HR professionals, has anyone ever told you that you deserve high fives for the work you do? People probably don’t realize how hard it is to hire and retain top talent. For most companies who are trying to get it right in terms of drawing in the best people and keeping those all-stars, it’s harder than it looks. Human resource professionals, CEOs and owners are constantly trying to figure out how they can improve their business, their culture and their benefits to attract top talent.

Trying to find millennial all-stars is even harder, right? The blood pressure of every hiring manager probably goes up at the mention of the “m” word. Millennials have been branded as impossible to please, too sensitive, disloyal, and a social media liability. And, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — millennials, in about five years, will make up roughly 50% of the U.S. workforce. If the above statements are true…that’s a lot of aspirin that’s going to be needed for all of the upcoming headaches.

That is, if you believe all of those millennial myths.

It may surprise you that most millennial’s passions and needs are not all that different from their older colleagues – Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. This is certainly welcome news for skeptics and hiring managers alike, and a breath of fresh air for those of us that are tired of hearing the woes about millennials.

Here are 5 millennial myths – debunked.

Myth #1: The career goals and expectations of millennials are unrealistic.
In a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, the differences between millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer employees were shown to be grossly exaggerated. The study compared desires and behavioral patterns of millennials with those of the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations.

Millennials desire financial security, seniority, inspirational leadership, clearly articulated goals, and recognition and promotions based on good performance. Doesn’t sound all that different from the other generations, does it? It’s not. Gen X and Baby Boomers want the same things. These generations are also just as interested as millennials in working within a diverse workspace of all age ranges.  This suggests that the trend we are seeing to “millennialize” the workplace will likely be welcomed by multiple generations as well.

Myth #2: Millennials need constant reinforcement and think that everyone deserves a trophy.
The IBM study showed that this myth annoys millennials the most. When asked what made a perfect boss, participants said they wanted a manager who valued transparency and dependability, someone who was ethical and fair in their decisions. Not someone that would just pat them on the back all the time for every completed task.  Surprisingly, the study showed that Gen X employees were actually the ones who think that everyone on a successful team should be rewarded.

Myth #3: Millennials are more likely to quit a job if it doesn’t fulfill their passions.
The IBM survey data also revealed that all three generations change jobs for the same reasons. The top job change factors for all generations were (in order): to enter the fast lane, shoot for the top, follow one’s heart, or save the world. In a recent study of Alabama millennials conducted by Alabama Media Group, participants also stated that like their older colleagues, millennials care about career advancement.

Myth #4: Millennials prefer to be communicated with via text, email or social media.
In a study done by ARCompany, a research and marketing firm, it was uncovered that all three generations prefer communicating face-to-face about important issues. Next in line was telephone, then email. Coming up in last place was texting. Millennials made clear they despise work-related texting.

Myth #5: Millennials prefer to work in an open space environment.
ARCompany revealed that millennials in particular felt that an open space work environment actually decreased productivity. Because of this, many looked for alternate remote spaces to work, like a coffee shop or from home, in an effort to really concentrate.

The sooner we keep identifying these myths and debunking them, the more productive we can be in making better hires, retaining better employees and creating stronger workplace cultures.

One of the best ways to invest in your company’s future is to get in front of top millennial talent by meeting them where they are and showing them that you understand them and believe in them. Not only that, but if you have millennial employees, empower them to better themselves through learning and networking opportunities outside of your company.


Alabama Media Group will be host the Alabama Young Professionals Summit in Birmingham on July 15.  The Summit provides a platform for Millennials to connect, learn, share, get career advice and build relationships. In addition, Alabama Media Group will be presenting a full  study focused on millennials of Alabama.

Interested in becoming a sponsor or sponsoring your employees’ attendance? Get in touch with us.

By Published On: June 1, 2016Categories: Events, Insights, NewsComments Off on Five Millennial Myths DebunkedTags: , , ,

Share this Story

Contact Us Today