"There are around 13.8 million people who make up Generation Y in the UK"
Source: The Guardian, March 2016
Generation Y or the Millennials as they are more commonly known, is the general term used to describe those born between circa early 1980s to the early 2000s. Understanding this generation’s mind-sets and attitudes is the key to attracting and retaining them. The characteristics highlighted are general and do not describe all millennials.
Firstly, the internet existed throughout their formative years. The digital age has influenced them the most and as a result they are the most active on social media. Due to their reliance on technology, organisations would be advised to invest in technology in order to attract millennials. AI, data analytics and robotics will introduce a new dimension to operational activity with millennials focussing on development, ideas generation and customer relationships*.
Open-minded, confident and socially conscious, they may not necessarily have strong political or religious affiliations and a diversity in the workplace appeals to them. Working culture influences their attitudes and behaviour; and they tend to socialise more with their co-workers. They are often ‘job-hoppers’, attracted to organisations that share their values and take corporate social responsibility seriously.
“More than a quarter of millennials lived at home with their parents, the figure was 25.4%”
Source: ONS figures, 2015
The recession has affected the decisions they made about their futures. Millennials may prefer to hold-off on ‘grown-up’ acts such as marriage and children. Their futures have been impacted upon by a tougher housing market, increased graduate debt and less favourable pension provisions. These factors lead them to favour travel over saving. According to the BBC, Generation Y will earn less than Generation X.
Considerations for an employer
HR departments need to update their marketing strategies so that they are more aligned with millennial mentality. Promoting opportunities for development and training will give an employer a competitive advantage. Organisations would benefit from benchmarking their benefits package against competitors as millennials are not just concerned with their salaries. They will review the entire benefits package offered to them. Flexible working patterns are appreciated more too.
Social media should influence the way employers reach out to the millennial talent pool. LinkedIn’s 2015 Talent Trends Report stated that 62% of millennials review an organisation’s social media presence as part of their job search. They are keen for insights into company culture. Does your organisation’s social media truly reflect the workplace culture and tell its’ story?
Speed decision-making is attractive to millennials. They may be deterred if they are expected to attend 3 interviews for one job. Traditional interview techniques may be off-putting. For example, sitting in a conference room away from the office buzz provides little insight into company culture and the working environment. KPMG have reorganised their graduate recruitment so that candidates complete all assessments in one day; where previously there were at least three stages.
Communication is key
Millennials don’t like to be ‘kept in the dark’. Their choices are generally well-informed. They prefer to receive constructive feedback regularly and need structured channels for them to be able to share their ideas. Training managers on providing clear feedback and objectives would be beneficial. Millennials are known for their confidence and organisations may want to consider establishing processes to manage any over-confidence.
According to Personnel Today, millennials make up approximately a third of the current workforce. The current workforce will consist of different groups of employees with varying, possibly conflicting, ethics and values. UBS Wealth Management and The Future Laboratory commissioned a research paper which states that 75% of managers feel that managing different generations in the workforce is an issue. Managing the differing expectations of the various employees needs to be handled carefully. Organisations need policies in place to help manage these differences so that everyone is able to contribute equally.
CBW’s HR Outsourcing team are available to provide you with guidance on your recruitment strategy so that you tap into the millennial talent pool. Our consultants are happy to assist you with recommended policies such as flexible working, harassment & bullying and appraisals. We are also able to provide managerial training.
*Millennials and AI driving change in the workplace, HR magazine. 31 August 2016.