A recent update from the U.S. Census Bureau informs us that millennials, America’s youth born between 1982 and 2000, represent more than 25% of the nation’s population. Even more stunning, they number 83.1 million and exceed the population of 75.4 million baby boomers.
Aside from their size, the millennials have another unique characteristic: they are the most diverse generation that this country has seen. Almost half, 44.2% to be exact, identify with a minority race of ethnic group (other than non-Hispanic or single-race white).
More interesting stats on this dynamic, demographic group can be found in the Annual Millennial Survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global). Deloitte Global surveyed tomorrow’s leaders from 29 countries on effective leadership, and how business operates and impacts society. Their findings suggest that businesses in developed markets and around the globe will need to make significant changes to attract and retain millennials and future workforces.
Some of the results from the survey’s findings show:
- 75% of millennials believe that businesses focus more on their agenda(s) rather than helping to improve society.
- 28% feel their current organization is making full use of their skills.
- 53% aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organization, with a clear ambition gap between millennials in emerging markets and developed markets.
- 6 out of 10 millennials say that a “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers.
“They are sending a very strong signal to the world’s leaders that when doing business, they should do so with purpose. The pursuit of this different and better way of operating in the 21st century begins by redefining leadership,” says Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global. The millennials define true leaders as strategic thinkers (39 percent), inspirational (37 percent), personable (34 percent) and visionary (31 percent).
Millennials made no bones about this point: When looking at their career goals, they are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products, services, and profits that the firm produces. In addition to the above, technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) are the employers that they are most attracted to.
There are many important take-aways from the Census Bureau announcement and the Annual Millennial Survey. One that should not be ignored in this stack of data is that business and STEM organizations must change the way they engage millennial talent or risk losing them to other firms. The oldest millennials will turn 35 this year.
If this is the future of your work force, it won’t be so easy to say “we’ll just hire someone else”, because that someone else more than likely will harbor similar thoughts, ideals, and personal and social values.
Personally, I have had the opportunity to work with several millennials, and count others as family members and friends. Even with the differences in age and some values, I have found that there is a lot that we do have in common, and have acquired new ideas from them. They are destined to change the future.
Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey: http://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/2015-millennial-survey-press-release.html, January 2015
United States Census Bureau, News Release: Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse, Census Bureau Reports, Release Number: CB15-113, http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-113.html