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interview tips

Plague of the Millennials

I just finished reading “Millennials Incorporated” by Lisa Orrell, a book dedicated to the newest and most misunderstood generation: the Millennials (also known as Gen Y). As someone responsible for the recruiting, hiring, developing and managing of the most sought after generation of workers, this book was helpful to me in understanding that I am not alone – the issues I face daily are not unique to our business, industry, or positions. The Millennials Incorporated, by Lisa OrrellMillennial Professionals are the generation of people born after 1982, graduated after 2000, and are most recently invading your organizations as we speak. We, as employers, trainers and managers, can foster and develop this invading force of workers, or we can choose to ignore the problems we are facing and allow them to infect our livelihoods. “Millennials Incorporated” puts a ton of emphasis on companies investing time to understand this generation and how best to motivate and develop them as the future leaders of our organizations. The one problem I have with this book is that a number of its suggestions border on coddling and pandering the generation who is already commonly perceived as spoiled, entitled and whiny. Yes, it is the role of a successful leader to inspire the best out of people, but it’s important for you (Millennials) to understand – it’s still the BOOMERS and GEN X’s running the companies and making the decisions that will affect your future. You must also understand the climate and take ownership of your future.

Let’s first understand the background. This generation was raised to feel special. They were the first generation required to wear bike helmets! They were the first generation to have parental controls on their TV’s. The punishments they are dealt in school are so PC that I am not certain if a “stern talking to” is allowed anymore without parental consent and a guidance counselor present. They were raised with more rules and laws than any generation before. They were raised to feel special, protected, and valued. They grow up with social media and know that their voices ring around the world without constraint and they have unfettered access to all of the information that they want. They were raised to have a voice in their family dynamic and led to believe that they really can accomplish anything.

Millennials – you are perceived by the world as spoiled, entitled, lazy, cocky, disloyal, arrogant and deserving. It seems this generation grew up watching too many movies where all the 20-something employees sit in internet think tanks and sip espresso while sitting on bean bags and whining about their personal lives. It is up to you to confound these perceptions. You ask “WHY” a lot. “Why?” is a valuable question but can often be perceived as WHINING. Toe that line carefully. The flip side of this coin that Millennials are confident, achieving, they mature faster and have been raised with a strong sense of community. Which of these two do you think will be your company’s future leaders?

Some paradoxical truths of Millennials:

  • They expect to be treated with respect, yet they feel they are endowed and do not have to earn it.
  • They need to be active. If their task is to press a button all day, they’ll grow bored and seek other means of entertainment.
  • They’re fast thinkers! They grew up with the internet and the world at their finger tips. Everything is faster to this generation. The problem being that they expect their career path to evolve as fast as high speed data.
  • They’re “pack animals.” They are team-orientated and seek to include others. The downside is that they also seek to be included and feel entitled to be so without earning it. Millennials want a seat at the table and feel disenfranchised when they don’t have it.
  • They like “balance.” This really translates that they don’t want to work long hours. The best way to compromise here is for the Millennials to give 130% while at work and for the employer to help create an environment where they can leave work at the door.
  • They are expressive but are new to “consequences” for failing to filter their thoughts when necessary.
  • They want autonomy without having earned it, and are quick to blame lack of supervision for their failures. If you want it, OWN IT!
  • They are goal driven and need to be challenged quickly.
  • They are motivated by advancement and growth. But remember, everything is faster! They expect the promotions in 2 years that took other generations 20. Adapt with new milestones for growth.
  • Praise and praise often. Praise like you’re training a new puppy. But, Millennials, is this really what you want to be equated with? Don’t seek praise without earning it!
  • Millennials do not handle conflict and criticism well. They respond well to positive reinforcement (again with the puppy reference).
  • Abandon old methods of leading with harsh and abrupt communication, negativity, threats and fear. The only numbers this will increase is your turnover!

The most positive thing for all three generations to understand about the Millennials: we ALL want them to be our next leaders. Coach them as such. Reward them with responsibility. Set clear objectives and get to know them personally. Millennials, understand that you must also rise to the occasion. No company wants turnover but there comes a point when you’re resume has more jobs than years on it – you’re stock goes way down! Align our goals and objectives. The #1 thing Millennials look for is a leader that they can learn from!

“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.” – Pearl S. Black

– Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales and Personnel Development
Twitter: @theBGExperience

21 Awesome Interview Tips, Stupid

  1. If your resume is more than 2 pages long, it better be in hard cover and authored by Dan Brown or James Patterson!
  2. Please don’t fill your resume with fluffy sales revenue numbers. If I don’t know your industry, I don’t care. If I know your industry, then I’m not impressed.
  3. Writing a paragraph about your “qualifications” that aren’t licenses or certifications is the same as using 26 font and a half page title when you wrote papers in 11th grade English class… and it reads the same way!
  4. Adjectives are not Key Words.
  5. When you tell me you are a “relationship builder,” you are really telling me that you don’t like to prospect.
  6. When you tell me how much of a “closer” you are, you are really telling me that you don’t like to prospect.
  7. If you use Social Media as a replacement to cold calling, you are lazy. If you don’t use Social Media as a supplement to cold calling, you are stupid.
  8. If you no-call, no-show for an interview, you are not only wasting my time but you are taking someone else’s opportunity from them. Karma’s a b***h. Just sayin’.  
  9. If you are going to be late to an interview, just keep driving and be really early for your next one because you aren’t getting this job!
  10. Your boy band called, they want their 5 o’clock shadow back. Shave for an interview!
  11. If I’m not important enough to bring your resume to a job interview, then you are not important enough for me to care what’s on it.
  12. If you don’t bring your resume to a job interview, I am just going to make stuff up.
  13. Unless that phone call is the job offer you really wanted, then leave your phone in the car because you won’t be getting this job!
  14. If you put your phone or car keys on my desk I am just going to assume they are mine and begin to thumb through your photos.
  15. Name dropping on an interview is a great way to help me remember later that I didn’t like you.
  16. If you don’t wear a tie to a job interview I am just going to assume that’s a noose around your neck because you just hung yourself.
  17. When asked what you are looking for, let’s just assume that I know you want a “Stable company with growth opportunity.” It pretty much goes without saying that you don’t want a big glass ceiling at a company that will probably go out of business and fail to pay you commissions.
  18. We don’t hire managers. We promote them.
  19. Ladies, I’ll never assume to know how to tell a woman to dress but if you wear it to a club, don’t wear it to an interview.
  20. If more than 3 girls in the office will stare daggers at you when you walk in, don’t wear it to an interview.
  21. If your first question to me is “What is the salary?” then the answer will be NOTHING because you aren’t getting hired.  

– Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales & Personnel Development
Follow me @theBGexperience

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The BG Experience: Hire People, Not Resumes

I read several hundred resumes per week and effectively get my fiction fix from there. Well, science fiction, really. Resumes, especially sales resumes are portraits of creative writing containing lots of unverifiable accomplishments and vast numbers that are not really quantifiable or relevant to anything. Resumes should really be nothing more than talking points for interviews. They tell you little about a person’s work history and even less about them as a person. What has allowed us to be successful in our hiring practices and building the exciting, fun, and largely successful organization that we have is by hiring people, not resumes. Find the right person and then train them how to do the job.

In my recent Blogs, Awesomeness and , I discuss the types of individuals we look to drive and promote our culture. We hire who we want to be. We use multiple people to interview or interact with candidates and are looking for people with the following personal characteristics:

  • Caring
  • Smart
  • bluegrace employees | hiring tips | interview tipsFun
  • Internal Locus
  • Humble
  • Confident
  • Passionate
  • Competitive
  • Not Afraid
  • Growth Driven
  • Tad Bit Odd
  • Pack minded
  • Communicates Well
  • Tolerant

So how can you identify these qualities in a person? Ask us for “theBGexperience&rdquo interview questions & techniques. Decide upon your mission, your vision, your values and the company culture you want. Then look for the individuals to help you accomplish this end. We strive for things such as innovation and speed to market. We strive to offer OMG Customer Service. We want to make money. We want to dominate the globe. While of course we operate with the end in mind, we hire people at the core for who they are and treat them as the very foundation of everything we want to be. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

– Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development

Choosing the Candidate that Best Fits Your Company

Filling an open position in a company is not simply a matter of identifying someone with the right educational degree or technical ability.  Less obvious are things like social skills, workplace demeanor and communication style.  In the long run, character and chemistry are just as important as capability in building a successful team.  The bottom line is finding the right combination of skills and sensibility to deliver results while collaborating on larger collective challenges

-Jerry Morris, Human Resources 

choosing candidates | hiring tips | human resources