The Real Threat to Millennial Job Hunters

re careeringA new hoard of job hunters will descend on the world this month following graduation.  Many have no idea what they want but need a point of entry into paid employment.  About 20 percent are sure the world is waiting for them because they are well-trained with scarce talents.  I’ve heard several petroleum engineers and many newly minted physicians talk about what they want in a first job.  They expect their demands to be met.   “What alternative does the company have?  They have to hire us or go out of business!”

Not so fast.  Many organizations are exploring alternatives to young people who don’t share their values and may be passing through the organization on the way to self employment.  It’s always fatal to assume you can hold anyone, much less an organization, hostage.  There are two untapped sources of talent that will fit right in with the Boomer work ethic and mentality.  They are housewives who want to re-career — possibly becoming “beginners” again in a new field — and people nearing retirement who want to share a job.

A fortysomething former housewife with lots of volunteer experience and a killer work ethic won’t have trouble besting a millennial who’s ambivalent about working for a corporation and is “not a morning person.”  Indeed HR types tell me they are eager for mid-life workers who’ll fit into the culture and contribute.  Physicians just out of residency are finding the competition is not each other but two sixtysomething docs who want to share a job.  They will take call!  They don’t require signing bonuses.  They have a ton of good experience.  Who wouldn’t choose the latter — including the patients?

Organizations who can’t adjust their stereotypes and hiring practices to include unconventional candidates are in for serial disappointment.  Most managers need to be burned just once by a new hire who announces in six months that the work doesn’t “really interest me” or “this is not what I trained to do.?  After that, those with the lived-in look and conventional values seem superior.  Note:  Managers who haven’t dealt with young people who’d rather be somewhere else — if they could identify where that might be — still want younger, cheaper help.

Don’t Millennials understand that superior education and training mean nothing if your delivery system doesn’t suit the hirer or the culture?  The new guy in marketing who speaks only  analytical jargon because he knows his older colleagues have no idea what he’s talking about won’t stay as he’s bathed in their silent resentment.  He will have learned little about getting along with co-workers or even the need to do so.  The pity is what if he doesn’t become self-employed?  How many mistakes will he need to make before he adjusts to the workplace as it is?

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Related Posts:

Resurrecting a Dead Job Hunt

Taking Some Misery Out Of the Long-Term Job Hunt

Even “Losers” Have Sellable Qualities

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Filed under Boomers, Career Strategies, Millennials and GenX, Workforce Demographics