The Biggest Mistake HR Professionals Make about Millennials

Image of six young professionals shoulder to shoulder
Image of six young professionals shoulder to shoulder
  • “Of course he’s nice. He’s from Canada.”
  • “Don’t bother showing Jack that app. He’s old school and doesn’t get technology. Besides, he’s about to retire.”
  • Janet gets emotional when she disagrees with the men on the team. Why can’t she be more like them?”
  • “Like most men, our CEO is thickheaded when he believes that he knows the solution.”

EEO Laws

Moreover, many HR policies align with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws to prevent employees from stereotyping. Here are a few examples (but in no order):

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
  • Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

The Biggest HR Professional Mistake?

Here’s my question:

With the importance placed on preventing and mitigating stereotyping, why do some HR professionals not only allow but encourage the stereotyping of Millennials?

As a member of some HR associations and organizations, I often see blogs, whitepapers, and webinars that stereotype Millennials in the workforce. Even Simon Sinek does this (to see his video and a critique, check out Jared Buckley’s blog, Why Simon Sinek’s Video on Millennials Was Wrong in the Huffpost).

While I agree that HR professionals need to be aware of workforce trends as well as changes in the evolution of technology and even leadership beliefs, stereotyping how Millennials think and behave isn’t an appropriate way to do this. Doing so isn’t fair for individuals who happen to have been born during the Millennial period…

…or maybe I’m wrong. I’m here to learn, so help me do so. What do you think?


For the image in this blog, I purchased the usage rights from Shutterstock. Please do not use these images without purchasing usage rights.

About the author

Gary is a Leadership Author, Researcher, Consultant, and Podcast Guest. His latest book, What the Heck Is Leadership and Why Should I Care?, is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook. You can learn more about Gary and his other books at

Written by

Gary is a speaker, author, researcher, and leadership futurist.

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