According to a Deloitte survey, Millennials (also called Generation Y, the exact year span is debatable, but on average born between 1980 and 1992) will represent 50% of the workforce in 2020, and up to 75% in 2025.

The most consistent trait of this generation is that they are technically savvy and have grown up on digital devices in a wired, connected world. When they look for employment, they do not rely on traditional channels, they seek advice and rely on referrals from people they are connected to for everything, including potential employers. In fact, 73% of Millennials found their last job through their social network.

When choosing an employer, compensation matters but it’s not the only priority. 47% of Millennials say a prospective employer’s online reputation matters as much as the job being offered. Company culture and reputation are the second most important factor when accepting job. These digital natives do their research and believe their peers and what they learn online – long before they ever consider a potential employer.

There is a coined phrase related to Millennials called the “Hummingbird” effect – they will sample different employers and job hop if they feel their employer is not reputable or relevant – and only 1 in 5 will stay if they feel there is limited opportunity for growth.

A full 25% of Millennials think that working at a job for as little as 7 months shows that they are a loyal employee – contrast that to Boomers who feel they’d have to work somewhere for more than 5 years to be considered loyal.

Why should HR care?

  • Companies need to have a strong Employer Brand. One that goes beyond foos ball tables and beer on Fridays, one that clearly articulates why it’s a great place to work with a unique culture and opportunities for advancement.
  • Recruiters need to think like marketers and deploy Recruitment Marketing and social media tactics to understand where their prospects are online, what they care about and join the conversation.
  • HR must implement creative digital programs for onboarding and retention to keep employees engaged from day one. Employee Advocacy programs – enabling employees to act as ambassadors of the company – not only significantly increase retention and engagement, but leverage employee personal networks to attract both future talent and future customers.
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