So You've Hired a Millennial...

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Apr 11, 2018

Evan Williams answers some frequently asked questions about the derided demographic.

What is a millennial?

A millennial is a person born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s who communicates exclusively through quotes from The Simpsons.

Can my millennial do work?

It might not seem like it at first but millennials are capable of completing a variety of tasks other than sharing GIFs of their fierce leader, Beyoncé. Millennials are naturals when it comes to computer-based tasks, given that many of them are “digital natives”. Growing up, millennials had to get all their life advice from Google, as their parents were too busy hovering above them in a helicopter.

Can my millennial do manual labour?

Millennials can complete a limited range of tasks with their hands. They are particularly adept at avocado smashing. They can also swipe their thumb horizontally on dating apps. Not sure about the rest, unfortunately.

Do I have to give millennials a trophy for doing their job?

They will require trophies, yes, though occasionally you can get away with a participation certificate. 

Will my millennial require payment for their work?

Not for the first few months if you call it an “internship”.

Why does my millennial intern not seem to be motivated?

Because they are not getting paid.

My millennial employee owns a house. Are they a true millennial?

Sounds like you got yourself a faulty model! You should exchange it for a new one at your nearest Paleo café. 

Can I disconnect the set of headphones from my millennial?

The headphones don’t come off. Sorry about that.

Does my millennial employee come with the foosball table and beanbag?

Sorry, you will have to purchase the foosball table and beanbag separately. As you should have read in the fine print, your millennial will require those objects to function in a workplace.

Are all millennials really this hopeless as employees?

No. All of the answers in this FAQ are just lazy clichés about millennials that are used by commentators to sell newspapers to the only people who still buy them: baby boomers. That being said, the author of this FAQ is a millennial (manufactured in 1990) and is therefore not to be trusted. Instead, maybe you should listen to Bruce N. Pfau, a human resources expert with KPMG. “While pithy descriptions of what makes millennials unique are presented as self-evident and seem to have a ring of truth to them, very few are supported with solid empirical research,” he pointed out in Harvard Business Review in 2016. “To the extent that any gaps do exist, they amount to small differences that have always existed between younger and older workers throughout history and have little to do with the millennial generation per se.”

So I should just treat my millennial employee like any other employee?

It’s worth a shot.

I’ve been treating my millennial employee like any other employee but the headphones still won’t come off.

Sorry, that one wasn’t a joke. Those really don’t come off. 

SEE ALSO: Why we All Dread That Call to the IT Help Desk