Evolution Needed to Attract Younger Workers
10 November 2014 at 10:04 am
In 2015, millennials, people born between 1981 and 1996, will become the largest generation in the US workforce and with their takeover, the value of hard skills will outweigh personalities, according to new research.
Elance-oDesk, an online workplace, and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y consulting firm, announced results of a study, “The 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce, last week.
The survey was fielded in the United States among 1,039 millennials, 21 to 32-years-old with a bachelor’s, Master’s or postgraduate degree, and 200 hiring managers.
The research claims that in 2015, millennials will become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and 28 per cent of millennial respondents said that they are already in management positions. Two-thirds say they expect to be in management by 2024.
Nearly seven out of 10 (68 per cent) hiring managers said millennials have skills prior generations do not, and more than eight out of 10 (82 per cent) hiring managers felt that millennials are technologically adept. In addition, 60 per cent of hiring managers agreed that millennials are quick learners.
The majority (53 per cent) of hiring managers reported difficulty finding and retaining millennial talent, more than three times the number who said it was easy.
The study also found that 58 per cent of millennials expect to stay in their jobs fewer than three years. This contrasts with previous generations, with Gen X leaving a company in five years on average and Baby Boomers leaving in seven years on average.
The most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover report claimed that there were 4.8 million job openings in August – the highest level of U.S. job openings since January 2001.
In order to fill their job openings, hiring managers said they were prioritising hard skills over personality. 55 per cent said they focus more on hard skills when hiring, versus only 21 per cent who said they focus more on attitude or personality.
45 per cent of hiring managers expected to become even more skills-focused in ten years, versus only 11 per cent who expect to become more personality-focused. This is a shift, given research as recent as 2013 found that soft skills were most important, followed by hard skills.
As focus on skills increases, companies are adopting new hiring method, according to the research. 41 per cent of hiring managers plan to hire more freelancers in the next five years.
Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, based in New York said businesses needed to adapt if they wanted to attract younger workers.
“It’s absurd that while we see a record level of job openings, millennials are struggling to find jobs and companies struggle to hire them,” Schwabel said.
“Clearly, something is broken. Technology has forever changed where, when and how we work. Millennials are already more adaptable and focused on flexibility than generations before them. Businesses need to move more in this direction as well.”