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Why internet outrage could be ruining your business

Category: Blogger's Corner

Image of people. Why internet outrage could be ruining your business.

“Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation”, scream the headlines. Young people born between 1980 and 2000 get a rough ride. From the press. From employers who struggle to understand their ways of working and creating. And from inheriting a society rapidly evolving with technological and political change. They’re also apparently killing everything from marmalade, to lunch, to doorbells. Has there ever been a generation so widely derided? Or, apparently, so misrepresented.

Our interest here is in employment. One 2016 survey suggested that while 18% of the total workforce changes jobs every one to three years, those figures are much higher for the younger end of the workforce at 42%. The internet is, obviously, indignant. Another sign of the entitled generation generally messing things up with their own self-obsession. The truth is more difficult. Millennials make up a huge portion of the workforce and drive innovation. Prejudice towards this group is painful and, frankly, counterproductive.

Employing Millennials

Yes, around 60% of the Millennial group are currently open to a new job opportunity and are by far the most likely generation to switch jobs. To support that, 21% of Millennials in 2016 reported switching jobs within the past year, compared to roughly 7% of gen Xers and other non-Millennials. Case closed?

The young people of the Millennial generation are being compared to the older people of non-Millennial generations over the same time period. It seems obvious that younger people, looking to expand their career options, will shop around for opportunities. After all, as any Millennial will tell you, the ties of barriers like mortgage payments are often aspirational dreams to many members of this group. The reality is, Millennials may not be job hopping any more than the generations that came before them. 

Workforce demographics

Pew Research attempted to illustrate the reality with a recent study comparing data of modern Millennials (circa 2016) to their gen X counterparts, when they were of the same age. When you look at the data, 63.4% for Millennials in 2016  stayed with their employers for 13 months or more. For GenX in 2000 that figure was 59.9%. Millennials actually stay longer with their employers - possibly due to their higher education levels (a known factor for employee longevity).

What does that mean? This research implies that Millennial turnover and employer loyalty is actually slightly better than the generation before. And that’s impressive considering the battle they face with the changing nature of work. More insecure employment. The impact of working remotely. The rise of the gig economy.

The biggest change that employers need to note is that millennials want to work for a business that improves society. Here’s where your business ethos matters. Growth comes from change. From diversity. From giving a crap about something and sticking with it.

Get your priorities straight. It’s not about a person’s age. Or their attitude to doorbells. It’s about what they can bring to your company. And what you can do for them. The future of work is useful partnership that grows skills and opportunities on both sides. We’re helping companies and jobseekers find that way forward. Don’t get left behind.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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