Millennials have surpassed baby boomers to become the largest generational segment of the U.S. workforce. This shift began in 2015, with the number of workers 18-34 years old overtaking the formerly larger group of workers from 51-69 years old. This new generation of U.S. workers brings with them their own unique challenges and stereotypes.
What does this shift mean for your business? Millennials are a very different type of job seeker than the boomers before them. They have a different perspective on the nature of work and the jobs they seek. This requires a different approach from businesses when recruiting and hiring them.
Millennials are often motivated differently than boomers. The value of a dollar isn’t necessarily enough to keep them in a job. Typically, millennials look for jobs that stimulate and engage them, or let them pursue a passion. This means wanting more responsibility and engaging tasks than previous generations might have. They want to feel like a valued part of the company as opposed to a small part of a massive whole.
The job you are offering is also unlikely to be the only job they will have. Keep in mind that many millennials frequently have a “gig” or a “side hustle.” This is a second job in addition to their typical 9-5 that lets them make a few extra bucks or pursue a passion not related to their day job. These jobs range from being a ride-share company driver to graphic design work and freelance coding. A second job doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want your job as much as the next potential hire. It often means they have personal passions they wish to pursue or are seeking the flexibility to increase their take home.
Even when they don’t have a second job, millennials may be resistant or unwilling to sacrifice off-work hours. The promise of a great work/life balance is a crucial recruitment tool that can help bring more qualified candidates to your door. Offering benefits like telecommuting, extended parental leave, switching to a 4-day work schedule, or having flexible in and out times are all incentives that promote a healthy work/life balance. These perks can be appreciated by employees of all generations.
Lastly, keep in mind that you’re hiring an individual, not just a member of a generation. What works for one young person may not always work for another. Millennials’ more relaxed attitude towards the nature of work and employment is an opportunity to discover new and greater benefits for your organization.
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