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W** Millennials: Managing Agenciesí Newest Generation
DIGIDAY ^ | 1/3/2013 | Brian Morrissey

Posted on 01/18/2014 7:32:23 AM PST by grimalkin

Edited on 01/18/2014 8:26:28 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

Ask agency execs to tick off the biggest challenges they face, and they’ll mention talent. More specifically, attracting young talent. Agencies are dependent on armies of young workers across all disciplines.

The other side of this thirst for young talent is a familiar one to anyone in business: the newest generation of workers often seems, well, different from other generations. Much has been made of the millennials. They’re confident. They’re optimistic. They’re an ADD generation. They’re suffering from separation anxiety after having spent their early years receiving the constant attention of helicopter parenting and winning trophies for finishing in 16th place. They have been told they’re the best, and their opinion is equal to anyone else’s, even those far older and more experienced than them.

It’s enough to leave managers in their 30s, 40s and beyond scratching their heads and feeling very much like grumpy old cranks who want those damn kids to turn down their music and get off their lawns. Digiday asked agency executives, with the promise of anonymity to not offend the delicate sensibilities of their young charges, to share their frustrations in managing the ad world’s next generation of leaders.

Next week, Digiday will publish the views of millennials on adjusting to life in agencies. Please get in touch if you’d like to contribute.

Agency Exec 1
There’s a major difference between those of us in our 40s and them. I came up with bosses who were all Baby Boomers. They expected you to go and fetch them coffee and be grateful for the opportunity. You did it without complaining. It’s now a shift in mentality. They’re a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately generation. A paycheck doesn’t seem to count as part of that what you have done. You have to give up so much more time to reviewing and patting them on the back. I can’t imagine ever asking for a performance review unless it was a way to up my salary, but I’m constantly asked for them. You do realize it’s only been four months since your last one, right? It’s a big cultural difference: their constant need for reaffirmation of how great they are. As long as I kept getting paid, I assumed things were going in the right direction. They constantly want feedback and expect you to be constructive. It’s funny because considering the level of unemployment, they all seem to treat their employment as a right. It’s like the onus is on the employer to prove themselves.

Agency Exec 2
Only at the agency a few months upon graduation, a young lady walked into my office and told me her dad thought that she was underpaid. I replied that her dad should call me so that we could discuss the matter. He never called.

Agency Exec 3
The biggest thing I see is that some of them think career variety is equal to career growth. It doesn’t. But they are positively reinforced by getting jobs they are not qualified for because they know how to use Facebook. So they hop around, and we stop questioning why they only spent a short period of time in three gigs in three years. There’s a level of career impatience that used to be reserved for the “kids that were too smart for their grade,” justifying misbehavior with boredom. Now the entire grade feels too smart for their grade — and we have to manage that. Not an easy task. Technology has taught us the wrong lesson — that we can get more done more quickly. The real lesson should be that we can get things done better. It’s the latter lesson we need to impart. It’s not all of them. Some of them. And it’s not even them. It’s cultural.

Agency Exec 4
No doubt, millennials have a unique approach to work. I’m always reluctant to gravitate to the standard “these kids today” cliche. Perhaps they’re a bit more entitled as a result of helicopter parenting, but they’ve also been empowered in ways that we couldn’t have imagined. Personally, I encourage our junior employees to speak up at meetings and voice their opinions. My big thing is that they don’t exploit their power and treat the media community fairly. My one recent anecdote is when one of our new hires sent me an email requesting dual monitors and that one of them be a large one. I simply forwarded the email to that girl’s manager suggesting that she come check out my dinky 15-inch monitor that I’m rocking.

Agency Exec 5
I’ve met millennials I admire for their work ethic — and millennials for whom the concept of paying dues is completely foreign. Among creative professionals in the latter group, there is a theme, which would be hysterically funny if it didn’t create so much extra work and wasted time for everybody. It’s the attitude of “Hmm, I don’t really do [that task I was hired to do]. I’m more of a conceptual [role the person should be performing].” So you get writers who can’t or won’t write, art directors who can’t design. A lot of millennials don’t seem to understand that mastering a craft is what makes you valuable. If I am creative-directing a project AND I’m rewriting emails and banner lines because you don’t care enough to do that stuff, well, then … why do I need you? Your Big Ideas better be really good — like, consistently ******* amazing. But it’s extremely rare for someone to walk in the door with that kind of mind and that kind of conceptual rigor at age 22 or 23.

Agency Exec 6
I have a quick story about a millennial I hired. He was a young strategist. Had all the answers and could actually see the future. He was everywhere. He knew everyone. He knew who was doing what. I brought him in to help with things. It was like asking an actor that plays a doctor to do real surgery on a real patient. He didn’t know how to do anything. He could talk about stuff and criticize what agencies were doing but really added no value. At one point, I walked by his desk and saw Facebook on one monitor and Tweetdeck on another. I told him that he’s so good at social media that he’s totally unproductive. We let him go a few days later. In his mind, he nailed the task and moved on to help get the ad industry back on track. Sigh. The overconfidence, zero accountability and zero remorse is 100 percent millennial. They don’t get the concept of learning.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: business; hiring; millennials
I'm a boss and do a lot of hiring and (unfortunately) occasional firing. Has anyone else noticed that it's harder and harder to find proper candidates? Selfish, entitled attitudes seem to be more common these last several years. Of course, this is just my personal experience and therefore, anecdotal, but it seems to be a common complaint among other folks I know. Then again, I do have a few diamonds on my staff that I work very hard to reward and motivate. These are rare folks, though. Maybe it's always been this way.
1 posted on 01/18/2014 7:32:23 AM PST by grimalkin
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To: grimalkin

If, by “agency” you mean gov’t agency it doesn’t matter (might even beneficial) because the more inept they are the sooner they will be shut down. When the collapse comes, they will be the most 2nd most harmed after the welfare-dependent population.


2 posted on 01/18/2014 7:44:47 AM PST by Thom Pain (Income Inequality is caused by Effort/Discipline Inequality!!)
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To: grimalkin

I’ll just cut the crap here. As a Gen X’er, the Millenials remind me of Baby Boomers. The parallels are scary. Millenials have just taken the traits to a new level, but the traits are the same.

Let’s face it, the last good generation was the Silent or Korean War generation. Anyone trying to stake claims that came after that is suffering from grand delusions.

So unless you were born before the post-WWII period, how about we just all get over ourselves and realize we all are the problem, and the people of this country just ain’t what they used to be?


3 posted on 01/18/2014 7:45:20 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: grimalkin

Well, you aren’t firing fast enough. Hire them and fire them like water and eventually good ones will be forged from their failures.

They have been artificially exempted from failure, and without it none of them will grow into anything useful. With it some eventually will.


4 posted on 01/18/2014 7:46:47 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: grimalkin
I simply forwarded the email to that girl’s manager suggesting that she come check out my dinky 15-inch monitor that I’m rocking.

Sometimes, it's just the manager that's the problem. I worked for AT&T Labs, and it took years to show to management that having bigger screens meant better work. A manager typing a memo only needs 15", a worker bee looking at lots of code or a big spread sheet can get more done faster or better with a big screen.

This particular problem, outdated managers ignoring better tools for the workers, was fully discussed 3 generations ago, read your Deming: Out of the Crisis

5 posted on 01/18/2014 7:51:01 AM PST by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: grimalkin

These are rare folks, though. Maybe it’s always been this way

I actually think it has been this way, maybe not to some of the extreme we see today, but it’s always been there. Older generations always think younger ones are slackers, don’t want to pay their dues, etc… and that they had it so much harder than every one else. You know the old’ I had to walk to school barefoot in the snow, uphill 5 miles each way’ thing.

And the point is that society as a whole has changed and you can’t really blame kids raised in this society for what society has become. Isn’t that ultimately on the very adults complaining about it? They are the ones that created the way society is that these kids were raised in.


6 posted on 01/18/2014 8:00:19 AM PST by usmom
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To: slowhandluke

I for one like dual monitors. I use one for useless email, and IM. The other for real work(in between all hands meetings).


7 posted on 01/18/2014 8:01:00 AM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: grimalkin

They had me until the 1 used a cuss word himself and wasn’t even actually in an angry context.

I can see a lot of these problems coming up.


8 posted on 01/18/2014 8:05:46 AM PST by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: grimalkin

“They have been told they’re the best, and their opinion is equal to anyone else’s, even those far older and more experienced than them.”

Boy, do I see this all the time. One of our experienced team just resigned. One of the reasons he gave is that as a “mentor” he was was tired of being asked questions then told the answer or being argued with by his mentab. He’d had enough of sweeping up messes as well. The only thing Confidence and Competence have in common is the letter ‘C’.

One of our management “techniques” is to take on candidates as contractors and send them on to other opportunities if they don’t work out. It is just too hard to terminate an employee any more. They stick like glue and some just stink like... well.

We also see some diamonds that are keepers and are very pleased to have them working with us.

If I had my way about things every body would be contract and have to pay ALL their own benefits and quarterly taxes. It would be a better and better informed nation.


9 posted on 01/18/2014 8:15:33 AM PST by Sequoyah101
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To: Thom Pain
If, by “agency” you mean gov’t agency 

It looks like "agency" means advertising agency on that site. I'm having visions on Don Draper smoking, drinking and griping about the young staff in the copywriting department.

10 posted on 01/18/2014 8:20:18 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
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To: grimalkin
My one recent anecdote is when one of our new hires sent me an email requesting dual monitors and that one of them be a large one. I simply forwarded the email to that girl’s manager suggesting that she come check out my dinky 15-inch monitor that I’m rocking.

One complaint I have is that far too many businesses don't realize time is money. Buy a good sized second monitor and you'll save me a half hour a day. That will pay for itself in about two weeks. That's a simple decision to make. But it seems like this manager just sees that as a expense. Although sometimes I joke at work that I have a bigger tech capital budget at home than I do at work and sometimes bring my obsoleted equipment from home to use at work.

11 posted on 01/18/2014 8:27:37 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
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To: Thom Pain

This seems to be about advertising agencies, but I could be wrong.


12 posted on 01/18/2014 8:34:54 AM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: grimalkin

Pajamaboy does not approve this message.

When I was working at a factory as a project engineer I would see the majority of the young hires texting away on their phones. Eventually a zero tolerance policy went in to effect and people were fired on the spot. It was surprisingly effective and equally hilarious hearing how ever text was an emergency.


13 posted on 01/18/2014 8:50:51 AM PST by Organic Panic
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To: grimalkin

We call them - Generation “Entitled”.


14 posted on 01/18/2014 8:55:53 AM PST by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: Organic Panic

Yes, I hear that a lot. LOL. Every text is an emergency of some variety. No one is allowed to have their phones out any longer.


15 posted on 01/18/2014 8:59:28 AM PST by grimalkin (We are a nation under God. If we ever forget this, we are a nation gone under. -Ronald Reagan)
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To: slowhandluke

I know what you mean. Try explaining to your boss that you can be a lot more productive with multiple monitors.

BTW, Deming is wonderful. In my pantheon he is second only to Ohno.


16 posted on 01/18/2014 9:06:51 AM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: KarlInOhio

One thing I hear all the time is, “it only takes 5 (or 10, or whatever) minutes a day”. I have to explain over and over that 5 minutes a day is 2.5 days a year spent doing that one task. The manager should be leading the effort to eliminate simple wasteful tasks not continuing them.


17 posted on 01/18/2014 9:14:56 AM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

18 posted on 01/18/2014 9:15:37 AM PST by null and void (We need to shake this snowglobe up.)
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To: grimalkin

20/80 rule—the Pareto principle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle


19 posted on 01/18/2014 9:17:55 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Sodomy and abortion. The only constitutional rights protected by Democrats.)
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To: slowhandluke

Large monitors are also very inexpensive these days. I can’t imagine trying to get work done on a 15” monitor. Sure. It could be done, but you’re absolutely right. A larger monitor would likely increase productivity (they don’t call it the Desktop for nothing).


20 posted on 01/18/2014 9:20:57 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Sodomy and abortion. The only constitutional rights protected by Democrats.)
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To: grimalkin
Too many bosses delegate to the corporate template drones in HR.

Too many of the new generation are entitled brats.

21 posted on 01/18/2014 9:30:17 AM PST by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: grimalkin

Now we know why there are so many pointless and incoherent commercials on TV.


22 posted on 01/18/2014 9:37:57 AM PST by Liberty Wins ( The average lefty is synapse challenged)
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To: CitizenUSA

We made sure everyone was equipped with large, dual monitors a couple of years ago. We calculated our ROI and it has paid for itself in a short time.


23 posted on 01/18/2014 9:39:31 AM PST by grimalkin (We are a nation under God. If we ever forget this, we are a nation gone under. -Ronald Reagan)
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To: slowhandluke
Sometimes, it's just the manager that's the problem. I worked for AT&T Labs, and it took years to show to management that having bigger screens meant better work. A manager typing a memo only needs 15", a worker bee looking at lots of code or a big spread sheet can get more done faster or better with a big screen.

It's a general problem, convincing a manager that a relatively small expenditure for capital equipment can significantly improve employee productivity.

I had a discussion with a manager some years back, where I was consulting to the company for $$$, telling him that a couple hundred bucks for a removable drive would have him a lot of money in terms of my time. His response was "To buy stuff I have to write up a request to senior management justifying the need. Your time is already budgeted. Request denied."

24 posted on 01/18/2014 9:41:43 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

I wind up using dual monitors for cross referencing applications, where one screen has a drawing in AutoCad, and another screen for modeling hydraulics (a calculation app) and a pdf of a pump curve. Quad screens I have used for control of process units (chemical plant).


25 posted on 01/18/2014 10:04:52 AM PST by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: Thom Pain
When the collapse comes, they will be the most 2nd most harmed after the welfare-dependent population.

It is ironic to think that the millennials may end up being the next "Great Generation" because they will suffer the most since the Great Generation. Hard times, rampant unemployment, scarcity, hyperinflation, etc. These life stressors will harden just about any generation. The difference between these two "Great" generations is that the latter will be able to text mom and dad when they actually do get a job.

26 posted on 01/18/2014 10:05:38 AM PST by VRW Conspirator ( 2+2 = V)
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To: Liberty Wins

That was my first thought as well!!


27 posted on 01/18/2014 10:17:49 AM PST by gibsosa
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To: Fred Hayek

I’m sure you agree, can’t get enough real estate.


28 posted on 01/18/2014 10:24:34 AM PST by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Free Vulcan
Let’s face it, the last good generation was the Silent or Korean War generation.

The 1960s generation, I liked their music.

29 posted on 01/18/2014 10:46:57 AM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: grimalkin

This article seemed to be more of a little office whine than offering anything meaningful or insightful.


30 posted on 01/18/2014 10:49:16 AM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: grimalkin

“Has anyone else noticed that it’s harder and harder to find proper candidates?”

Hire old people.

They probably need to suplement their pensions, and so would work for less than the punk trash.


31 posted on 01/18/2014 10:49:46 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: PapaBear3625

“Your time is already budgeted. Request denied.”

People who should never be in charge of anything are in charge of just about everything.


32 posted on 01/18/2014 10:51:58 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Fred Hayek

I want one of these huge touchscreens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLduqQTMSso

(I lust after the screens Tony Stark uses in the Iron Man movies, and yes I know they’re just CGI)


33 posted on 01/18/2014 12:31:33 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: VRW Conspirator
It is ironic to think that the millennials may end up being the next "Great Generation" because they will suffer the most since the Great Generation. Hard times, rampant unemployment, scarcity, hyperinflation, etc. These life stressors will harden just about any generation.

Hard times + getting passed over for "affirmative action" candidates will produce a generation that will thoroughly hate non-whites.

34 posted on 01/18/2014 12:34:23 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: MrEdd

Millennials were kept out of the kitchen because they could get burned. Gen X was warned not to touch the oven because they could get burned. Baby boomers were allowed to touch the oven and get burned.


35 posted on 01/18/2014 2:19:44 PM PST by IndispensableDestiny
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To: grimalkin

It’s not just you; it’s been a disaster in the hiring pool and I don’t think it’s going to get better any time soon.


36 posted on 01/18/2014 3:34:28 PM PST by CorporateStepsister (I am NOT going to force a man to make my dreams come true)
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