HR Managers Say New College Graduates Lack Work Ethic

However, millennials are prepped for the workplace of the future

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So we hear it all the time: Millennials and young professionals have “entitled” attitudes and lack workplace discipline. Well, one recent survey has found data to support that notion, yet again.  Designed Learning, home of the Flawless Consulting workshops, recently released results of a survey of 2500 human resource professionals, who were asked to evaluate the performance of today’s college graduates compared with college graduates 10 years ago.

The survey revealed that 61 percent of these professionals believe today’s grads are unprepared for the workplace. According to respondents, compared with 10 years ago, young people are also underprepared for the workplace and less accountable for their work.

Respondents also said today’s college graduates are:

  • “Entitled & expecting to walk into leadership”
  • “Less socially tactful, flexible in face-to-face interactions”
  • “Less tolerant of cultural norms, less likely to make long-term investment in one company”
  • “Focused on flexible work schedules/perks”
  • “Less willing to adapt to a company culture, individualism reigns”.

But, there’s a positive side to the survey. Respondents also said recent grads are:

  • “More likely to take risk in order to get into leadership roles”
  • “Not prepared for the workplace as it exists, but more prepared for what it is becoming”
  • “Better able to use social media for business relationships”
  • “More likely to be satisfied with a career involving numerous employers”

“What this says about accountability,” says Bill Brewer, Designed Learning’s director of client relations, “is that when training new college graduates, improving accountability and stewardship to the greater organization has the utmost importance. Retention efforts should shift from coercion to creating a willingness to serve.”

  • Corbin J. Pickett

    There are a lot of ‘knocks’ against the new working
    generation (my generation), and I’ve heard these points being made redundantly.
    Yet, it should be mentioned in the same breathe the tremendous uphill battle we
    face in the post-undergraduate job market. It’s not exactly what you call welcoming.
    What may be labeled as “entitled” might just be misconstrued confidence. We are
    after all in the age of information and knowledge is power; right? Or how about “focused on flexible work schedules/perks”
    – well geez 401k’s are not quite as popularly offered as they were when our
    generation’s parents were entering the work force. If companies are less
    incline to take care of us post-retiring, well I’d hope they’ll be doing
    SOMETHING for me in the meantime. “less likely to make long-term investment in
    one company” – Age of information has bread millions of ‘go-getters’ and ‘movers
    and shakers’, this new cultural trend lends to the job hopping. Employees are
    seeking graduate degrees to give them opportunity to rise in ranks or seeks
    positions they weren’t qualified for prior. Concept of receiving higher education
    was less necessary and less desired in prior generations. Not to mention, due
    to easy of traveling/relocating in current times, candidates all over the world
    compete for the same position. Much less the case for prior generations. And
    now for my favorite critique- “Less willing to adapt to a company culture,
    individualism reigns”. The opposite argument of this being; Those who
    set the culture are unwilling to change and are set in their ways with little
    desire to embrace innovation of newness. At what point do older generations
    begin to stop fearing us and begin to work with us? The ‘He said, She said’
    benefits neither.