In part 1 of my Millennial blog we busted some myths about the perception of Millennials and why they are so important in today’s society and economy.
In this, part 2, we look at why many companies are struggling to attract Millennials to work for them.
For Millennials, work is about FAR MORE than money
67% of Australian Millennials rate ‘positive work environment’ over money when choosing a new employer (compared to 52% of Millennials globally).
The one thing that all Millennials share is that they want to work for companies that have a purpose beyond making money, that provides a supportive and flexible working environment and a positive culture (that means more than providing a cool office with bean bags and free lunch). A company that they trust and are proud to declare as their employer. A place where people are inspired and motivated and are willing to think differently. Alas not enough companies are meeting those needs and Millennials are turning their backs on the corporate sector to pursue alternative industries and ventures that are more rewarding, that allow them to contribute to the company as well as society – Innovative workplaces that provide the opportunity for them to thrive.
One in three have a side hustle outside their normal job.
Many smart, savvy Millennials are opting to work for less pay at a non-profit or seeking out employment with the growing group of BCorps – companies that are certified to have a balance of purpose and profit. Over 2,600 companies now carry the BCorp certification, including big players like Beyond Bank, Patagonia, Intrepid and Ben & Jerry’s.
“42% of Australian millennials believe business has a positive impact on society, down from 72% a year before – so over half don’t believe or are neutral”
Millennials with an entrepreneurial spirit are setting up social enterprises, organisations that operate like a business but with a social purpose. Established ones you may have heard of include STREAT, Thankyou, KeepCup, Who Gives a Crap and Hero Condoms.
There are many others you may not have heard of, like The Sweetest Gift that’s soon to open a dessert restaurant in Sydney employing & training organ transplant recipients, set up by Millennial Patricia Scheetz. Then there’s Rap 4 Change, founded by Australia Day Citizen of the Year 2018 Ned Narouz, that supports young people in Blacktown through rap & hiphop workshops & mentoring. HoMie is another, started by Millennials Marcus, Nick and Robbie after talking to people living on the streets in Melbourne. The award-winning HoMie sells ethical & sustainable clothing whilst at the same time providing new clothing and training to young people experiencing homelessness.
I meet and work with people like this every day, who are not finding fulfilment in the traditional corporate culture and are starting their own purpose-driven venture. Indeed, there are 200,000 social enterprises in Australia and the sector is growing fast.
For those Millennials that are unsure of their career path, they’re driving – and taking advantage of – the Gig economy to develop their skills and gain experience. Huge companies like Uber and Airbnb, who don’t own a single car or a property, are the tip of the Gig iceberg.
Growing up in a volatile job market, job security is not something that Millennials expect or feel entitled to. However, they do worry about employment opportunities, in particular robots taking their jobs. Only 25% of young Millennials feel secure in their job – so 75% don’t feel secure. 33% of older Millennials feel secure in their job, so two in three don’t.
They are accused of job hopping, but half of Millennials say they would like to stay in a job for 10 years. Why is it that organisations like Google and SEEK have Millennials queuing up to work for them whilst others struggle to attract and retain top Millennial talent? Perhaps corporate Australia would be able to entice them… and enjoy more loyalty if it provided the right culture and embraced social good, giving Millennials an incentive to stay.
By 2020 Millennials will represent 46% of the working population globally, so where they choose to apply their talents, skills and time will continue to carve out new industries and leave others obsolete.
Millennials are not happy
Many Millennials are anxious, feel misunderstood and lack confidence. They think not enough is being done to safeguard their future. On a scale of 1-10, their average level of confidence is 5.5 and 75% think the media don’t care what they think.
57% of Millennials don’t think they will be happier than their parents and two in three Millennials see their future as bleak.
Some statistics suggest they are dealing with this through drinking, abusing drugs and self-harm.
The most pressing issue facing Millennials is mental health (38%), housing affordability (27%), getting a job (16%) and climate change (11%).
But Millennials are not resigned to their fate. Many were told by their parents that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, and when they are in positions of leadership and influence they will do things very differently to the current business leaders and politicians.
This blog is an excerpt from my latest book, Talking the Walk®2 – How to tell your social good story to resonate with Millennials. All research statistics cited are from this book. To compile Talking the Walk® 2, I read and analysed over 40 research reports from numerous companies and agencies including PWC, Edelman, Havas, Roy Morgan, Reputex and many more.
Part 3 of this blog will be published next week but if you can’t wait, why not order your own copy of the e-book. Find out more and purchase here
 The Conversation, Dec 2017
 Part-time or freelance work, The Gig Economy https://is.gd.uY5EOg
 Wall Street Journal, 2016, Centre for Creative Leadership – ‘What Millennials Want from Work’