Millennials are getting a raw deal in the professional world. I have been in the working world for a long while and I have interacted in a professional setting with nearly all generations alive today. And without a shadow of a doubt, the millennial cohort is getting the short stick. They are the most educated generation, yet, they graduated into the Great Recession. They have yet to even get a chance to make their impact. Why? You might ask…I explain.
The system of hiring and recruiting has not changed in earnest in decades, maybe even a century. We are still using job ads and resumes. Yes we do some with social and digital, but what we are doing with social and digital is really more job ads and resumes. What we see on LinkedIn is not different from what happened with Monster in the 90s and with newspapers before that and with signs in shop windows before that. There has been very little evolution in earnest. The worst part is that the whole system is rigged for the experienced and it is not built for what we have in today’s interconnected, mobile, visual society.
Here’s the thing, I want to live in a world where people get noticed for the work they do. Where they get the interview and job based on their work not their work history. I want it to be irrelevant if you started out your career at a bakery or coffee shop, did you increase sales? Impact customer satisfaction? That’s what matters. I want work gaps to become a thing of the past. If you took six months off to manage your quarter-life crisis, so what! Did you volunteer? Did you learn anything? Those things should matter. That we still live in a time where a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper arranged in chronological order is how we get noticed is not only unacceptable, it is misguided. Because that piece of paper that lists our responsibilities has almost nothing to do with what we actually did and the value we can bring to the workplace. What matters? Results. Resumes are not designed for results. Resumes are designed to be glossed over. So to that end…I suppose resumes are successful.
Millennials have the power in sheer numbers to change this. You are the future workforce. I have seen what you can do at work and every time, my expectations have been exceeded by your abilities, passion and insights into the world.
The system of recruiting is built for people with limited experience to struggle. But what brings me joy is that you guys, you’re clever, resourceful and scrappy and they never, ever settle. You will invent ingenious ways way move within and outside the system when needed. But, today, it is incredibly difficult to circumventing hiring. Not impossible, just difficult. It will take a paradigm shift. And what’s so awesome about millennials, you specialize in paradigm shifts. This generation will change the way hiring is done.