From July, 2016

Interview4 Video Interviewing Reduces Customer Turnover Six Percentage Points

Calling Interview4 video interviewing “a life changer”, a large retailer finds the service not only reduces turnover, but also saves time and money by allowing the screening of more candidates in the same amount of shopping-centre-1003650_640time that used to be devoted to phone screening.  Eliminating the agony of the phone interview has resulted in happier teams and a better corporate culture.

The quality of job candidates brought in for live interviews increased markedly.  Each candidate who took a video interview could be evaluated easily in just ten to twelve minutes, putting more time into each recruiter’s day.

Before Interview4, picking candidates to be advanced in the hiring process was hotly contested because only one person actually spoke to each candidate via phone.  Everyone else just saw the written summaries of the calls.

Now, the recorded video interviews can easily be shared with team leaders, program managers, and other decision makers.  They can review, grade and comment on each candidate.Virtual video interviews are also convenient to schedule for both the employer and the candidates.

Finally, the Interview4 team got high marks for their customer focus and willingness to cater to customers’ needs.

Are the Millennials Really the Laziest Generation?

In my colleague’s March blog post, “Productivity is on life support: Blame the Millennials and the Baby Boomers,” he pointed out that the annual growth rate of productivity from year to year between 2007 and selfie-1022967_6402015 was 60% lower than the year to year growth rate between 1947 and 1973.  He contended that both the older, less productive baby boomers and the easily distracted millennials were to blame for the decrease in growth rate.  Indeed many articles have been written about the Millennial “Me, Me, Me” generation.

Recently the Texas department of labor established an overtime rule that allows overtime pay for more salaried workers.  The biggest complaint from business leaders on this ruling is that younger employees, millennials, don’t deserve to be paid overtime for the work they should have accomplished during their regular hours.  As one complainant to the department of labor suggested, “The younger workers are often off task, engaged on social media, on the internet, texting on phones and other unproductive activities.”

Here we have further suggestions that Millennials are basically…well…. lazy.  Below is an alleged quote from a prominent intellectual on the state of our youth which many would agree succinctly describes today’s young workers.

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.  They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table….and tyrannize their teachers.”

Sounds exactly like today’s youth but the quote above is allegedly from a disgruntled Socrates sometime prior to his death in 399 B.C nearly 2,500 years ago.  I’m not convinced Socrates did indeed say this but regardless, the quote is old and suggests that Millennials aren’t the first generation to patent laziness and disrespect.

Bruce Pfau, the head of human resources for KPMG, spent years studying the differences between the wants and needs at work of Millennials and employees in other generations.  He concluded that Millennials weren’t necessarily lazy or narcissistic but rather those are traits exhibited by young people which are corrected as the individual grows older.

Going back through history we see clearly that Millennials aren’t the first generation to be criticized by the media for their self-absorbed attitude.  A 1907 article in the Atlantic Monthly on why marriages are failing declared that the “…cult of individualism…” was to blame.  In the 70s, acclaimed author Tom Wolf wrote an article for New York magazine called, “The ME Decade.  Reports on America’s New Great Awakening.”  In it he said, “…The new alchemical dream is: changing one’s personality-remaking, remodeling, elevating and polishing one’s very self…and observing, studying and doting on it. (Me!)…” The Gen-Xers took a hit from Time magazine in 1990 when they dedicated their cover story to the generation who has “trouble making decisions” and whose attention span is as short as “one zap of a TV dial.”

Truly, younger people on average are more narcissistic, however the younger workers of the ‘oos aren’t necessarily more selfish than were 90s workers, and 90’s workers aren’t more self-absorbed than those in the 70’s and 80s.  Sure, the distractions from decade to decade may be different. The generation once entranced by MTV now may look down its nose at the Facebook generation and in ten years the Facebook generation may haughtily judge generation Z for its addiction to virtual reality.  Regardless however of what actually distracts them, the young people of every generation had a distraction over which the upper generations judged them for being lazy and self-absorbed.

So relax America.  Our Millennials will grow out of it.  In fact one day they will be writing articles about how bratty and entitled the young workers at their companies are behaving.

Internapalooza: What Type of Millennial Do We Really Want?

Internapalooza, an event I had not heard of until recently, is as its name suggests, a gathering of interns.  More specifically the event hosts interns interested in working for Silicon Valley companies and from what I people-1230872_640can tell, this July 11th, Internapalooza’s fifth annual event will take over AT&T Park in San Francisco with over 8,000 interns registered to attend.  The event offers interns the chance to mingle with their peers, speak with executives from dozens of top tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Paypal, Dropbox, and Microsoft and even play games.  According to the schedule the free event begins at 6:00 and ends at 10:00 but that is when the Intern After Party begins and continues until 1:00 am. 

A viral story about the After Party is how I first heard of Internapalooza.  (I’m a forty-something who lives on the East Coast so cut me some slack.)  A Microsoft recruiter sent the following email to an intern which the intern’s roommate posted online. 

“HEY BAE INTERN! <3

Hi! I am Kim, a Microsoft University Recruiter.  My crew is coming down from our HQ in Seattle to hang with you and the crowd of the bay area interns at Internapalooza on 7/11.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, we’re throwing an exclusive after party the night of the event at our San Francisco office and you’re invited! There will be hella noms, lots of dranks, the best beats and just like last year, we’re breaking out the Yammer beer pong tables!

HELL YES TO GETTING LIT ON A MONDAY NIGHT.”

Okay so several things are wrong with this letter that Microsoft confirmed originated from them. One is the cringe worthy use of slang in an attempt to sound hip! “Hey Bae”? “Hella noms”?  “Lots of dranks”?  Not only is the jargon embarrassing but evidently it is also misused. “Dranks” which I’m assuming is meant to refer to drinks, is actually slang for codeine cough syrup that some young people ingest to get buzzed. I’m pretty sure Microsoft won’t be passing around Robitussin at their party. Perhaps the worst thing about this letter is the ending reference to getting “Lit” on a Monday night.  While looking cool may enable Microsoft to appear more attractive to millennials or the upcoming Generation Z, getting drunk is hardly the vibe they should be promoting.  The letter is embarrassingly funny but not catastrophic to Microsoft’s image.

Actually the email does not stray far from the laid back vibe presented for the whole event.  Following is some verbiage from Internapalooza’s website, “Here’s to the crazy ones.  The misfits.  The rebels.  The trouble makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status-quo.” As I reflect on Microsoft’s email and the statement on Internapalooza’s website, I wonder if the wrong message is being sent to millennials in an attempt to recruit them?

For years news articles and blogs have been written about how to manage (deal with) Millennials in the work place.  Millennials have been stereotyped as “entitled, lazy, narcissistic and addicted to social media.”  And yet events such as Internapalooza supposedly aren’t looking for the conformist millennial but rather the “crazy misfit” who breaks the rules.  Do we want millennials who will show up for work on time, focused and ready to do their jobs, or do we want to stay up late downing brews with them on a Monday night?

Do you think a responsible manager will ever exclaim over a raucous game of late night beer pong with his subordinates, “HELL YES TO SHOWING UP LATE FOR WORK ON A TUESDAY MORNING!”?  The answer is “no” and that’s your answer to the type of Millennial we really want.