Seen through the eyes of Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, Millennials often are characterized as ‘tech-obsessed, egocentric, entitled whiners.’ While this could be true in some instances, it would be a missed opportunity to ignore the largest generation to be entering the job market since the Baby Boomers. A savvy executive would dig deeper into this enigma and find ways to fully leverage this generational talent pool for their business.


Now surpassing the size of the Baby Boom generation, Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. To truly attract and take advantage of the unique characteristics of this cohort, companies must put in place effective programs to recruit, motivate, and retain the generation who will lead successful businesses in the coming years.

A study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School quantified some of the reasons to appreciate what Millennials bring to the workforce:
  • Prioritization of meaningful work over high pay
  • Social media freedom is more important than salary
  • 65% say an opportunity for personal development is the most important aspect in an employer
  • 52% said opportunities to advance in their career was attractive
  • 22% said training and development was the most valued employer benefit

Previous generations were more so driven by money or benefits, but this new generation is looking for happiness and work they can be passionate about. Millennials are more self-motivated than previous generations – they want to learn and grow in their careers. They want to make a difference in the world. They live with purpose and are attracted to businesses with purpose woven into their brand.

This need for emotional connection places more value on meaningful work than a high salary. Ultimately, a connected millennial will produce a great product at a more cost-effective rate.

Additionally, this technology-savvy generation is excellent for marketing efforts. They are highly connected across all social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more. They check-in at work and repost employer generated content. They treat LinkedIn more as a social network than a business platform – connecting with other professionals on a more personal level which elevates the personification of your brand. This extreme connection means millennial employees are some of the best social media allies.

Despite what you read in the mainstream media about millennials wanting to be freelancers and consultants, this doesn’t seem to be the case. A Deloitte 2017 study found that two-thirds of Millennials wanted full-time employment. Some of this seems to be due to more flexibility in the workplace, and perhaps their overall view of business. Seventy-six percent of Millennials say they are pro-business and feel that businesses are having a positive effect on broader society.

The future leaders of your firm will come from this generation, so it is more important than ever to clearly understand what drives them. In future posts, we’ll review ways to recruit, retain, and motivate your Millennial employees.