They capture national attention. They attract marketers and recruiters alike. And now, they’re taking over the workforce. As the largest and most diverse generation America has ever seen, millennials are a big deal, and they’re going to become an even bigger deal in the near future. This generation of young adults, ranging in age from about 19 to 36, is taking the world and workplace by storm. Already, millennials outnumber both the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations in the workplace. Additionally, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in just fifteen years millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.
Okay, so millennials matter. Now what?
What’s most important today is that employers, managers, and other workforce leaders understand who they’re dealing with. Plenty of research has been conducted about millennials, including what their best skills are, what their biggest challenges are, and, especially, what the largest misconceptions about them are. From this research, here are some quick things workforce leaders need to understand about millennials to hire and work with them.
While millennials are the most tech-savvy generation to date, personal interactions are still important.
When it comes to working with others, the millennial is accustomed to the convenience and accessibility of the virtual world, which is an asset in the workforce. However, interacting solely with an automated system or computer is just as draining as it sounds. Millennials may love their tech, but they also need interpersonal interactions. Providing a millennial employee with a happy balance between tech and people best addresses the employee’s assets and needs.
By being connected personally to the online world, millennials have many positive innate qualities to bring to the workforce.
Millennials aren’t entering the workforce with a blank slate, they have online identities that follow them just as easily as a resume does and virtual skills that other generations didn’t have when just starting out in their careers. Many attributes of millennial social media and computer usage beneficially carry over into the professional world, with skills in networking, communication, audience analyzation and marketing already well developed.
Millennials are, essentially, just like every other generation.
When you were in your twenties, did you want to work in a stuffy work environment? Did you want a heavy workload and lots of pressure? Did you want to have a unstable financial future? Millennials want what everyone wants: security, low anxiety, happiness, fulfillment, success.
However, despite these facts and tips, the thing to realize is that just because someone belongs to a certain generation doesn’t mean that he or she fits a specific stereotype. Millennials matter, and you should care why, but regardless of the generation, understanding a person as an individual is still the most important factor in working with him or her.