Understanding and Employing Millennials

The face of the work place has been gradually changing, as workers born around the 1980’s through to the early 2000’s start making up a higher proportion of the average work force.  Often referred to as millennials, this is a group that have been raised in a world very different to their predecessors (Generation X) and due to this, employing them takes a slightly different perspective.

Education and unemployment

The first two aspects to highlights is that these people are easily the most educated to come along with some 79% of them having a bachelor’s degree compared to 62% of the previous group.  Yet they have gone through their schooling with the knowledge that finding a job at the end of it is harder than ever with unemployment in the age group as high as 30%. Despite their education many have had to move back in with parents due to a lack of job opportunities.

Technology and social media

Millennials have grown up using technology and to them social media is a part of daily life.  They constantly switch from one to another as part of their normal daily activity and can flick through 27 platforms per hour compared to 17 with previous groups. Around 40% of them prefer to use electronic channels to communicate versus face to face or even over the telephone.

Changing face of loyalty

Perhaps this has a lot to do with their approach to company loyalty. Around three quarters believe that they will have at least two to five employers during their working careers and only 13% think that they should stay with an employer for five years before moving to the next job – compared with 41% of the Gen Xers.

In fact, around one quarter think they should only be expected to stay with a new employer for 12 months before moving on and their confidence in finding the next job is higher than previous generations.

Understanding healthy work life balance

Don’t expect a millennial to work crazy hours for your company as these are individuals who have an acute understanding of a healthy work-life balance.  While this doesn’t mean they are work shy, it does mean that they prioritise their freedom with regards to work mobility over their salary.  They envisage work to be a flexible environment where they can work during the allotted hours and have the option to socialise with colleagues out of hours. One survey found that 46% of them defined success as enjoying their job rather than being rich and flexible work opportunities can often be an important factor for them when considering a new role.

Progress over profit

Millennials are more interested in progressing in their role, seeing that their employer makes a social contribution and that they can learn and grow over just how much money they make.  The job opportunities and promotion path is one of the most influential factors in considering a job to this group and nearly one quarter will see training and development as being a top benefit.


With the culture today, it isn’t a surprise that millennials are entrepreneurs. They want to work for themselves or at least have a boss who is a mentor rather than just a manager. They feel that entrepreneurship is crucial to the economy and many of them have already started their own businesses.

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