Updated: Oct 24, 2018
My youngest son would wear his caped Batman pajamas all day if we let him. One morning at breakfast I wondered: Why Batman? What’s striking about the caped crusader is his utter lack of superpowers – no exceptional strength, extreme stretchiness, x-ray vision, telepathic connection with marine life, or magical bracelets. Instead, the billionaire with a cave is highly motivated, curiously innovative, and has both a distinguished mentor and an entire professional development firm behind his not-for-profit vigilante initiatives.
“Holy haberdashery Batman, you could have been a millennial.”
Some have suggested that, like Batman, millennials are not as super as they think(Wait But Why). Also like Batman, millennials desire unreasonable job flexibility, are difficult to manage, and won’t stick around for long (Hyder, Meister, Huppke). Yet most agree that the culture of work will change to accommodate millennials long before they conform to old ways. So, imagine Mr. Wayne really is a millennial applying to join your team.
4 reasons Batman would be an exceptional hire:
Work ought to be meaningful, and meaningful work is something Batman can really get behind (Seligson). Like millennials, there is an intense intrinsic motivation that focuses Mr. Wayne’s every effort. Effectively articulating your organizational values will make a big difference when Bruce weighs your offer against others. If your values ring true in the office, you will have his loyalty - with or without a bat-signal.
That pesky desire for flexibility comes with a 24-hour commitment to success. Sure, some of the drive is personal agenda and it’s hard to imagine seeing Batman clocking in every morning, but you can be bet-the-house he’s getting the job done. By day and by night, he's got you covered. He may even surprise you with how much he takes on, he's quite an achiever.
Batman has the coolest stuff, and he knows how to use it. If your office is already populated with millennials, you know this. If not, it’s time to learn about the next big thing – because they already have it, and know it, and use it. Wayne Enterprises has opened the door to more ironic weapons and belt additions for your organization than you can imagine. Mr. Wayne expects innovation and wants to learn how to work in tomorrow’s world more than today’s.
What Brucie wants more than anything is family. Presumably you have at least one Alfred on your team – available to mentor, train, and equip master Bruce. If not, hire Alfred first. Signing this millennial depends most on your organizational culture. Both your mission and your team will make or break the culture of your office. Batman might have seemed a bit rogue, but Alfred, Robin, and the League of Justice tell a different story.
So next time your sitting across the interview table from a potential millennial hire, consider Mr. Wayne - the caped crusader who was at his best when he felt the weight of each moment, worked his own schedule, and knew there someone was rooting for him.
Be sure to offer your hire the same - encouragement and timely gadgets. The mini-batman at our house is wired similarly, and he’ll stay that way long after he stops wearing those pajamas.