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Millennials & businesses, marriage of convenience or dream marriage?

Written by Jochen

Millennials & businesses, marriage of convenience or dream marriage?

Recruiters and millennials, it's not always a successful marriage. But who or what's causing it? We tried to go a little deeper into the way a millennial thinks and acts and came with some thinkabouts.

I'm convinced that if Paul Jambers was still making reports, at least one would be dedicated to the Y generation, the millennials. "Who are they, what do they do, what motivates them?" And that's what we want to know. 

Every day I hear recruiters sighing that they have no impact on this generation. No matter what they do, no matter how much budget they spend, it's as if this generation has lost its loyalty.


However, the millennials will become the most important group of employees in the coming years. Today, they represent 35% of the total labour market, rising to 46% in 2020. And it continues to grow...which is normal with the baby boomers gradually approaching retirement age.


Yet some companies seem to have little difficulty in attracting millennials. Probably because the founders themselves belong to the generation Y. Or because they develop their culture around the Millennials way of thinking. Think of popular companies like Silverfin, Teamleader or Showpad, to name but a few.


But how does a millennial actually think? 

We all know the stereotypes. Millennials are nomads, never settle and refuse to put their phones aside. They are always and everywhere online and are open to opportunities and new chances, even if they don't seem to fit in with their education or experience. Money or merit is no longer their main focus, their lifestyle has become more important. 

In addition, the millennials know that companies need them, because yes, they are the ones who learned to encode, who grew up with social media, who eat digital food for breakfast and who are not afraid to cross borders. 


Some #thinkabouts

  1. Millennials are definitely not afraid to roll up their sleeves and like to work with a strong focus. They work with their hearts and want to mean something for the community. They hate employees who cut corners and don't understand that management tolerates laxity. For them, this is a reason to look forward to new opportunities. 
  2. To all sales managers & relatives, realise that millennials don't get excited from meetings about turnover, cash flow & sales forecast. Extra bonus if you get x € turnover, they don't care. This doesn't trigger them! Rather tell them how they can make a difference. Talk about the higher purpose, the reason your company lives for. Make your goal bigger than money and include your employees in this story.
  3. Corporate culture is a hot topic today. On social media, the majority of companies appear to have several kicker- and ping-pong tables. 
    Greasy Fridays, free meals, weekly sports & leisure activities...important? Absolutely. Does the millennial appreciate this? Absolutely. 
    But remember, they don't get up at 6:00 in the morning to play Playstation in the meeting room. They're inspired by colleagues who are passionate about the higher purpose. They want a manager who thinks differently, who challenges employees, who motivates in function of 'the bigger picture'. 
    Yes, working in a cool office is fun, but a goal-oriented culture is much more important. 


My conclusion : millennials want a job with impact, where they can contribute something to the community, no matter how small. They want a higher goal, a striving for better, independent of turnover and cash flow. Wages are important, but appreciation is key. 


Nice people, those millenials