The first digital natives, those who grew up with the first handheld devices, the eery sounds of Dial-Up Internet, who used Limewire to illegally download Limewire Pro, were raised during the relative peace of the 1990s. The Sept. 11 attacks and two economic crashes in 2000 and 2008 darkened their world. Internet these days is packed with memes, articles, GIFs, academic papers and TED talks about the Archetypal Millennial.
Born between 1980 and the year 2000, millennials have come of age during a time of globalization, technological advancement and economic disruption. Their spending habits, behaviours and tastes have large implications for the future shape of the economy. Their reluctance to buy items such as cars, music, homes and luxury goods has led the world into a new economic age – that of the gig and sharing economy.
Millennials have come of age during a time of globalization, technological advancement and economic disruption
Millennials tend to get a bad rep for job-hopping and their refusal to commit. Yet a somewhat turbulent 2016 (terror attacks in Europe, Brexit, Trump’s election) shook up the confidence of this generation. Young professionals are now less likely to leave the security of their jobs. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, “Millennials in emerging markets generally expect to be both financially (71 percent) and emotionally (62 percent) better off than their parents. This is in stark contrast to mature markets, where only 36 percent of millennials predict they will be financially better off than their parents and 31 percent say they’ll be happier.”
Thinking about Gen Y’s attitudes toward work provides employers with all the necessary cues to recruit the generation that by 2025 will dominate the workforce. Eighty-six percent of working people in their first decade of employment use social media to hunt for jobs and google employers. Social media is a great way to reach out to the technology-savvy talent pool if used the right way.
- Manage your presence online: Every tweet, picture you share, content you publish, status, and like creates a mental image of your company and work culture. It is your job to make sure it appeals to millennials.
- What they think of you matters as much as what you think of them: Remember, Google is a verb for these guys, and they care a lot more about transparency and doing the right thing than their baby-boomer counterparts. Millennials will tend to be attracted to brands they admire as consumers and distance and even boycott those they feel are morally questionable. Google alerts allows you to receive notifications when your brand is mentioned online – this is a great tool for monitoring the web and keeping track of what people think of you as a brand.
- Be yourself: Don’t overdo the hip, millennial thing (a Millennial pink website with catchy phrases won’t necessarily cut it if it’s not representative of you). Bear in mind that a generation, by definition, is a broad swath of tens of millions of people with varying tastes, interests and habits. Be authentic and you will attract the most fitting talent (You do you, as they would say).
- Be active on the platforms used by millennials: Don’t limit yourself to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Millennials basically have a smartphone instead of a hand, and are always downloading new apps and finding new platforms on which they can express their views. Start being active on these platforms to reach your audience.
- Don’t wait until they start job hunting: Get to know potential recruits and build relationships early on. On-campus fairs and LinkedIn are great ways to network with people in your industry. Make it so they look you up immediately once they begin to shop around for jobs that best align their #lifegoals.
We have a pretty good idea of the impact of millennials in the workplace. The next wave of employees – Generation Z or Gen Z (some have called them, “centennials) – is already attracting attention. Deloitte conducted a survey to get millennials’ views of those about to join them in the workplace.
“Millennials tend to have a broadly positive opinion of GenZ (those currently aged 18 or younger). Maybe because of perceptions that they have strong information technology skills and the ability to think creatively, six in 10 (61 percent) millennials believe GenZ will have a positive impact as their presence in the workplace expands. This increases to 67 percent among millennials in senior positions and is higher in emerging markets (70 percent) than in mature markets (52 percent). However, while millennials see great potential within GenZ, they also believe these younger employees will need a lot of support when they enter the workforce.”
Only time will tell.