How millennials are impacting the global job market
It’s hard to deny that millennials bear the brunt of frequent criticism when it comes to the working world. Whether they’re being accused of laziness, or labelled as overly ambitious, this generational group seem to be an easy target for critics. However, as the landscape of the global job market shifts, millennials are driving a change. If employers want to attract the best emerging talent, they’re going to need to listen and act accordingly. We spoke to members of the team at Huxley to find out how millennials are changing the global landscape of business.
Looking at businesses generally, one of the biggest changes we’re noticing is the length of time people stay in a job. There are numerous explanations for this rise in job hopping; we could blame a lack of internal opportunities, or perhaps workers are becoming more impatient. We can draw many conclusions as to why this is happening. However, one of the biggest factors is undoubtedly millennials.
According to a study by LinkedIn, the average person leaving higher education is likely to have four jobs within the first decade of their career. That might not sound like much, but if you compare that with the previous Generation X, the number halves. Millennials are key drivers behind this change in attitudes towards job hopping; according to The Future Workplace, 91% admitted they wouldn’t expect to stay in a job for more than three years.
Alexander Read, Senior Recruitment Consultant, at Huxley, explains, “When looking at a millennial’s CV, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that they’ve had multiple employers. Generally speaking, I think a lot of millennials feel that if their skills can be used elsewhere in a more appealing position, then they’ll take that opportunity”. Historically, job hopping may have been seen as a negative, but if this is the new attitude of the employee, then businesses will be forced to react and re-assess their own attitudes.
Key things that might attract millennials to a job aren’t necessarily the same things as the previous generation. According to Alexander, career progression is one of the most important factors for millennials across the board, which would explain why so many candidates have a habit of moving roles. Alexander explains, “If employers aren’t providing significant growth opportunities, then millennials will begin to assess their options.” Skilled people are in high demand; if companies want to retain top talent, they need to ensure their employees feel valued and that the promise of progression is delivered.
Diversity and inclusion
According to a survey by Deloitte, millennials are extremely passionate about working in a diverse and inclusive environment. The companies rated highest were those who had a diverse senior management team in place. Millennials want to work for a company that promotes positive social change and believe it’s important that employers recognise and act upon this. Interestingly, two thirds of those surveyed believe companies aren’t doing enough to create an inclusive workforce. While many companies may have strong diversity policies, if millennials can’t see this reflected amongst a senior management team, the policies and programmes are redundant.
Demand for flexibility
Another key driver for millennials is flexible working. According to Alexander, “Flexible working is one of the biggest things millennials are looking for. If an employer can offer the benefit of home working and flexible hours, this can be a big attraction for candidates.” While many organisations now offer a lot of flexibility, a rigid 9-5 structure is still a reality for many employees. Perhaps it’s because of this that the gig economy is emerging as an appealing alternative to full time employment, with the survey revealing that 62% of millennials would consider gig based work. The potential for increased finances and the promise of flexibility was cited as the biggest reason behind this.
Jessica Rothwell, Contract Recruitment Consultant at Huxley, has experienced this, “I’ve had a number of millennial candidates who’ve originally been working in permanent positions, but have become enticed by the draw of contract work. The increased flexibility for contractors is a huge pull for many people, particularly millennials.”
By 2020, 50% of the workforce will be made up of millennials, and its important organisations appreciate how this could impact the global job market. Perhaps it’s not right for you to adopt flexible working, or maybe you don’t feel comfortable hiring a frequent job hopper, and that’s fine. But what’s important is to understand how employee habits are changing, and make sure your business is ready to react so that you don’t miss out on getting the best people in place. Get in touch with one of our dedicated consultants today, and find out how we can help with your latest hiring challenge.