Where – and How – Generation Y Works

The members of Generation Y, also known as Millennials, have never known a world without the Internet. This connected state means that their work habits, motivations, and career choices are far different from generations before them. As an employer, it’s important to understand what Gen-Y looks for in the working world—after all, by 2025, they’ll make up 75 percent of the workforce.

Boston-based branding agency Millennial Branding recently released a study on Generation Y and careers, based on more than 50 million Facebook data points. Here are some of the findings you should consider when recruiting Millennials for your company.


Millennials are educated—and proud of it

A survey from the Pew Research Center shows that 19 percent of Gen-Y have college degrees, and a whopping 40 percent are currently pursuing them. The study from Millennial Branding shows that today’s young people identify more with their education than their careers—while 80 percent list at least one school entry on their Facebook profiles, only 36 percent list a job entry.

Many Gen-Y members have jobs now—but they won’t last

The largest employer of Millennials at this time is the U.S. military, but most will serve limited terms rather than going career. Many of this generation currently work in the travel and hospitality industry or service industries. For example, Wal-Mart and Starbucks employ significant percentages of Millennials.

While the recession has been partly responsible for this trend, other reasons are that with so many Gen-Yers in college, they’re holding down part-time jobs while in school. They also don’t stay put for long—Millennials average around two years at their first jobs.

Millennials aren’t into big business

Only 7 percent of Millennials list a Fortune 500 company on their Facebook profiles. Currently, one of the most common employers for Gen-Y is themselves, with the fifth most popular job title given as “Owner.” A hefty percentage of this generation is striking out on the entrepreneurial path.

What does this mean for employers? If you want to attract Millennials, be sure to offer as much autonomy as possible within the corporate structure. It’s been proven that Generation Y values fun and flexibility on the job above other benefits, and may choose a more flexible, lower-paying position over a highly paid career in a rigid structure.

Don’t forget to consider your Facebook policies—if you don’t allow Facebook use at work, you’re losing a lot of Millennial candidates, because 44 percent of them use it during work hours. However, it’s not always for fun: the average Gen-Y worker has around 16 co-workers added as Facebook friends.

Generation Y is the future of the workforce, so be sure to consider their outlook on careers when planning your recruiting strategies. For more assistance on the ins and outs of this new workforce group, contact the staffing experts at PsychPros.

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