Forbes summed it up by saying “Generation X is from Mars and Generation Y is from Venus.” The Baby Boomers and the 30- and 40-something Generation Xers who followed them sometimes find the Millennials, the so called Generation Y’s, unfathomable.
Millennial employees are a rising tide, so it pays to focus on aspects of employer branding that appeal to Millennials, as well as understanding what the Millennials expect from their employers.
Universum’s global survey of Millennials, how they see themselves, and what they expect from employers and employment raises some interesting considerations for employers.
Three separate points in the Universum survey, entrepreneurship, autonomy, and leadership, can help employers understand the Millennial world view. In the survey, an average of just over 70 percent of Millennials saw themselves as entrepreneurs. Also, 92 percent of Millennials said they preferred autonomy at work. In addition, the study finds that just over three-quarters of Millennials want to be seen as leaders
Employers need to take heed of these findings: Entrepreneur Magazine reported that the Generation Y 20-somethings are more entitled and independent than the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Raised by “helicopter parents,” the Millennials are both independent and have a strong sense of entitlement.
For Millennials, the fluid structure of companies such as Facebook may be a better fit than older, more structured companies. These other companies need to take a long hard look at their culture and practices with the Millennials in mind.
Coming into the workforce after World War II, Baby Boomers tended to opt for job security over salary. In the 1980s, Generation X employees went for high salaries and status jobs. The Millennial generation is a mix: The Universum study of Millennial employees worldwide showed just over one-half of 20-somethings prefer job security to higher salaries, while 48 percent opt for higher salaries over job security. Interestingly, seven percent more women than men opted for security over salary.
There are also differences between countries: In developing economies, such as those in many African countries, job security was clearly more important than salary. Still, nearly 60 percent of North American workers also prefer job security.
Generation Y has a strong sense of entitlement and expects recognition and rewards. Job titles are important to some 86 percent of the Millennial survey takers.
Ongoing research shows that attracting and retaining Millennial employees requires an understanding of a world view that combines independence and a desire for recognition.