According to the most recent U.S. Census, Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers 83.1 million to 75.4 million. In 2015, the burgeoning masses of Millennials made up 34% of the workforce and estimates show that number will rise to 46% by 2020.
With the majority of Millennials now entering their mid-20s and preparing to enter the workforce, chances are you will encounter a handful of these fresh faces during your next hiring process.
Don’t be fooled by the waves of thinkpieces explaining how Millennials are ruining everything we know and love — there are many reasons why it’s time to embrace the new and let go of the old.
Millennials Want to Lead
Millennials are innovative by nature. Growing up idolizing self-starting icons like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, the newest generation of workers wants to lead through creation. This coincides with perhaps the most important difference between Generation Y and previous generations — the Internet.
Millennials don’t know life without the Internet and have seen countless technological innovations occur throughout their lifetimes. With every new release of a virtual reality headset or smartphone, somewhere a Millennial is inspired to invent an even better version.
As cliche as it sounds, thinking outside the box can harvest the idea that puts you ahead of the competition — and Millennials were born far from any box.
Pay isn’t the Priority
Despite living through two recessions, Millennials do not seem to prioritize financial incentives the same way previous generations have.
According to a survey conducted by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School:
- 65% of Millennials claimed that personal development is the most important factor in a potential job
- 30% listed meaningful work as their top priority
- Only 28% cited high pay as the prevailing factor in choosing a career
While they aren’t looking to work for free, this generation’s employees can save companies plenty of overhead because of their lack of greedy motives. Work-life balance is a larger priority today, especially with the majority of post-grads realizing the pursuit of happiness isn’t just about a fat wallet. Learn more in ‘7 Steps to Finding Work-Life Balance.’
Equipped like Never Before
Millennials are the most educated young adults in American history — 33% of them have a 4-year degree. Generation Y is also the most diverse group in today’s workforce. Minorities make up 40.2% of Millennial workers, while just 27.5% of past generations saw minority representation. Learn more about the make-up of millennials here. Due to increased opportunities for people of all types of backgrounds, Millennials are entering the workforce with unique and diverse perspectives on the world and how it should be improved.
Of course, the endless information provided by the Internet and social media also adds to the widening perspective that Millennials have. Generation Y is full of digital natives and is 2.5 times more likely to be an early adopter of technology, especially social media, than other generations.
An employee fluent in the intricacies of social media can be incredibly helpful to a company’s branding and overall effectiveness. 82.3% of polled CMOs agree that an effective social media presence has a tangible effect on brand awareness and 76.2% agree that this can also directly influence sales.
Injecting youth into today’s workforce should be embraced, not feared. Millennials may always be on those dang smartphones but they’re also always thinking of new ways to innovate, improve and impress.
Interested in learning more about millennials in the workforce?
Check out more information our blog & article series:
What Millennials Look for in an Employer, Part I
What Millennials Look for in an Employer, Part II
What Millennials Look for in an Employer, Part III
How to Engage and Retain Millennials in the Workforce