Important Information as Millennials Enter the Workforce

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FenceLooking to recruit more millennials to your workplace? A study from the Pew Center for Research shows they are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. That may not sound terribly surprising, but wait until you find out where all these millennials are coming from.

An analysis of census data  conducted by the center found that more than one-in-three American workers are millennials. According to the center’s report, “[t]his milestone occurred in the first quarter of 2015, as the 53.5 million-strong [m]illennial workforce has risen rapidly. The [m]illennial labor force had last year surpassed that of the Baby Boom, which has declined as boomers retire.”

And what is the source of all these millennials in the workforce? Immigration, according to the Pew Center. The impact of immigration will “disproportionately enlarge the ranks of the millennial labor force,” because immigrants tend to be younger. Census data shows that, in the last five years, more than half of immigrant workers have been categorized as millennials.

Here is how the current U.S. workforce breaks down in terms of generational makeup, according to Pew:

  • Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997): 34 percent
  • Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980): 34 percent
  • Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964): 29 percent
  • The Silent Generation (born between 1927 and 1945): 2 percent.

It’s not just immigration that’s going to swell the ranks of the millennial workforce, according to Pew. Currently, the millennials are in a bit of a post-secondary education sweet spot — which means more and more of them will be pouring into the workforce over the next few years. “As the youngest millennials get older, more of them will be looking for or getting jobs,” Pew says.

bikeSo, what do you need to know about recruiting these millennials? A lot, as previous articles here at show. In the article  “Three Ways to Effectively Engage and Attract Millennial Customers,” Lisa Orrell quotes research which shows that “millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history; even bigger than the boomers. Plus, by 2025, 75 percent of the U.S. workforce is going to be comprised of millennials. ”

Orrell notes an interesting phenomena occurring with the American educated millennials. Community service was a required element of many of their educations. In fact, in many places, you can’t graduate high school without doing significant volunteer work. “Therefore, they are wired to ‘support causes,’ and countless studies show they are attracted and loyal to brands who share that same philosophy,” Orrell says.

In another article, Carmela Krantz, vice president of talent and human resources at sales engagement platform ClearSlide, shares her tips for recruiting millennials:

  • Millennials want tools that will help them “work smarter,” in Krantz’s words. They want all their tools, from hardware to software, to be on the cutting edge.
  • Millennials see work as fluid and flexible, accomplishable anywhere, anytime — provided one has the right technological tools. “They increasingly expect that employers will provide them with the freedom to not only work on the go, but to perform their work on whichever devices they most enjoy,” Krantz says.
  • Externally, companies need to maintain powerful, positive presences on websites, blogs, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, in order to attract and engage with millennials.
  • Millennials want to advance quickly. They will work hard as long as they know there is a reward at the end, in terms of advancement. Krantz says the millennials’ desire for more in their careers places a burden on companies: employers need to create clear career paths for these employees, or else these employees may walk.
  • Millennials want companies that want to change the world. “Employers that want to entice millennials should demonstrate their commitments to their communities by getting involved with nonprofits, philanthropic activities, fundraisers, and the like,” the article says.

What to take away from all of this? Your talent source will soon be — if it isn’t already — largely composed of young workers and immigrant workers. Understand the unique demands of these segments of the talent population, and plan accordingly.

By Keith Griffin