Employment Enterprises Blog

Millennials: Digital Natives in the Modern Workforce

Posted by Erica Hill on Oct 17, 2016 6:00:00 AM

millennials in the modern workforce

Much has been written about Millennials, and for good reason. Millennials make up 50% of the modern workforce, and the oldest members of Generation Z (those born roughly 1995 to present) are starting their first jobs and internships.

Why is this relevant?  Because it means over half of the modern workforce are digital natives. Many do not remember a time before the internet, email, or mobile phones. Millennials are no longer entry-level—the oldest are about 35 and in managerial roles. Many organizations have said they have a problem retaining and engaging Millennials.  In fact, much of the conventional wisdom surrounding Millennials simply isn’t true—plenty of research proves this statement.

Why is the Millennial turnover rate so high?

Millennials are really no different than other generations in the modern workforce and most employees want the same things out of their work, according to Harvard Business Review.¹ The reason they are turning over at a higher rate is simply because they make up the majority of the workforce, and turnover in the under 35 group has historically been higher than older employees. Last year, 46% of employees under 35 left their last job due to lack of career growth, according to Glassdoor.² 

What many companies are experiencing is a lack of strategy and understanding around candidate and employee engagement—and the ways they prefer to learn and engage digitally. This is driving much of the urgency for companies to undergo digital transformation to stay competitive for talent and in product, service, and customer experience offerings.

What Do Millennials want out of their careers and organizations?

According to Glassdoor, Millennials are seeking growth opportunities, retirement benefits, and work culture. According to Harvard Business Review, they are also seeking the following:

  • Impact
  • Diversity
  • Developing expertise
  • Solving social and environmental problems
  • Purposeful and meaningful work

To attract and engage Millennials (and all of you other employees, too), it’s important to figure out creative and mobile people strategies. If you can give them development opportunities, many will stay.  However, to enable development, managers need to effectively coach their teams in order to provide the feedback, growth, and satisfaction employees want while also attracting talent to a coaching culture.  Strong leadership also connects talent to the purpose of their work and helps them see that their individual contributions have an impact.

Creating opportunities for more candidates to be considered via digital interviewing is a way the best companies are attracting millennial talent. Creating an effective coaching culture and enabling managers to coach with technology keeps talent engaged and attracts the best candidates because they are looking for coaching and growth.

In the end, most employers will find that the span of generations can and do share many desires—Millennials seek financial security, seniority, inspirational leadership, clearly articulated business strategies, and performance-based recognition and promotions just as much as Gen X and Baby Boomers.

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Erica Hill is managing editor at HireVue, the world's leading Team Acceleration platform. HireVue’s digital video and predictive analytics solutions enable companies like Under Armour, United Health Group, Hilton Worldwide and Healthsouth to build and coach world-class teams by empowering managers to make faster, smarter hiring decisions. For more information, visit www.hirevue.com.

Topics: Blogs, Technology, Generations

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