September 18, 2016

One of my clients ask that I help him with structuring a web site and application software (APP) that addresses the wishes and needs of millennials. We are talking about finances, health-related issues, vacation sites, dietary concerns, etc etc.    I am the furthest thing from being in that age group.  Even our three children are somewhat older, so I had to do research to see just how these people are.  It’s proper to start with a definition.

DEFINITION:   The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

Other proposed dates for Millennials:

  • According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978.
  • Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994.
  • In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998.
  • A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.

Overall, the earliest proposed birthdate for Millennials is 1976 and the latest 2004. Given that a familial generation in developed nations lies somewhere between 25 and 30 years, we might reasonably consider those the start and end points.

There is a great deal of variation from one individual to another within any generational cohort. Nevertheless, the particular environment for any generation affects those individuals in ways that are observable as broad tendencies. This definition of the term discusses those reported tendencies for Millennials in the workplace, Millennials and technology, Millennials and culture.  I suppose the actual dates given above sufficiently bracket the dates although I personally accept the dates given by Howe and Strauss because they “coined” the phrase.

CHARACTERISTICS:  If you are going to categorize and classify a particular group of people you need to do so with other that dates of birth.  Characteristics of the millennial class are typically taken as follows:

  • Fifty (50) percent of Millennials consider themselves politically unaffiliated. This I find to be really interesting but certainly lends itself to understanding why Senator Bernie Sanders became the poster-child for the millennial group.
  • Twenty-nine (29) percent consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. The percentage of individuals not professing affiliation has been dropping over the years.
  • They have the highest average number of Facebook friends, with an average of 250 friends vs. Generations X’s 200. This generation LIVES on social media.  They derive most of their news and information through social media sites.
  • Fifty-five (55) percent have posted a selfie or more to social media sites versus twenty (20) percent of Generation X.
  • Eight (8) percent of Millennials claim to have sexted, whereas thirty (30) percent claim to have received sexts. I think this is a horrible trend but apparently this is the manner in which “communication”, at least for some is carried out today.
  • They send a median of fifty (50) texts a day. From what I have seen this is grossly underestimate.
  • As of 2012, only nineteen (19) percent said that, generally, others can be trusted. This, to me, is truly sad and means they do not have individuals, for the most part, that can keep a confidence. Really sad!!!!!!
  • There are about seventy-six (76) million Millennials in the United States (based on research using the years 1978-2000).
  • Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century.
  • Twenty percent have at least one immigrant parent.
  • Workplace satisfaction matters more to Millennials than monetary compensation and work-life balance is often considered essential.
  • Millennials tend to be skeptical about promotional material of any kind. Whether buying products and services or considering employment, Millennials are more likely to listen to their friends than to be affected by marketing or public relations material. This characteristic makes both conventional marketing and employee recruitment practices often ineffective for Millennials. This makes marketing a whole new ballgame for companies and advertisers.
  • Millennials grew up with computers, the Internet and the graphical user interface (GUI). This familiarity makes them adept at understanding interfaces and visual languages. They tend to adjust readily to new programs, operating systems and devices and to perform computer-based tasks more quickly than older generations. Although it’s been proven that multitasking is not usually an effective way to work.
  • Millennials may be the employees that are most likely to pull it off.  I find this to be fascinating.
  • The Millennials have shown in survey to have the least faith in the institutions of America. Conversely, they also show the highest support of political independents and protestor-formed governments.(Did I mention Bernie Sanders?)
  • Some say that Millennials are self-entitled narcissists. Generally, however, there does seem to be more of an emphasis on the self than in previous generations, one reason why this group has been called Generation Me.


SEVEN REASONS MILLENNIALS ARE THE WORST GENERATION: There are definitely those people who do not view the millennial generation as being the best, brightest and most energetic generation.  Here is what some feel this generation represents.


  • They Think Colbert Should Be President.According to the latest Fusion poll, Hillary Clinton handily defeats all comers among millennials. But their real preference is for Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, who spends his time playing a mock-up of the worst stereotypes about conservatives. Nineteen (19) percent of millennials say that they’d like to see him as president, versus seventeen (17) percent each for Jon Stewart and Tina Fey. Dave Chappelle clocks in at a competitive fifteen (15) percent.
  • They Don’t Know Anything About Politics.Seventy-seven (77) percent couldn’t name a senator from their home state, according to the Fusion poll. But they do love the government – fifty-seven (57 ) percent say that government is helpful rather than harmful. In fact, according to a Reason Foundation poll from 2014, millennials hate both political parties but somehow have a higher opinion of Congress than any other age group, and forty-two (42) percent favor socialism over capitalism.
  • They Don’t Know Anything About Money.According to a 2013 Bank of America/USA Today survey, millennials say they’re smart with their cash. They’re not. Over half admit they’re “living from paycheck to paycheck,” according to, and “many are still living with or living off their parents.” More than one in three still draw cash or resources from mom and dad. But one in three are also saving for vacations, and they’re saving for vacations rather than homes. But good news: over eighty (80) percent say they’ll be richer than their parents.
  • They Disproportionately Oppose Vaccination.According to a recent YouGov poll, young people oppose vaccination more than any other age group. One in five millennials believe that vaccines cause autism, a scientifically-disproven nostrum trotted out by idiots in Marin County. A plurality of millennials therefore believe that government should not mandate vaccinations for diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough, as opposed to large majorities of those of older generations who actually remember what the world was like when people died of polio.
  • They Smoke.These medical geniuses also smoke more than other generations. According to Ipsos, twenty-three (23) percent of millennials admit to smoking, more than thirty-five to fifty-four (35-54) year old’s or even those aged fifty-five (55+). More than one in three young people admit to hiding their cigarette use from others. Because they’re responsible and all.
  • They’re Lazy.2014 YouGov poll shows that sixty-nine (69) percent of Americans think those under thirty (30) are lazy. Even a majority of young people, fifty-percent (55) percent, say that their generation is lazier than past generations. Overall, thirty-one (31) percent of people aged 18-29 think adults over thirty (30) are harder workers than they are. Sixty percent of Americans think that millennials lack purpose. It’s hard to argue when millennials are still whining about student loans and Obamacare at age twenty-six (26), which is probably why fifty-seven (57) percent of people under thirty (30) agree that they lack purpose.
  • They’re High on Self-Esteem.Thanks to their perennial adolescence, helped along by parents, media, and government, millennials believe they’re smarter than they are, and certainly wait to involve themselves in social institutions like marriage, which would require them to stop being selfish jackasses. As sociologist Jean Twenge writes, millennials are uninterested in the society around them, less likely to help the environment, less likely to “say they wanted a job that was helpful to others or was worthwhile to society.” Twenge skews left, by the way.

GENERATIONS:  If we look at generations, we see the follow:

The Depression Era

Born: 1912-1921
Coming of Age: 1930-1939
Age in 2004: 83 to 92
Current Population: 11-12 million (and declining rapidly)

World War II

Born: 1922 to 1927
Coming of Age: 1940-1945
Age in 2004: 77-82
Current Population: 11 million (in quickening decline)

Post-War Cohort

Born: 1928-1945
Coming of Age: 1946-1963
Age in 2004: 59 to 76
Current Population: 41 million (declining)

Boomers I or The Baby Boomers

Born: 1946-1954
Coming of Age: 1963-1972
Age in 2004: 50-58
Current Population: 33 million

Boomers II or Generation Jones

Born: 1955-1965
Coming of Age: 1973-1983
Age in 2004: 39 to 49
Current Population: 49 million

Generation X

Born: 1966-1976
Coming of Age: 1988-1994
Age in 2004: 28 to 38
Current Population: 41 million

Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums

Born: 1977-1994
Coming of Age: 1998-2006
Age in 2004: 10 to 22
Current Population: 71 million

Generation Z

Born: 1995-2012
Coming of Age: 2013-2020
Age in 2004: 0-9
Current Population: 23 million and growing rapidly

CONCLUSIONS:  I think we ALL have something to give.  Let’s be kind to each generation and seek to understand where they are coming from.  Their thoughts, their dreams, their ambitions, etc etc.  We are ALL in this together.


February 22, 2016

We live in fascinating times!  Long gone are the days when individuals have only one employer.  The median number of years wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.6 years in January 2014, unchanged from January 2012.  This is according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For women, the median tenure in January 2014 was 4.5 years, unchanged from January 2012. Among men, thirty percent (30%) of wage and salary workers had ten (10) years or more tenure with their current employer, compared with twenty-eight (28%) percent for women.  Median employee tenure was generally higher among older workers than younger ones. For example, the median tenure of workers ages fifty-five (55) to sixty-four (64), (10.4 years) was more than three times that of workers ages twenty-five (25) to thirty-four (34) years (3.0 years).  A larger proportion of older workers than younger workers had ten (10) years or more tenure.  Among workers ages sixty (60) to sixty-four (64), fifty-eight (58%) percent were employed for at least ten (10) years with their current employer in January 2014, compared with only twelve (12%) percent of those ages thirty (30) to thirty-four (34).

We are getting older and as aging employees retire, CEOs, presidents and human resource managers must look to younger individuals to fill the vacant positions.  This brings on fascinating challenges that certainly must be met.  Just what are the TOP TALENT TRENDS?  Let’s take a look.

  • INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)— There is absolutely no doubt about it, IoT is the next technology mega-trend affecting the entire business spectrum. IoT is a network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics to collect and exchange data.  All sorts of data.  We see more and more “things” being connected to the internet each day. Every design manager recognizes this fact.  Companies are racing to make this happen.   Workers will have to develop new skills to meet the challenges of this environment.  People who know how to write code as well as hardware specialists will have to get on board for this revolution in products. Its coming and in many cases, already here.
  • THE BOOMERANG EMPLOYEE—An employee who leaves your company and then returns at a later time is called a boomerang employee. There, of course, reasons why an employee leaves; i.e. additional education, bad chemistry between manager and employee, great opportunities elsewhere, etc.  Seventy-six percent (76%) of employers say they are more accepting to rehire an employee is that employee did not create real issues during his original time with the company.   Rehiring a former employee can make sense.  They are familiar with company culture, may not require much training, and bring with them new perspectives.
  • GENERATION “Z” ENTERING THE WORKFORCE—Generation “Z” is the generation born between 1994 and 2004. According to Forbes, in 2015 Generation Z made up twenty-five percent (25%) of the U.S. population, making them a larger cohort than the baby boomersor millennials.  Frank N. Magid Associates estimates that in the United States, fifty-five percent (55%) of Generation Z are Caucasian, twenty-four percent (24%) are Hispanic, fourteen percent (14%) are African-American, four percent (4%) are Asian, and four percent (4%) are multiracial or other.

Non-traditional households are one of the most prominent features associated with Generation Z’s familial culture. In the 2010s, fewer women are having children (around 80 percent of those of childbearing age, against 90 percent in the 1970s), and those who do have fewer children at a later age.   Marriage rates have fallen as well as divorce rates, which are still relatively high. According to the U.S. census of 2010, both women and men get married at a later age– women’s first marriage averaging to the age of twenty-six (26) and men’s to the age of twenty-nine (29). This is due to the popular idea of becoming financially and emotionally independent before beginning a life with a significant other or children. Multiracial families have also become very prevalent.  In the U.S. census of 2001, 6.8% of people under the age of eighteen (18) claimed to be more than one race.  In addition to an increase in multiracial families, there are more same-sex marriages and families in communities across the country.  This is GEN “Z” and they are looking for employment.

  • HYBRID TALENT DEMAND—I think this is a big one. Hybrid jobs are the future of jobs.  Andy Holt, the past president of the University of Tennessee told the graduating class: “Know something about everything and everything about something”.  This in a nutshell is hybrid knowledge.  A hybrid employee is considered both a generalist and a specialist.  With a hybrid employee, employers are basically getting two people for the price of one.
  • INDUSTRY GROWTH CREATING NEED FOR FLEXIBLE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT—Accelerated growth produces the great need for an employee to be flexible relative to needed training and on-the-floor-experience. If an employee is not willing to learn, thus retrain—don’t hire him or her.
  • LONGER HIRING PROCESS CONTINUES—The time to fill a given job is lengthening. In April of 2015, the average job was vacant for 27.3 days before being filled.  This nearly doubles the 15.3 days it took prior to 2009. Better hires come out of the process but it does take time—much more time.
  • OFFICE DESIGN IS BEING USED TO ATTRACT TALENT—I find this one to be fascinating. Studies have shown that by transforming the look of the workplace, companies can create a more effective and productive space for their workers. For that reason, many companies are focusing on redesigning their office environment as a key aspect of attracting and retaining the best talent.  Health and safety are no longer considered adequate to attract employees.  They go for ambience also.
  • MORE WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY—With the great rise of telecommuting, globalization and new technology, workers are demanding more flexibility. It definitely has not yet been determined as to where employers draw the line and I am positive this varies from company to company. With GEN Z, companies will have to bend with the winds of change and those changes are coming.
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