Hiring Gen Y Managers: Pros and Cons

By Adam Robinson,
September 4, 2013

Gen Y or millennial managers out for themselves? Most likely, says a new study from EY, the global firm that includes Ernst & Young LLP.

The research findings, released earlier this week and chronicled in an NBC News article, explain that, “generation Y managers are widely perceived as entitled, and score significantly lower as hard-working team players.”

This is news to many, who see millennials as “driven” and “motivated,” but this study seems to contradict that. Almost 1/3 of the US workforce are Gen Y employees and the number is not declining soon, and with 68% of that group “perceived as ‘entitled and concerned primarily about individual promotion,’ as the EY survey found, that’s an issue.”

If you are hiring managers in the Gen Y range (EY defines as people ages 18 to 32) you must be prepared for the benefits and the consequences.

Here’s a list of pros and cons to hiring Gen Y managers.

Pro: Increased Flexibility

The EY study found that Gen Y managers scored higher on workplace flexibility which is beneficial to companies who don’t work on a 9-5 schedule.

Con: Lack of Experience

As the NBC News article explains, the lack of experience seen by millennial managers may cause conflict in the workplace. This isn’t permanent though. Karyn Twaronite, EY’s Americas inclusiveness officer, thinks “companies need to be helping their Gen Y managers develop more positive management qualities” in order to be successful.

Pro: Technologically Advanced

Millennials tend to be more tech-savvy than their Gen X peers. The NBC News article states that Gen Y managers are “smart about ways to leverage social media,” which many businesses lack.

Con: Gen Y isn’t trusted… Yet.

Also in the NBC News article, the study states that Gen X (generally ages 33 to 48) were believed to be the strongest managers with 70% of the vote. Millennials however only had 5% of the votes saying they were ready to lead.

Pro: Culturally competent

One of the clear pros of a millennial leader is their ability to drive the company’s culture. The NBC article sees Gen Y leaders as “inclusive leaders who display what EY calls ‘diversity’ skills, or the ability to build ‘culturally competent teams.'”

In the end it is the hiring manager’s discretion whether a millennial is fit for leadership. Have you hired a Gen Y leader? What was your experience?

Interested in how millennials seek out jobs? Check out one of our most popular ebooks!

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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