There was a fair amount of conversation regarding this “millennial” generation last week, some of it controversial and with minor disagreement. There doesn’t seem to be differences in that we all agree that each generation has it’s own quirks in terms of preferences that can be stereotyped, as well as communication methods that might be particular to that generation.
Here’s my point though. After some serious though, I have to agree with Recruiting Animal. Every generation has been defined by a portion of the population that popular culture has latched onto. The 70’s have turned into disco and mod, the 80’s punk and preppy. We might be looking at the Millennials as idealists, but I must say that an experience over the weekend (confined in small quarters (a boat) with a couple hundred high school and college age students) has left me thinking that this idea of idealism is really a fairly small part of the population. The thought that they may be more global minded than their parents is certainly feasible, but how this has shaped their thinking is still largely unknown. The fact that they have different modes of communication is undeniable as Colin states, but again, the full impact of this is largely unknown.
I went over to Ryan’s site and noticed something fairly different. Many of us bloggers seem to have linked-in profiles. The fact that there is a major presence in recruiters in the overall HR blogosphere is possibly ha substantial contributor here, but we all use linked-in nonetheless. I myself have one I have never publicized here since it’s under my real name (If you have any desire to link to me, you can send an invite to “admin (at) systematicHR (dot) com”). Ryan’s site didn’t have the normal linked-in profile, he had a myspace profile. While I’m extraordinarily dubious about the professionalism of any myspace site and the business potential must be faced with healthy skepticism, I have set up a myspace page as an experiment. You can find me at http://www.myspace.com/systematicHR (and be my “friend). I say the professional elements are dubious mostly because as I tried to categorize my interests, “business” is not even listed among the music, art, and more “social” choices presented. Myspace is not intended for this type of networking, but I’m very interested to see if the Millennial attention to social networking can be translated into a professional program.
Communications are different. I have to admit that I don’t “get” social networking and “buddies” and people spending time commenting on inane topics their friends write about. But at the same time, we’ve been talking about innovation, collaboration and talent networks, and bringing user communities together to make them work. Somewhere there’s an intersection of when the Millennials are already doing, and where we want to go in the future. Somewhere there’s a space where they learn to interact with the business world while bringing their own brand of communication skills to the table.
So here’s what I want you to do. If you have a myspace page (I’m guessing that 99.9% of the readership does not) make me a friend. I’m really curious what type of networking we can do, and how it will compare with Linked-in type formats.
MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/systematicHR
Linked-In at: “admin (at) systematicHR (dot) com”
More to come Wednesday.