They’re the biggest generation in US history and have recently overtaken Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to become the largest demographic in today’s workforce. I’m talking, of course, about millennials. Having come of age during a time of huge technological changes, globalization, and economic downturns means that while they may share some similarities with previous generations, their needs and priorities are uniquely their own. So before you hire a millennial, remember that there are some important things to keep in mind. The statistics below tell the story.
They want flexibility and work-life balance
Work-life balance has always been a priority for millennials. They’d rather work flexible hours and from the location of their choosing than being chained to their desk at work from 9-5. They also want to be rewarded for the results they get, rather than hours they log. Attractive working scenarios help draw millennials in and encourage them to stay.
- 95% of millennials say work-life balance is important to them, while 70% say that it’s very important (source).
- For some, though, their experience of working life has not lived up to their expectations. In fact, 28% say their work-life balance in employment was worse than they had expected (source).
- 21% believe that flexible working arrangements would make an organization an attractive employer (source).
- 19% say that flexible working hours is the benefit they would most value from an employer, compared with 4% who said they preferred higher wages (source).
They want to move up the ladder quickly
Career progression is the top priority for millennials who want and expect to rise rapidly through their organization. They’re results-driven and tend to resent promotions that are based on longevity rather than performance. They crave learning and opportunities and want to have a clear career path ahead of them.
- 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them in a job (source).
- 52% said career progression was the main thing that attracts to an employer, ahead of competitive salaries at 44% (source).
- The opportunity for personal development was the factor that most influenced their decision to accept their current job, cited by 65% of millennials (source).
- 75% of millennials believe that their organizations could do more to develop future leaders (source).
- Millennials have a strong appetite for working overseas, with 71% not only wanting, but also expecting, to do an overseas assignment at some point during their career (source).
They expect technology in the workplace
Millennials have been shaped by technology so it’s no surprise they expect it to help power their working lives, too. They want the best tools for the job and will use them to drive communication and innovation in the workplace. To reach millennials, employers need to be tech-savvy.
- 91% of millennials own a smartphone and 71% say the Internet is their main source for news and information (source).
- More than half of millennials routinely make use of their own technology while working and three-quarters believe that access to technology makes them more effective at work (source).
- 59% said that an employer’s provision of state-of-the art technology was important to them when considering a job (source).
- 67% of first-time job seekers use social media to look for work (source).
The company they work for matters to them
We talk a lot about how today’s job seekers act more like consumers and millennials are a case in point. Employer branding and reputation can make a significant impact on whether a millennial applies for, or accepts, a job.
- 15% said a good reputation for ethical practices, corporate values that matched their own, and a reputation as an employer of the ‘best and brightest people’ would make an organization an attractive employer (source).
- 36% said the reputation of the organization influenced their decision to accept their current job (source).
Millennials are a driven, ambitious bunch who have embraced the mantra of working to live rather than living to work. As the stats above illustrate, their work, opportunities for advancement, work-life balance, and overall flexibility all really matter to them. Taking that to heart will go a long way toward helping you recruit and hire the best ones.