Why Millennials make Great Interns and Future Employees


Tessara Smith, PayScale

Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to our work ethic in comparison with the rest of the work force; we have been called selfish, entitled, lazy, and worst of all unmotivated. The fact of the matter is most of us haven’t had to work half as hard as the generation that came before us to get to our jumping off points as college graduates. However, many of us are up to our elbows in debt from student loans and our job prospects upon graduation look grim. Perhaps you have hired underperforming workers from the millennial generation before, but don’t let a few bad apples ruin the bunch. I am here to set the record straight and tell you why hiring a Millennial will be a great choice for you as an employer.

We're highly competent with technology
As the first generation to be brought up with computers; Millennials will come into your business with a solid foundation of computer knowledge. More importantly, if your business is using a program they have never heard of, they will be fast to master any new skills. Social media is a second language to most Millennials and therefore they make excellent content marketing interns.

We're often creative and open minded
Millennials have little reservation when expressing themselves on social media sites; it is part of their culture. They will not be afraid to share their ideas when working on a project and they have no problem picking a new direction if you are dissatisfied with their work. Furthermore, they are a more liberal and progressive generation then those who came before them and will work well with people from all backgrounds.

We might save you some labor costs
Although you shouldn’t underpay your interns, you can significantly cut costs by hiring them to do a large amount of work for your company which would normally take a significant chunk out of payroll if you hired a temp or other “qualified” individual. They gain experience and you save money, it’s a win-win situation. 

We're approval seekers 
This one can be a double edged sword. Millennials crave acceptance and will work hard to make sure any feedback you give them is of a positive nature. However it is important to remember that they will want your feedback much more frequently than workers from other generations. They are new to the work force and they want to do a good job for you and your company.

Go team!
Millennials are adept at networking and they are excellent at working in groups. They are a highly social generation and enjoy opportunities to meet new people. Put a few millennial interns together and you have your dream team of workhorses.

We're competitive
The job market for Millennials not looking so hot at the moment, to say the least. A millennial who works for you will be more than willing to rise to the occasion when it comes to job performance. Furthermore, they will strive to prove themselves as a valuable member of your team. Considering that a significant chunk of college grads cannot find well-paying job right now, a millennial walks into your office every day with the mindset that they are privileged to be working for your company. If that isn’t an excellent trait of an employee, then I don’t know what is.

Incredibly resilient:  Millennials were working towards making their college dreams come true in the midst of a recession. Many persevered through their AP classes, SAT’s, or even part time jobs, in spite of chaotic family situations that resulted from unemployment. You can expect that workers from this generation are more than capable of overcoming any obstacles and setbacks that they may encounter.

Millennials are undoubtedly distinct from the generations that came before them, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps we are slightly “entitled”, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have what it takes to excel at our positions. We are painfully aware of the fact that there are more applicants than openings in the market for lower level positions and that we can easily be replaced by another candidate. Any employment is considered great employment to a millennial, and if you hire right, you might just find that Millennials are some of the hardest working employees you have ever had at your company. 

Learn all about dealing with multiple generations in the workplace with this new informative PayScale whitepaper: Compensation Challenges for a Multi-Generational Workforce


  1. 10 Baby Boomer 15 Apr
    Maureen, Gen Y and X DID NOT invent today's technology. They did aggressively embrace it which propelled greater improvement and growth of the industry. Please look at your history, computer technology as we know it today was the product of the Baby Boomer generation. You need to do some history and fact finding.
  2. 9 Maureen 07 Jan
    I am so tired of hearing about how Millenials are good with technology because they were born with it. I'd argue that Gen X and Y are BETTER with technology because we invented it. Unfortunately my experience with Millenials as a whole barely mirrors what the author describes, and is much more extreme and not very positive on the whole. With that said, although my generation is sandwiched between the very "interesting and important" (if you listen to the media) segments of Boomers and Millenials, I have learned to be tolerant and accepting of these generations in the workplace. I appreciate everyone on the merits of what they bring to the team, regardless of their generation.
  3. 8 Simon C 02 Dec
    I have extreme experiences dealing with millennials. There is a group that is not resilience, perpetually waiting to be fed and directions to be given. No doubt they are techies but attitude is ...... . Also some of their EQs are really........ resulting supervisors having to perform service recovery. On the other hand, there is a group that is eager to learn and committed. They pick things up like sponge in water. I really like them. Some of them are humble too. I guess there are always some goods and bads in each generation of workforce. But the feedback that I had so far are more towards the first group that I had encountered.
  4. 7 John 04 Oct
    Adaptation of new technologies is still a big one. Even if most of the employees are catching up these days, "digital natives" offer a new level of understanding and promote innovation. As for trying to do things faster - yes, they are questioning the status quo, which more often than not is a breath of fresh air for the current processes. www.engagiant.com
  5. 6 elly 18 Sep
    Millennials are the future, which - incidentally, is with us already. The motivation style of yesterday may not work today, tomorrow. I'm a boomer who believes Millennials' capacity to add value is hugely underestimated, poorly tapped/reviewed/empowered by management styles of those 'superiors' they work with. Let's check the stats, do something to cause coping between the generations while heading in the direction of a sustainable future
  6. 5 Warren Davis 27 Jul

    Millennials, Boomers, the Y Generation -- It seems like we dust off the articles that were written about each generation, edit them and presto -- you have the neat stereotype for the generation on deck. And when we meet a millennial, we begin the sub-conscious process of confirming the stereotype.   Individualism is not dead -- each person in any generation is different.  We should judge people by their individual qualities and contributions and not by their dates of birth.  

  7. 4 Jefi 27 Jul
    All I know is we had better get them trained right. Millennials are our future. If we don't guide them in the right direction, we are the ones accountable later.  If you are concerned now, wait till you're in a nursing home  relying on being cared for properly later. There won't be anyone else to do it.
  8. 3 Namma 24 Jul

    Even my generation, 25 off years ago, new hires had troubles in the work place.

    I've heard tons from the younger generation, it's difficult to miss unless you've eschewed Facebook altogether.

    Your workplace policy manual is written by paralegals and/or attorneys. Which means - it sucks.

    Everyday people, even those with degrees, DO NOT speak legalese therefore they find it extremely difficult to rtfm.

    The corporation or company needs to take responsibility and be accountable for how the workplace is viewed by new hires AND make absolutely certain that the policies can be understood clearly without all the legal mumbo-jumbo.

    This means hiring, or giving, someone the task to interpret work place policies into plain everyday language which can be side-checked, but NOT altered (they may suggest), by the legal department.

    Example: "Further, they seem to know of a new piece of software for everything"

    Then you NEED a plain language policy for how changes can be submitted so that handing an employee a form and "Hey great, suggest that!" (smile) can be easily done. Really, a no-brainer.

    What many are missing, those that complain about new hires, is that you are committing the grave error so many do - you are NOT placing yourself in their shoes and remembering YOUR confusion, and excitement, when you got your first career job resulting in YOUR inappropriate workplace maneuvers.

    Clear cut policy in straight forward everyday language with someone to take the half hour to sit down and consult their understanding, with them initialing that they do understand, will cut your problems in half if not more.

    Unless you like complaining, which I find unacceptable.


  9. 2 Laura H 24 Jul

    Can't we all just get along? Maybe try playing nice in the sandbox for awhile? Millennials, like the other generations who have come before us...and will come after us...have great attributes and not as great attributes. This can be said across generational lines and within certain generations as well. For the greater good of our workforce we must learn to work together. In this instance, ignorance is certainly not bliss. GREAT READ! And, while I don't have a love of typos, I certainly can appreciate that nobody is perfect and we can't always expect articles to be either. I simply appreciate the great information!

  10. 1 Cindy Randolph 23 Jul

    I have two problems with hiring Millennials: 

    1. They don't want to listen to those with experience and learn from their past successes and mistakes.  They think they know it all. Further, they seem to know of a new piece of software for everything. While this may be a good choice some of the time, at other times they just need to be a team player and go along with the way things are currently being done.  One note, however, about thinking they know everything: this is not exclusive to Millennials, but has been exhibited by recent college grads from prior generations as well.  And, it seems to improve after a few years of full-time experience in the work force.

    2. Millennials seem to always be in a hurry and want to find a way to do everything faster.  Again, this can be a positive, but my experience is that quality seems to suffer.  Take this article for example.  I decided I had to write this comment because of a "typo" in the first paragraph which was featured in the email sent out to thousands.  "...our job perspectives upon graduation look grim."  The word should be prospects.  Perhaps more time should have been taken in proofreading.


  1. Please prove to us that you're not a robot:


Career News