I can use all of the best teaching practices and teach innovative lessons yet the students aren't responsible for their portion of it; TO ACTUALLY LEARN THE MATERIAL. It's incredibly difficult to teach when you are working with a population who has no incentive to learn.

And, to make matters worse, our education system is geared solely towards getting kids into college. Unfortunately, college is a big business right now and they are admitting students who haven't met the minimum ACT/SAT scores. Those scores have actually been at a 40+ year low for the last few years.. So, again, there is yet another incentive to learn and succeed has been removed from the situation. We are sending kids to college who can barely read, write or do basic math and they are spending a year taking high school all over again. Those that make it out of that year are now earning degrees that don't teach them any real-world skills. They don't have the academic ability to become a, accountant, doctor, lawyer, engineer, nurse (etc..) so they get degrees in art history.

I compare that to pre-NCLB education. Twenty years ago, I knew that if I didn't bust my hump and study, I wouldn't pass the ACTs/SATs and wouldn't make it to college. And, media perception was far different; I got below a 2.5 GPA for one semester because I failed a Spanish class. My mother didn't hoop and holler at the "ineffective" Spanish teacher; she shipped me to my dad's place so I could work construction 60+ hours per week. I learned in a hurry that I needed to get my stuff together in order to have the option of going to college.

So, in essence, what we are seeing with the millennials is a generation that generally don't have the skills or education to be effective employees. And, they have been raised and educated in an environment where they have been shuffled along from elementary school straight through to college without having to take much responsibility for their lives. Couple that with the a general social ineptitude due to technology and the future and you have a generation of people who have a lot to figure out.
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Old 8th August 2017, 11:00 AM   #57
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I don't get why some thought it was age discrimination. Base on the framing of the question, you can safely assume the company plans to hire plenty of millennials (most likely already has) and wonder how the interviewee would do to manage such a group which has a different set of needs than his generation.

The usage of the term Millennials is simply a reflection of the age range of the staffs are in. In the Next 15 years, the question would then be rephrase to "How would you manage Generation Z?".

From my personal experience working with Millennials, they seem more immature compare to the generations before them at the same age. 30s is the new 20s . Also they have a hard time dealing with criticism. I have seen plenty quit the job when they get yell at for a mistake they made. I don't blame the millenials for how they turn out, I blame their parents and the culture around them. I am sure they will grow out of it, but it might be when they reach 40 yrs old. However, I do blame millenials when they refuse to take responsibility for their own mistakes.

So far, from what I heard, Generation Z is the opposite of Millenials. They are supposedly more conservative and don't get offended that easily. Not surprised since they are raised by my generation X.
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Old 8th August 2017, 11:13 AM   #58
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I don't get why some thought it was age discrimination. Base on the framing of the question, you can safely assume the company plans to hire plenty of millennials (most likely already has) and wonder how the interviewee would do to manage such a group which has a different set of needs than his generation.
I think it is age discrimination because the OP wouldn't have been asked such a question if he had been a millennial himself. I don't think it's fair to ask interviewees different questions based on their age, sex, or race.

That being said, it sounds to me like the OP handled the question well.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:22 PM   #59
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As a teacher, I have been a part of may interview committees over the years. We have never discriminated when it comes to age but I can tell you that my experience with interviewing millennials is interesting. Particularly when you compare them to the older generation.

One commonality across the board is a social ineptitude when it comes to answering questions. There is generally an odd mix of poor communication skills and arrogance in their answers.

Obviously, this varies across the board but there is always one question that seems to trip them up: "Have you worked on collaborative projects with other teachers and if so, please describe your work?"

Here are examples of two "correct" answers this question:

"I really haven't collaborated much with other staff but I'm looking forward to jumping in and doing so!"

Or

"I worked with the other members of our ____ department on several projects. For example; I worked closely with our ____ teacher on ____ project and really enjoyed it."

Here are direct examples of the answers we get from millennials:

"I've never done any collaborative projects as I generally have my own units planned out well ahead of time and there isn't much room for collaboration."

"____ teacher and I did complete a collaborative project together and it just didn't seem to work out as we had different ideas on how to approach it."

(From a guy who had just finished student teaching and had ZERO experience): "I suppose you could say that I worked collaboratively with my mentor teacher (a teacher that had been in the field for 20+ years) on some stuff. But, we have different teaching styles which made it difficult."

This question isn't just designed to get a feeling for their experience with collaborative projects (which is becoming a major part of education). It's designed to give us a better idea for how well these people will play well with others. I have yet to interview a millennial that has enough awareness in an interview to figure this out and give us an answer that didn't make us seriously consider their ability to work with others. This would be understandable if they were all fresh out of college but millennial teachers with five or more years of experience have answered in the same exact manner. Older interviewees rarely have an issue with this question. And, if they do, it's generally because they are new to the teaching profession and teaching interviews.

And, to be blunt, I have taught with numerous millennials and very few of them work well in project settings. There are plenty of people of all age ranges that don't like group projects and I'm one of them. But the millennial generation tend to be belligerent and immature about it. They will either do whatever they can to get out of collaborative projects (even fun ones involving model rockets in math and science) or they are argumentative and confrontational when setting things up.

I had an administrator that asked that I work with a millennial science teacher on some kind of collaborative project and it took me all of about five minutes to realize that I had better just let her have her way in all respects or it was going to be extremely uncomfortable. She didn't like any of my ideas (fun things I had done in the past with success) and was just generally upset that she had to work with another teacher. And, her and I had coached together for a few years and got along well so I thought it'd be blast.
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Old 9th August 2017, 8:28 AM   #60
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I think it is age discrimination because the OP wouldn't have been asked such a question if he had been a millennial himself. I don't think it's fair to ask interviewees different questions based on their age, sex, or race.

That being said, it sounds to me like the OP handled the question well.
My thoughts exactly, thanks!

It's been a few months since I was first asked the question and the employer still hasn't filled the position, as they keep posting the job ad. Go figure...
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