Millennials will comprise 36% of the workforce by next year, and 46% by 2020.  Those figures demand some examination of the way in which we manage our millennial talent pool.  Matt Miller is a Forbes contributor who agrees.  He specializes in the media and tech trending with millennials.  Drawing from a study by the Kenan-Flagler Business School, Miller summarizes some key dynamics about millennials in the workforce today (“Why You Should Be Hiring Millennials [Infographic]” 7/3/12):

According to the study, millennials are highly ambitious, with a majority placing an importance on jobs with chances for career progression and personal growth.  And while it’s no surprise that these ambitious young people are plugged in through social media, the study said hiring an employee who is active on Facebook greatly increases a company’s digital reach.

This tells us we have two significant items we cannot afford to discount when it comes to hiring and retaining millennials:

1—Personal And Professional Growth.  Although this should be no surprise, tragically, some companies overlook it.  They think a cog-in-the-wheel job will attract and retain this talent when nothing could be further from the truth.  An organization serious about its talent management must be committed to showing these job candidates a viable, challenging, fulfilling career path.  Millennials expect that; they intend to grow both personally and professionally.  Organizations that fail to recognize that truth will lose millennials to those organizations that do recognize that truth.

2—Social Media Reach.  I think for a very long time many companies viewed social media as a passing fad and an annoying distraction.  Policy after policy was set in place to stifle the social-media world at work.  Now don’t get me wrong—I will be the first to declare professional boundaries and workplace commitments must be upheld.  Nevertheless, when you consider the spillover effect of a social-media savvy employee, there is much more to be gained than lost.  Think about it this way:  In today’s world, would you want your employees to be social-media geniuses or still stuck in the typewriter age?  Our millennials will expand the reach and the influence of our companies.  We cannot afford to miss that opportunity.

The study to which Miller refers is freely available as an infographic and I have incorporated it into the bottom of today’s blog post and provided the links.  Given the significant insights derived from this study, I will be devoting several additional blog posts to this material.

Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC
Via MBA@UNC:Online Business Degree & The YEC

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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