Who are millennials? How do you define a ‘millennial’? How do they differ from previous generations? And how, as employers and business owners, can we reach, target and engage with groups of millennials?
There are many different definitions of ‘millennials’, which perhaps adds to the confusion surrounding this cohort;
“The Millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2003) is characterized by Strauss and Howe (1991) as being protected, by both their parents and society, because they are driven to improve the world around them, by their virtue.” (1)
And, my personal favourite;
“Special little snowflake.
Born between 1982 and 1994 this generation is something special, cause Mom and Dad and their 5th grade teacher Mrs. Winotsky told them so. Plus they have a whole shelf of participation trophies sitting at home so it has to be true.” (2)
Most millennials will be heading towards the end of their education or are already in the working world and, luckily enough, Milkround has a chatty community that encompasses the various definitions of ‘millennials’. So we put our questions to over 1,100 individuals, looking at some common misconceptions around this generation of young workers and asking for their perspective on themes such as professionalism in the workplace, home ownership, employer loyalty, and their close relationship with social media.
The majority of respondents (57%) were between the ages of 20-25, and most (60%) are at their final stages of university, with 17% already working.
Topic number 1: The world of work
While the generations before them have been known to enjoy sometimes life-long careers in the same company, steadily climbing the career ladder, millennials are often accused of changing jobs at a fast rate. We asked our respondents how many different jobs they believe a person should have in their lifetime, and the general consensus was a conservative 4-6 jobs (53%) followed by the higher 7-10 jobs (26%). More than four fifths of our millennials (at 85%) think employees should be loyal towards the company they work for.
It’s important for employers to understand that the younger generation are looking to stay loyal to their organisation, however will need the pull to stay there. An employee will not stay in a role if there is no opportunity for development, no training, no ‘outside your remit’ opportunities, so ensure these factors are made clear during your recruitment drive.
Topic number two: Social Media
Social media is used extensively both by the public and corporations, and it’s having a growing impact on the way we perceive company brands and the way we look for jobs.
Although we often assume social media more often harms careers than helps, most of our audience believes that, if used properly, your social media channels can be an asset to your career development. Some reasoning behind this was that social media is good for networking, self-branding, and finding job opportunities.
Therefore, employers should utilise social media in their recruitment drive. Being active on popular platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, is crucial for brand building and consumer correspondence. Top tip: ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘a day in the office’ posts are an engaging way to show potential candidates the role types and culture in your business.
Topic number 3: Personal Life
Finally we wanted to get a look into the private lives and ambitions of millennials. An overwhelming majority at 96% are hoping to own their own home at some point in the future, while over 60% believe your career is equally important to your personal relationships. These findings show that work-life balance is important to candidates. In the roles you offer, ensure expectations are clearly stated. It would even be useful to mention any ‘extracurricular’ activities your organisation puts on, for example monthly socials, yearly events- anything that makes your business stand out.
The findings of the first ever Milkround ‘Inside the Minds of Millennials’ research shed some light on the challenges the future workers are facing, such as home ownership, social media impact, and career development. It also gives us an insight on how to approach millennials and ensure that they are getting the support they need to successfully enter the workplace.
Changes in technology and social conduct mean that the workplace may look very different by the time the millennials have taken their place as the majority of the UK workforce. This report shows that due to millennials being ‘digital natives’, the line between their personal and professional selves is getting increasingly blurred. It’s important for employers to stay present on the channels Millennials are using, and offering not just a ‘job role’ but a balanced, opportunity led career.
If you want to find out any more information about our research, or about how Milkround can help you to recruit your early careers talent, get in touch with us today!
E: [email protected]
T: 020 3003 4000
(1) Advising the Millennial Generation, Sarah Keeling, University of South Carolina Aiken, NACADA Journal Volume 23 (1 & 2) Spring & Fall 2003, http://depts.washington.edu/apac/roundtable/12-05-05_millenial_generation.pdf
(2) By The Witter on Urban Dictionary, 14th July 2010.