Here Come the Millennials… and There They Go!

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Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y, or those born between 1982-2004) now comprise the largest generation in the workforce.

In fact, more than a third of all American workers today are Millennials.

You’ve probably already hired Millennials and will be hiring more.

But don’t expect them to stay long. Millennials are twice as likely as 30-somethings to leave a job after just three years — and this gap will only widen with age.

In fact they will be the most job-hoppingest generation you’re likely to see.

  • 36 percent change jobs every 1-3 years
  • 86 percent say that job hopping would not prevent them from pursuing their professional or personal positions
  • 37 percent would leave to pursue a completely different career path
  • 25 percent leave to take a job with a competitor
  • 22 percent leave to try living in a different city

They’re a different breed. They grew up on technology and social media.

Their parents taught them they were special and as adults they tend to be very confident; in fact, older generations may find them narcissistic and self-entitled.

They’ve grown up with and are virtually addicted to technology, particularly of the mobile variety, and possess clear expectations of the technology that is available to them within their work environment.

Many of them still live with their folks and are the first age group since the Silent Generation (born mid-1920s to early 1940s) that is expected to be less economically successful than their parents.

Perhaps they grew up with unrealistic expectations and are easily disillusioned.

On top of that, many paid a fortune to earn a college degree and are now mired in serious debt before they even land their first job.

And during the recent Recession, they may have had to accept a job in a field unrelated to their studies.

So they hop from one job to another, and keep right on hopping.

Maybe these stats will help you better understand Millennials:
  • 50 percent of Millennials consider themselves politically unaffiliated.
  • 29 percent consider themselves religiously unaffiliated.
  • 55 percent have posted a selfie or more to social media sites versus 20 percent of Generation X.
  • They send a median of 50 texts a day.
  • As of 2012, only 19 percent of Millennials said that, generally, others can be trusted.
  • There are about 76 million Millennials in the United States (based on research using the years 1978-2000).
  • Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century.
  • Twenty percent have at least one immigrant parent.
Millennials at work

Unlike previous generations, for Millennials it’s not all about money and career advancement.

They place great emphasis on enjoying their job. Work/life balance is very important.

Skilled at using social media since its inception, if they are displeased at work, they know how to broadcast their dissatisfaction and can have an impact on your company’s brand – and they know it.

On the other hand, if they like your company, they can generate extremely positive branding that won’t directly cost your company a cent.

One major challenge for employers in attracting Millennial employees is they’re quite jaded.

They’ve been exposed by ads not only on TV but with almost every click of the mouse.

They’re skeptical and appreciate that just because it’s in print or on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true.

Sites like Glassdoor can provide very subjective yet persuasive information on your company – and if it came from someone of their generation, it’s more likely to influence their opinion of you than your expensive marketing materials.

Tips to keep Millennials onboard… but be prepared for their departure:
  • Compensate them fairly and competitively
  • Ensure a good work/life balance
  • Provide opportunities to continually learn and contribute to meaningful projects
  • Offer flextime and telecommuting
  • Provide real-time feedback on performance
  • Conduct “stay” interviews
  • Empower the best and brightest
  • Create a talent pool of qualified candidates
INFOGRAPHIC: Preparing for Millennial Employee Churn
Are You Prepared for the Millennial Workforce?

See this infographic on what to expect – and be prepared for – with your growing Millennial workforce.

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Lewis Lustman

Lewis Lustman is a content marketer who enjoys developing materials that engage, inform, challenge, and hopefully entertain my audience. Lewis is a former journalist for Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and has worked for a number of leading advertising, marketing, technology, and PR firms over the years. Interested in a topic that he hasn't yet tackled? Drop him a line in the comments section!

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