Can Millennials Communicate Effectively at Work?

Laptop and equipment on a table with focused foreground, blurry background showing millennials networking in a white tent event space.

Today’s graduates, coming out of our finest universities and some with their international internship experience, are entering the workforce with questionable communication skills. Many of them excel at texting, gaming, PC skills and learning systems quickly but have not quite mastered the fine art of one-on-one discussions and clearly articulating complex ideas, thoughts and solutions. Their preferred method of communicating is texting and sending email. These methods are useful for conveying information, setting up meetings/events, and relaying facts but are woefully lacking for discussing complex ideas, negotiating solutions and building synergies in today’s busy and demanding workplace.

Business and organizations today demand that workers be able to verbally communicate effectively at all levels: with co-workers, supervisors, and customers and stakeholders to tackle problem identification, solving and implementation. Professionals need to clearly articulate their ideas, ask questions, add value and be able to give and take in lively discussion formats to advance their contributions to the organization and team. Without this critical skill set, employees are going to be frustrated in their roles and companies will be equally frustrated by the lack of contributions by the employees in meaningful, gain-sharing ways. Also, prospective employees may not be able to handle the rigors of an interview situation where a group is interviewing them all at once.


What is the remedy?

Interview candidates and hire the best – who can clearly and effectively communicate their ideas, skills, interests and desires for working with your company. This obviously applies to entry level as well as any seasoned talent you are looking to add to your team. Ask behavior-based and evidence-based questions looking for clues on not only what they accomplished or can do in a role, but HOW did they accomplish it – how did they engage their teammates, peers and school mates in handling a project, solving a problem or making a presentation. The candidates who engage others, share information, support the team, get buy-in, build consensus and collaborate are going to be the best fit for your team and your culture.


For expertise and the human touch in finding the best candidates who communicate effectively for your company with a retained search please contact Greg Albrecht or Chandler McCoy at or

For help in securing the right culture fit with exceptional communication skills for interim, fractional or temporary expert talent, please contact Dave Magnani, at