The Snow Flake Test and Generations Gaps

Silent Partner Marketing, a company based in Connecticut, has created what they call the “snowflake test.” This test, comprised of a number of questions, is implemented with the goal of weeding out what Silent Partner Marketing deem entitled and liberal Millennials. Questions faced by applicants to Silent Partner Marketing include:

  • When was the last time you cried and why?
  • What are your thoughts on the current college environment as it pertains to a future workforce?
  • What are your feelings about safe spaces in challenging work environments?
  • Should “trigger warning” be issued before we release content for clients or the company that might be considered “controversial”?
  • How do you handle it when your ideas are shot down?
  • What does the First Amendment right to “freedom of speech” mean to you?
  • What does faith mean to you?
  • Who is your role model and why?
  • What does “privilege” mean to you?
  • What’s more important: book smarts or street smarts? Why?

Kyle Ryes, CEO of Silent Partner Marketing, featured on Fox & Friends in March to discuss the company’s controversial style of filtering and managing employees. Reyes claimed the test enabled the company to find employees who best fit with its culture and the clients they represent. Reyes went on to say that he’s looking to hire people who don’t feel entitled or expect things to be handed to them. This test would be far more understandable if Reyes did not insinuate that people with such qualities only belong to a certain generation. Nobody wants to hire a self-entitled, lazy employee, but to imply that such employees are only found in a certain generation is genuinely ridiculous. This notion of Millennials and their apparent bad attitude is one that has quickly spread amongst older generations who seem intent on negatively pigeon holing younger generations.

Many of you reading this will have seen the video of Simon Sinek ‘explaining’ the Millennial Question. Although a lot of what Sinek says makes sense, it is of no benefit to anyone to be blanket categorised and characterised due to something so uncontrollable as the generation one is born into. Many of the increasingly popular arguments made against the Millennial generation are made to sound like fact, and ironically often come from privileged white males not too far outside of the Millennial age bracket. Sinek, for example, in the now viral video explains the ‘Millennial Question’ with only his point of view; the interview or discussion does not allow for the view point of the Millennials he is so intent on defining. Sinek’s clearly biased monologue insinuates that his opinions are not opinions at all, but are actually facts that can and should be applied to an entire generation of people. This approach of insisting upon defining a whole group of people simply due to their age is one that only further isolates and separates each generation.
The Generation Gap is not a new phenomenon. It is something that applied to our parents, our grandparents, and every generation that came before them. Perhaps, if rather than continuing with the unbeneficial trend of pigeonholing and nagging each other, we put as much effort into sharing our different strengths. Perhaps then we’d finally realise that not everyone should be the same. That different personalities, and different outlooks on life are imperative for our society. Perhaps then, people like Kyle Reyes and Simon Sinek would let go of their detrimental views. Perhaps then ‘snowflake tests’ would be a thing of the past.