A new study of millennial job seekers and HR professionals illustrates some of the stereotypes facing generation Y as it works to make a name for itself in the workplace.
Millennials are known for many things, at least stereotypically. They are often considered one of the most tech-savvy generations and are also commonly identified as spoiled, entitled, and self-centered.
“Until millennials are able to overcome existing stereotypes, they’ll have to work extra hard just to get noticed.”
Adding fodder to these perceptions is a new study of 6,000 millennial job seekers and HR professionals conducted by Beyond.com that found a serious disconnect between how gen Y-ers view themselves and how others in the workplace view them.
Nowhere in the study was this more evident than with the issue of employer loyalty. While 82 percent of millennials rated themselves as loyal to employers, only 1 percent of HR professionals believed this generation has long-term staying power with one organization.
Eight-six percent of millennials also rated themselves as hard workers. A much higher proportion than the 11 percent of HR professionals who thought this generation works hard. Good leadership skills? Forty percent of millennials think they have what it takes to lead, but only 9 percent of HR professionals agreed.
“Until millennials are able to overcome existing stereotypes, they’ll have to work extra hard just to get noticed,” Beyond.com Founder and CEO Rich Milgram said in a statement. “Younger job seekers don’t have it easy in the current economy, and they’ve been put in a hole by the generations that have gone before them.”
Generation Y also lags in interpersonal skills, according to the surveyed HR professionals—14 percent of whom thought millennials had good communication skills (compared to 65 percent of millennials who reported they relate well to others). Only 22 percent of HR professionals believe millennials make good team players, compared to 60 percent of millennials who thought they work well in teams.
While most of the study’s findings suggest millennials have significant stereotypes to overcome in the workplace, there were some glimmers of hope for gen Y.
Eighty-six percent of HR professionals believed millennials are tech savvy, for example—a higher proportion than the 35 percent of millennials who reported that they are skilled in this area.
And more than 84 percent of millennial job seekers are optimistic about finding employment, suggesting an underlying motivation and drive to succeed, despite stereotypes.