By 2020, Millennials will make up 75% of the working population. How is the term “Millennial” defined, and what does it mean for the future of staffing?
A name given to the generation born between 1982 and 2004, this group was labeled as “Millennial” because they were born at or around the new millennium – or a period of 1000 years, marking the year 2000.
In 2015, the Millennial generation is projected to surpass the outsized Baby Boomer generation, as the nation’s largest living generation, according to the population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December 2014.
Millennials were the first generation born into the age of technology. They’re public and private lives are blurred within the context of social media. In general, they don’t identify with any particular religious or political group and they are the most tolerate generation to date. Citing Fortune Magazine, Millennial’s are “digital natives…who grew up in the shadow of 9/11 and The Great Recession.
To generalize their upbringing, their parents raised them with the notion that they are extremely special. In addition, they have been raised to believe that asking for and receiving help is for the most part, how the world works.
As a rule, the Millennial generation does not hold a long term loyalty to any one brand or entity. As such, they do not see themselves working at any one company for long periods of time. However, if treated well by a brand or an employer, they will sing their praises on social media and become an enthusiastic advocate for their employer.
From a positive perspective, because they were raised in the information age and technology is part of their identities, they are capable of spectacular innovations when given the right environment to produce.
But their success in the work place is varied, based on their demand for the right environment. Employers aren’t necessarily interested in providing this generation with the support they often require. Remember, this generation grew up thinking that asking for help and constant supervision was and is the norm. While many employers offer hands-on training, there are many who expect their employees to bring a certain level of competency and self sufficiency to the work place.
The generational clash is nothing new, as each generation brings a unique set of skills and challenges to the table. The smart employer will strike the right balance between their needs and the needs of the next generation.
So how can a staffing company like CPI adapt? First, the contract labor model works well for the Millennial generation, as this generation typically works only one to three years at any given job.
Beyond providing both contract and direct placement services, staffing companies might want to consider providing a certain level of career counseling to their Millennial candidate(s).
In particular, recruiters need to consider helping the Millennial generation understand how their skills and training translate into the specific employment opportunities. Providing a pathway or extra assistance to the Millennial is smart business. It gives the Millennial candidate the right environment to thrive, as they have become accustomed to this type of nurturing. And because Millennials tend to develop strong allegiances to the brands, which treat them with respect and understanding, the recruiter can develop a long term relationship with the candidate. Treat a Millennial well, and they will be loyal for life. They will also tell everyone they know what a great experience they had with you and your company.
The Millennial generation has arrived. At this point, it’s incumbent upon all recruiters to leverage this generational shift to their advantage. It’s a win, win.