Millenial Smillenial

Oh, how I loathe the term “millenial.”  And yet I see it everywhere. Imagine my frustration, especially when I see so many articles discussing how to recruit millenials and what we’re supposedly interested in.  Of course, I’m not a recruiter, so maybe this is just a rant against a term I don’t like or maybe I’m making sense, it’s up to you to decide.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the definition of millenial, it refers to any person born between 1980 and 2000.  Which brings me to my first issue.

20 Years is a Long Time

Can you really group people together when they were born 20 years apart? If you grew up in the 1980s,like me, you’re probably as different from someone who grew up in the 1990s as you are from someone who grew up in the 1970s.  Or maybe someone born in the early 1980s has quite a bit more in common with someone born in the 1970s than someone in the 1990s.

In short, painting people with the same brush, simply because they were born within an arbitrarily determined period doesn’t make any sense.

Coddling Not Required

There seems to be an idea that all so-called millenials were babied growing up, and now we need to be coddled in the workplace.  Sure, there may be some people with “helicopter parents” who can’t let their kids go (or alternatively, kids who can’t live without their parents’ interventions).  But, frankly, I don’t know a single person like that.  The truth, that most so-called millenials are just as capable, self-sufficient and hard-working as the generations before them, just doesn’t sell papers or lead people to click.

Some of the other stereotypes for those of us born between 1980 and 2000 are true, but no more so than any other generation.  For example, do we want to do meaningful work? Yes, but we’re hardly the first generation that wishes to do so.

There’s also some odd belief that we care less about making money.  I may not be able to speak for others, but I want to take care of my family and live comfortably (and maybe even get rich).  If I’m considering a career change, then one of my first concerns is the size of the paycheck.  It certainly isn’t the only


I’m not necessarily saying that you should recruit younger employees in the same manner as older employees.  Obviously, quite a bit has changed in just the last 10 years.  Social recruiting has become huge part of bringing in new talent.

However, throwing everyone born within the same 20 year period doesn’t make any sense.  If you want people to accept your job offer then provide a good place to work, an opportunity to grow with a good paycheck.

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Casey Sipe

Casey is a management-side labor and employment attorney with Caldwell & Kearns in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he writes a labor and employment law blog, The Employer's Lawyer. He loves technology, social media, soccer and bow ties. Connect with Casey.

Reader Interactions


  1. Curtis Whitler says

    I agree that most of stereotypes about Millennials can be easily attributed to other generations. However I can’t fully agree that the way our generation treats job doesn’t differ from the way our parents do. For example, I feel that I’m not very attached to my job place, however for my mother any change in her levelled career would feel like the end of the world. I think this difference is not tied to generations as much as to the time and environment we grew up, but again some things will remain the same whilst new requirements and challenges may arise.


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