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As millennials take over an increasingly large portion of the labour force, what they want and how to maintain their loyalty is becoming more and more important to employers.
In the UK, millennials, or Generation Y, are on the brink of inching past the Baby Boomers to become the largest segment of the working population. It has already happened in the USA and soon will be the case across Europe. This means that their ideas and opinions suddenly hold more weight than older generations.
We have a reputation of being lazy, self-centred and unhappy – not just me then? This opinion has been expressed in various publications. Time magazine, for example, dubbed our generation, ‘Generation Me, Me, Me’ – I’m sure they were up all night thinking of that one!
However, there are some traits that I find harder to deny. Loyalty and commitment are things that our generation seem to have more issues with. The temptation of travel exposure to new people and opportunities and a culture that discourages staying in a job you aren’t fully satisfied with, mean that we don’t just settle for any old job and be grateful for it anymore. We get bored easily and marriage and mortgages are definitely not at the top of our list of priorities, earning us yet another epithet of ‘The Peter Pan Generation.
We can find evidence of this in a couple of interesting figures depicted in the following infographics
(Figures published in The Guardian)
So how do employers maintain the loyalty of millennials in the modern recruitment world? How can they keep the interest of Generation Me, Me, Me? We are an age group addicted to travel and fresh adventures.
The internet assures us daily that a better life is out there waiting for us in a new country and technology is changing the way and how much we travel to these countries. The world is changing and companies, both multinationals and startups, would do well to change with it.
One of the main ways that companies are tyring to keep up to date with the changes is to kit out their offices with things to appeal to the younger generation. The typical office is now much more likely to contain comfortable social areas, pool tables, terraces and in some cases even a bar. When you compare this to 20 years ago, it is clear that something is shifting. This is clearly a reaction against the attitude of the modern day labour force.
Often startups are unable to compete with the wage package of a multinational and many of the fancy office add-ons listed above require money. As a result, flexible hours, a much more relaxed dress code, the potential of “making it big” and (of course) bean bags are common ways that startups keep their employees hooked.
The truth is that we as a generation are nowhere near as money-driven as the age groups that have gone before us. Millennials are happy to earn less, rent rather than buy and spend money on experiences instead of material objects.
We are more driven by the opportunity to be creative, feeling valued and challenged, but one of the biggest motivations for Generation Y is the prospect of free time.
Our generation are adventurers, not happy to be confined to the borders of their own country. We have a thirst for knowledge and discovery. We learn new languages and make friends in the furthest corners of the world – sometimes without even meeting them in person. We are not happy to settle for simply a decent salary. We are ambitious and hungry, not just for success, but for happiness and amazing experiences.
This is why more and more young people are choosing to relocate abroad to broaden their personal, and of course professional, horizons.
We live in a world of rich opportunity and this is what employers have to battle with in order to try and keep us interested. One minute you’re in an office you hate in your home town and the next you’re making a fresh start in the Portuguese sunshine
If this sounds a little like you then start the ball rolling right here...
It seems that Generation Y are looking for something very different in their professional life than the Baby Boomer generation were. Our values have shifted and whatever the world thinks of the Peter Pan Generation they are about to become the biggest age group in the market, so if you’re an employer it’s worth keeping them happy!
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