Is your business catering to millennials? If not, consider this: according to Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are one of the largest generations in history who are now entering their prime spending years. They are “poised to reshape the economy” and will “force companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.”
Statistics Canada reports that as of 2012, this group has officially become the largest generation in the Canadian workforce, sitting at close to 37 per cent.
Canadian Business magazine says, “The tipping point we fretted about for years is here.” Their advice for employers? Adapt or perish.
Many long-established brands in the Canadian marketplace are trying to change their feathers for Millenials. Kraft, for example, recently re-branded its ubiquitous Kraft Dinner to “KD” to match vernacular used by Millennial families.
One of Canada’s oldest banks, CIBC, boasted to reporters recently, how it is “becoming cooler” by shifting its culture, trying to act like a tech company.
What do these changes signify from a talent management and recruitment perspective? In one word: everything.
Here are five things we’ve seen that motivate millennials or allow them to work to the beat of their own drum (translation: what employers need to start doing):
1. Breaking down corporate hierarchies: Millennials place great value on management that leads with their team, side by side as co-collaborators, where everyone is equally valued as a contributor to the business. The corporate ladder today is as outdated as the old dial telephone.
2. Embracing ever-changing technology: Processes need to be fluid and instantly changeable. Remember, this is the generation for whom ordering a taxi from an app on an Apple watch is business as usual.
3. Voicemails are archaic: text messages and instant messaging are their primary forms of everyday communication. For them, phone calls should really be “by appointment only.” Besides, why would anyone want to leave a voicemail, when they can simply text instead? This is the future of business communication.
4. No mortgage, no problem: more millennials are choosing to live with their parents, and are more concerned about access than ownership (they’ve grown up in a sharing economy after all). Who needs a car that comes with gas costs, maintenance and repair costs, insurance costs, and traffic, when they can UberX it in the car pool lane, or Zip Car it for a day out? This context changes their decisions on prospective employers too. Is the office nearby and in the downtown core? Does the company allow people to work remotely, so car ownership and the onerous commute can be avoided?
5. They work to live: unlike previous generations who put work first above all else to show commitment to their employer, millennials place great value on their quality of life and their wellness. This generation exercises more, smokes less, eats well and spends more on health and wellness. Companies that take this insight to heart, offering innovative perks and programs in the workplace will enjoy a distinct, competitive advantage.
The signs are all around us. Big changes are coming and as George Allen Sr. once said, “Winning is the science of being totally prepared.”
If you have questions on how to attract millennial talent for your workplace, contact us today. Get social with us via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or connect the old school way by phone at: 416-236-3303 or email: [email protected].
1 Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research – Millenials Coming of Age
2 Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey Estimates
3 Canadian Business – Millennials are now the biggest generation in the Canadian workforce
4 Marketing Magazine – Millennial-ized market means Kraft Dinner is now KD
5 National Post – How one of Canada’s oldest banks is acting like a tech company