Don’t call it a comeback, at least not for Millennials in the workplace. In many regards, this generation isn’t a rehash of their parents and grandparents. They have a completely different set of values for the workplace, one that uniquely fuses their personal interests. Consider it more of a takeover, if you will—one that’s been catapulted by technology and cultural advances. Not an “Empire of the Ants” kind of takeover, but one based solely on the numbers. If you don’t believe the times have changed, visit a class of college freshmen and ask them to tell you the first thing that enters their mind when you say the word “catfish”. Yep, Millennials are different.
Back in 2008, Gen Y Expert Amy Lynch predicted that by 2014, 36 percent of the U.S. workforce would be comprised of Millennials and by 2020, nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers would be from this generation. By comparison, Gen X only represents 16 percent of the current workforce.
So, the question for CEOs and HR directors is how to attract and engage this generation in the workplace. This is particularly true of small to mid-size companies competing with larger, more established companies for top talent.
When approaching Millenials, remember, this is the generation who, instead of gathering around the water cooler in the morning to discuss current events, is more likely to post a video of their morning visit to the local coffee shop to create their own current event. This is the generation where 23 year-old Jake is likely to dump 22-year old Sara via Facebook while she in turn boldly responds on Twitter: I was dumped for Brittany the Skank #jakewetsthebed #ihatehim.