In 1994 these events occurred:
- Forrest Gump won the Oscar for Best Film.
- Seinfeld was the most popular TV show.
- Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” and All-4-One’s “I Swear” topped the charts.
- Most of the students graduating college this May were born (and I was 11 years old).
Graduation season will soon be upon us. When it comes to employee recruitment, research suggests that this latest generation to enter the workforce is one unlike any other.
Millennials are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce today, and will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. If attracting top graduates from the Class of 2016 is a priority for you as you fill your talent pipeline, now is the time to ensure your company is able to uncover what’s important to them and that it has processes, policies, and benefits packages in place that are in alignment with their unique goals and values.
Here are a few statistics you probably didn’t know about this new class of graduates that we all should consider as we hire and begin working with the newest group of employees to join our organizations.
1. This is the most diverse generation to enter the workforce.
According to Pew Research, 44 percent of millennials are part of a diverse community or ethnic group. That percentage is expected to continue to rise, as immigrants coming to the U.S. are disproportionately in their younger working years–in fact, the majority of new immigrant workers are between the ages of 20 and 35.
Takeaway: Creating an inclusive culture that addresses the needs and values of employees of different religious and cultural backgrounds has never been more important.
2. This group of employees is more entrepreneurial than any other.
The newest group to enter the workforce is shaking up the way our nation works.
Since the Industrial Age, each generation has entered the workforce with somewhat similar expectations: You study something. You get a job (usually in a place of work, like an office), and you stay there–for a long time.
Did you know that 79 percent of millennials would consider quitting their regular job and working for themselves? Fifty-two percent believe corporate loyalty is outdated and most–58 percent–expect to stay in their current job for fewer than three years.
Takeaway: Competition is fierce. Offering great benefits that address employees’ needs is one way you can ensure great candidates join your company over others–and stay.
3. An infrastructure that embraces new methods of communications is really important.
Chances are the soon-to-be graduate your team is meeting at college recruitment fairs hasn’t listened to a voicemail in weeks and doesn’t have a landline.
This generation is no longer plugged into the traditional methods of communication most offices still rely on, but more plugged in than ever to social media, text messages and their cell phones. According to a recent Gallup study, most millennials check their cell phones at least hourly, and many report that they check it “every few minutes” and “a few times an hour.” I know I’m guilty!
Takeaway: The Class of 2016 will expect to be able to use the latest tech tools at work. Failure to embrace change will likely result in retention issues for companies that are slow to evolve.
This is the most connected group of people to ever enter the workforce. Ensuring your company is positioned well to foster an agile, collaborative culture is key.
4. The Class of 2016 wants to make a difference, both at your company and in the world.
If you read a lot about millennials you’ve probably heard all of the same stereotypes I have (full disclosure: I am a millennial and I run a millennial-focused company). You may have heard that millennials are entitled, or perhaps narcissistic.
Let’s take the first one. Some see millennials as entitled entry-level workers who expect to get promoted quickly by playing foosball at work.
The truth is that the newest group of employees to enter your office will expect to work hard. Most already sleep with their phones next to their pillows and won’t mind working late, especially on something that will have a big impact on your company. In fact, 72 percent consider having “a job where I can make an impact” to be very important or essential to their happiness in their career.
At the same time, 78 percent say that a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility program affects their decision to join a company, and 64 percent use social media to address or engage with companies around social and environmental issues.
Most are optimistic and fully believe they can make a difference in their community and change the world. While changing the world may take some time to truly accomplish, empowering your millennial employees to do so will empower your organization for the future.
In fact, one could make the case that no other generation has been as optimistic about their ability to have an impact, both in the workplace and in the world.
Your company’s newest rising stars are ready for the workforce. The question is: Do you have the right policies and practices in place to ensure you are ready for them?