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How Millennials Live and Work (and Why it Matters)


How Millennials Live and Work (and Why it Matters)

To seasoned executives and professionals, many younger millennials that are fresh out of college are simply the bottom of the food chain. They’re interesting and confusing, and some organizations are still learning to recruit them, market to them, sell to them and learn from them, but many other organizations have already captured millennials’ hearts, including Google, Airbnb, Twitter and Yelp.

You, too, can understand how millennials live and work and use it to your advantage to recruit the best millennials for your company. Why? Because you want what they have.

Trust me, I’m a millennial. 

I may still be a “fresh face” to the professional world, but I have the knowledge that companies want, and that’s why people my age are building successful startups, working for large online companies, and freelancing full time.

What You Need to Understand about Millennials

First and foremost, you need to understand a few things about how millennials live:

  • They are and always will be tech support for their parents and older relatives
  • They are social beings who thrive on sharing everything with each other (maybe too much)
  • They are not immune to marketing, but they do know how to avoid it
  • They are fast-moving and expect results
  • They are looking to learn, not just listen

All of these characteristics make millennials incredibly savvy with technology and social media, which are sought after skills in the digital age of business. Unfortunately, a startling amount of millennials also remain unemployed or not working in their desired field.

How Millennials Work and Why it Matters

Looking back at the list above, consider how those characteristics relate to how millennials live and work, and I’ll tell you why those characteristics matter for your recruiting strategy, retention rates and overall business success.

Fast-Moving - Because millennials live fast, they work fast too. They expect results and growth, and they aren’t going to wait around for it. The average tenure of millennial employees is two years, compared to five years for Generation X. If hard-working millennials aren’t moving up, earning raises or thriving at their jobs, they will move on to another company with better growth opportunities. Having grown up with a vast amount of resources at their fingertips, millennials are exceptional problem solvers and critical thinkers. During the recruiting process, show millennials that they have options for growth within the company and you’ll capture them more easily and keep them longer.

Social & Tech Savvy - I’ve brought up this statistic before – 70% of employees want to work for digitally mature companies. Because millennials were born and raised with technology and social media, they want to work for companies that embrace innovation. Prove that your company is taking advantage of the latest technology and striving to remain “modern,” and you’re sure to keep millennials interested.

Looking to Learn - Millennials want a coach, not a manager. They want jobs where they’re busy learning, not powering away on dead-end busywork. Because of their entrepreneurial spirit and desire for growth, they don’t just want direction but mentorship and consistent feedback so that they will continue to improve. With the right manager, millennials are sure to excel in the workplace.


How to Appeal to Millennials

As of the end of 2015, millennials make up the largest generation in the workforce, surpassing Generation X and Baby Boomers. Talent acquisition and HR departments are adjusting their strategies to appeal to more millennials with video interviews, simple application processes, social recruiting and more, but the workplace atmosphere is still in a constant state of change.

Long-standing organizations that are considered, for lack of a better word, “traditional” may not have millennial-friendly work environments – the kind that encourage growth, learning and even flexibility. It’s up to businesses to change their strategies to center around the workforce in order to keep attracting the best talent, which continues to be the millennial generation. Millennials are the future of business, so whether decision-makers like it or not, it’s time for strategies to cater to young adults.

Holly Wade is the Marketing Manager at GreenJobInterview. She comes from the technology world with a background in marketing and public relations, where she specialized in content management, brand development and social media. Connect with Holly via LinkedIn: