The Work Ethic of Millenials and How To Recruit Them

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working vectorMillennials and work ethic. While the debate rages on between the generations one thing remains certain. This generation, set to be the most educated in history, is moving into the workforce and even as we study how they work, why they work, and the best way to make use of their considerable skills, we need to learn what all this means to those recruiting and hiring them. Recruiters, hiring managers and HR pros take note, these are the statistics and what they mean when hiring millennials.

The Stat: About 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds have been underemployed or out of work during the recession, the highest share among the age group in more than 30 years.
What it means for a recruiter: Do you have millennials that strike you as an online stalker? Have a heart. It’s not a totally bad thing. By “researching” you online socially, these millennials are showing their interest in positions you’ve posted.

The Stat: Nearly 2/3 of all Millennials have full- or part-time jobs and 13% of all Millennials are students who do not work for pay. What it means for a recruiter: Look past the resume stack and see where millennials are doing their jobs. Are they a polite and knowledgeable server?  How about an assertive and energetic carpet salesperson? Keep your eyes open for transferable skills (some of which can’t be taught). Keep your eyes open for bright students and interns to train.

The Stat: Almost 6 in 10 employed Millennials say they already have switched careers at least once. What it means for a recruiter: Those “leapfrog” resumes that were scorned a few years ago are becoming more commonplace now. Recruiters would do well to educate their clients and hiring managers about both the pros and the cons of hiring someone with a “colorful” career history.

The Stat: About 60% of younger workers say it is not very likely or not likely at all that they will stay with their current employers for the remainder of their working life. (In contrast, 62% of Generation X workers say it’s likely they will never leave their current employer while 84% of Baby Boomers expect to remain with their current employer for the rest of their working life.) What it means for a recruiter: Often recruiters  sell the company, benefits and stability. Here, the big sell is what millennials can contribute to, how they can impact the company and what they might learn while there. Sell interesting projects and campaigns or movements when courting millennials.

The Stat: Only 1/3 of Millennials say their current job is their career. What it means for a recruiter: Ensure that their resume can be backed up in person. At least 80% of people are said to fib when it comes to their resume so while it’s important to give millennials a wide berth and try to use the skills they’ve acquired growing up in a largely digital age, recruiters must ensure that they’re being told the truth.

Statistical source: Pew Research Center 2010 report, Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next 

By Maren Hogan