In 1976, a poll of twenty-year-old job seekers showed that vacation time and a well-respected job position were very important when choosing a position. Thirty years later, Generation Y employees answered the same questions very differently. It appears that things like ample vacation time aren’t on the millennial’s list of important job aspects. But do the statistics from this infographic by MBA@UNC (full size below) from 2012 mean that our standards have lowered? Does it mean that we don’t like vacation time or value a job position that others would respect? Or is it that our priorities have just shifted somewhat?
Most would agree that this data shows a shift in priorities and culture. We know that the job market is different than in 1976; we know that the demographics are different; our understanding of what a job is and how it should work for us is completely different, as well. Of the priorities that define the millennial generation, which of them could be leveraged to be beneficial to your company?
Millennials want to be developed professionally.
52% of millennials agree that career progression is an attractive trait in an employer; 65% say that the most influential factor for accepting their current position was that there was opportunity for development. The truth is, too, that many in Gen Y are interested in a style of “self-help” development. Millennials are likely to have side jobs or even own their own businesses on the side which continues to develop their skills in numerous areas. 30% already started a business while still in college; 35% have started a side business to supplement what they’re already doing at their day-time job.
Millennials know their way around technology because they grew up alongside it.
This doesn’t just mean they’re savvy about social media. The infographic reveals that millennials move seamlessly between numerous media platforms every hour—27 times, actually, as compared to only 17 switches among earlier generations. This mean they’re moving from a computer to their cell phone to their iTouch to their tablet and back again 27 times every hour. While this may sound like overstimulation and a recipe for complete distraction, it’s doesn’t have to be. Millennials are also savvy about maximizing the use of each device for their actual usefulness, and they could actually be more productive for it.
Millennials are motivated by different things than previous generations.
As seen in the infographic, previous generations valued things like ample vacation time and the chance to make lasting relationships with their coworkers. While these things probably still impact a millennial’s choice in employer, 30% have also said that they want their work to be meaningful in some way. Millennials tend to be self-motivated and to expect a lot from their jobs; they want to know that their work is having an impact. These aspects even overtake the consideration of compensation: only 28% valued high pay as important in a job. Connect their tasks to the goals and larger vision of the company, and you’ll be able to use their desire or impact for the company’s benefit.
The tech savvy, ambitious generation that is sweeping the workplace can be an advantage to companies. If you leverage the skills they’re already carrying with them and help them to find the benefits of the workplace they’re looking for, they’ll likely be happy to work very hard.
Have you hired Generation Y workers at your company? What unique qualities do you think they bring to the table? Let us know in the comments!