In spite of a sluggish economy, this generation remains optimistic about their chances of landing meaningful employment. According to a new study from Experience, Inc. (a career center website for colleges) and I Love Rewards (an employee recognition firm with offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Toronto), nearly two-thirds of the 8,088 respondents expect to have a job within three months of graduation and 91.7 percent within three to six months. Some believe this optimism prevails because this group feels they have a lot to contribute. The Millennials may be right – only time will tell.
Chasing the future
Employers need new thinking to fuel innovation. Millennials bring in fresh ideas and offer a new way to look at things. They are the future. This group is connected 24/7, and they are tech-savvy. With the global world at their fingertips, they can teach us a lot about how to stay relevant in an ever-changing world.
Making the connection
Millennials rank salary as a top factor when considering future employment, with 44.7 percent projecting they will earn of $25,000 to $49,000 annually and 30.8 percent expecting to start at the $50,000 to $74,999 range. Hey, it's good to have dreams, right?
Survey respondents have a high sense of commitment (or they are entering the workforce with great hope), as 24 percent believe they will stay with their first employer for more than 10 years and 64 percent expect to work for two to five years in the same company.
That's particularly interesting, given the current Labor Department figures that show the average Millennial only stays with a first employer for 1.5 years. This generation has gained the reputation of being impatient with the traditional style of working their way up the corporate ladder. Many don't see the value that comes with experience. They expect every opportunity to happen as soon as they're ready for it, regardless of current market conditions or their longevity on the job.
Preparing for the challenge
In less than three years, Millennials are predicted to comprise 50 percent of the workforce. Attracting, retaining, and motivating this generation will be one of the greatest challenges growing and emerging companies will face in coming years.
Here are four ways you can prepare.
1. Use social media to attract Millennials. Companies will need to be proficient in their usage of social media. The future is already upon us. A recent USA Today article noted that nearly 28 percent of college students plan to seek employment, using LinkedIn. That's up from 5 percent last year. According to the study, students use digital tools to search for the employer of their dreams, and the days of college students waiting for employers to come on campus may be long gone.
Bottom line: Manage your online image; update your site frequently; and monitor your online reputation.
2. Use social media platforms to keep them engaged. This generation wants to feel a strong connection to co-workers. This may be particularly challenging for employers as the push towards telecommuting continues to change the landscape of work.
Bottom line: Keep people connected by leveraging intranets and being vigilant about bringing workers together in real-time.
3. Think through your core values. Millennials are particularly concerned about a company's fundamental tenets and commitment to give back to its community. Many are asking questions about the moral values which guide a company and the way it operates.
Bottom line: Be prepared to respond to questions regarding your firm's commitment to the community and the rest of the world.
4. Develop and maintain a congenial work environment. This is important to the Millennials, and they expect it. They grew up on teams, and they all have trophies to prove it! Good relationships among employees rank high on their list.
Bottom line: Foster a team culture.
The Millennials are moving forward in full force and are changing the way companies brand, operate and market. It's exciting to think about a future filled with a generation that craves roundtables, collaboration, shared responsibility, and creativity: a perfect recipe for organizations open to trying something new.