Are millennials better employees than Gen Xers?

by: Quentin Fottrell

Millennials are often derided as entitled or narcissistic – or at least more so than everyone else – but new research suggests they have skills that older employees lack.

In 2015, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) will become the largest generation in the workforce, and 28% of millennials said that they are already in management positions, according to a survey of 1,039 millennials aged 21 to 32 with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher released Wednesday by a jobs website for freelancers Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding, a branding and consulting firm. What’s more, two-thirds say they expect to be in management by 2024. “It’s absurd that while we see a record level of job openings, millennials are struggling to find jobs and companies struggle to hire them,” says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. “Clearly, something is broken.”

Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding

Employers are increasingly juggling job applications from millennials and Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1980), according to Mark Hamrick, Washington, D.C. bureau chief at personal finance site Companies, he says, are constantly asking themselves: “Can we afford someone who is more senior and will potentially cost more? Or can we get by with someone who has less experience? I don’t think it’s appropriate to diminish the benefits of a more senior worker even if they’re being paid the same wage as someone who is considerably younger.” More senior workers may have better communication skills, he adds. “Digital natives don’t always feel as comfortable with real-world interactions with people.”

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