If you are an employer, president of a company, or small business owner, then it is time to get to know the employees of this generation (and that of tomorrow’s generation). The U.S. Labor Force reports that millennials have surpassed Generation X in the workplace. In 2015 there were 53.5 million plus millennials working, and the predictions are that by 2020 millennials will comprise 46% of the workforce. So, what does this mean for the employer or CEO? In order for employers to secure and retain the best talent, then they must tap into the mindset of millennials since these individuals are going to make up a large portion of their work environment. Here are 5 characteristics of millennials, shedding light on what millennials really want out of a job.
Maybe saying technology proficient is an understatement. Millennials don’t know anything other than using technology to accomplish their goals and to obtain what they desire. Using smart phones, social media, internet, and laptops, millennials seem to be always “turned on.” They are digitally connected. This is something employers need to be aware of when attempting to attract and retain millennials. Millennials use of technology drives them to seek jobs through online and agency means. Furthermore, millennials use the internet not just to search for jobs, but to research prospective employers, as well.
The Council of Economic Advisors published a report entitled, “15 Economic Facts About Millennials.” In the report, it was noted “more millennials have a college degree than any other generation.” A full eighteen percent have gone on to complete post-secondary degrees. It is fair to say the workplace demands higher education more now than in earlier generations, and this may explain some of the reason for the increase in higher education. However, millennials have been raised to value higher education. Offering ongoing training, seminars, and educational opportunities as part of an employment package is attractive to millennials.
Different from their predecessors, who were more individualistic in their office space and work efforts, millennials are team players. Millennials’ collaborative nature comes about, in part, by an upbringing that promoted as much. Millennials grew up in a home where both parents worked and scheduled much of their time into group activities. So, they were accustomed to working together in teams and groups. Additionally, they had a broad network of contacts, being in sports, music, art, and so on; this transfers to the workplace, as well.
Meaning Versus Money
The Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, who are the generation just prior to millennials, both claim making as much money as possible as a main motivator for working. On the surface, it seems to make sense. However, millennials rated having a meaningful work experience as more important than money. Fifty-seven percent, in fact, said their top priority in a job is “doing something that they found enjoyable or making a difference in society.” When millennials feel they are working for a cause greater than just money and truly love what they do, then both they and their employer win.
Care About Social Causes
Millennials “are 66 percent more likely to engage with brands when issues of social responsibility are brought to the forefront.” An employer who is connected to a mission in a substantive way will garner attention from millennials. It is fundamental, however, that a company is connected in a meaningful way. This means companies need to find a cause they can truly believe in from the heart. If they simply contribute to a cause or give it lip service, millennials are turned off. Genuine care for social causes hits home for them emotionally and personally.
Employers meet the needs of their employees best by understanding the employees’ values, strengths, and desires. With millennials soon to make up over half of the workplace, studying their core values is essential for effective leadership in the workplace. At Bishop & Company, we provide staffing solutions for employers and employees. If you would like to discover more information about tapping into the millennial potential, please contact us today!