I always wanted to be part of Gen X. It just sounds super cool, and punk rock, and so much better than my generation: Gen Y.
The term Gen Y makes us all sound like pretentious hipster-philosophy students, who drink $5 made-to-order, single-origin, pour-over coffees. Granted, all of this is bang-on, but it still sounds pretty terrible. The alternative term, “millennials”, doesn’t appeal either, but that has more to do with my inability to spell it correctly (darn you double N!)
Dislike of the terminology aside, I am pretty excited about it being my generation’s time in the (recruiting) sun. Millenials (darn!) are entering the workforce en masse, and employers will have to revamp their recruitment strategies in order to snag these hip, young candidates.
Being a social recruiting blogger, and an uber hipster Gen Yer myself, I feel it is my duty to write about what we want from employers and recruiters, and about how you can recruit us, while busting some of the myths about what kind of workers we actually are.
First things first:
What can you expect from an office full of millennials?
Gen Y is very willing to compromise. In fact 72% of millennials surveyed were willing to make major sacrifices when it came to location, benefits, and salary, in order to enter into their desired field.
We do not want to jump ship every 18 months. That is a huge myth about Gen Yers, and it must end now!
Yes, on average millennials change employers every 1.5 years. But, 21% say that they desire to stay with their first employer for at least 5 years, and 22% optimistically prophesize a 10 year commitment. The fact that we tend to leave our first job so quickly has more to do with retention issues than the employees themselves.
Millennials love anything that is labelled artisan — especially coffee. We are also obsessed with Portland and Berlin. In fact, the majority of Gen Yers surveyed believe that they need field experience overseas in order to further their careers.
What do millennials want from employers?
I know, I know, it sounds like sarcasm, but I am being completely sincere. Remember how I said that all of us Gen Yers are philosophy-loving hipsters? Well, it’s completely true. Millennials value meaningful work, and they value a balance between work and life over high salaries.
This may have something to do with the popularity of yoga, and Lululemon stretch pants.
We Gen Yers want to work for companies that provide flexible scheduling, we want the potential to work from home (at least part-time), and the ability to move around within the organization for which we work. Basically, we hate structure, and are horribly afraid of being tied down!
Kidding aside, this can actually be a huge plus for employers, because it means you can give us millennials more responsibility, and instead of grumbling about it, we’ll take it as a challenge and try our best to impress.
Millennials want our employers to be reachable via social media, our workplace to be up-to-date with current technologies, and, when applying for a job, we expect to be able to complete the entire application process from the comfort of our smart phone.
We’ve grown up with all the access that the internet allows at our fingertips, cell phones attached to our ears, and our social lives shaped by networks like Facebook and Twitter. Gen Y is reliant upon these technologies, so we expect our workplace to incorporate them, or at least be open to incorporating them in the near future.
Employing more millennials, and tasking them with updating your company’s use of tech, is a great way to make your business more social!
To be Continued…
Stay tuned for next Monday’s article where we break down exactly how you can effectively recruit millennials.