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Meet the millennials

Millennials have been profiled endlessly in the media, not always in a favourable way, and they seem to be a head scratcher for not only recruitment professionals, but for all employers. And yet, they’re the generation who will comprise the overall workforce for the coming decades. To learn more about the millennials and to figure out what they want from a future employer’s website, we asked the respondents of our Career Survey 2018 if they consider themselves to be a millennial.

Who are the millennials?

Millennials are generally defined as people born in the early 1980’s to late 1990’s, or even the early 2000’s. By that definition, it would refer to people aged 17-36. Looking at the age of the respondents in our Career Survey and cross-referencing that with whether they consider themselves to be millennials or not, we can see some interesting patterns. 94% of those who describe themselves as millennials (written as millennials from here on) are within the previously mentioned age group, but 71% of those who don’t consider themselves to be millennials (written as non-millennials from here on) are in the age of being a millennial but do not consider themselves to be one. 6% of the millennials are also older than the popular definition.

Self-described millennials divided by age group
604020
0
19%
53%
22%
6%
0
8%
37%
27%
29%
0
<2425-3435-4445-5455<
Millennials
Non-millennials

71%

...of the assumed millennials don't consider themselves to be millennials.

Being a millennial could thus be seen more as a mindset rather than a birth year. To address the 71% of the respondents that are non-millennials but fit the age group, we can look in to the behaviours that millennials are said to display. Being entitled is one, and they might not agree with that behaviour.

The millennials are well-educated

The millennials amongst our respondents have slightly more higher education degrees than the non-millennials. The number of bachelors’ and master’s degrees are the same in both groups, 34% and 32% respectively, but there are a couple more percentages of technical and associate degrees amongst the millennials. This matches our survey results regarding employment status in the different groups. Both groups consist of 10% self-employees and 12% unemployed. The difference is in the number of the employed and students – 55% of the millennials are employed compared to 69% of the non-millennials, and 20% of the millennials are either a student, trainee or intern compared to 8% of the non-millennials.

The millennials has spent less work experience

Not surprisingly, seeing that most of the millennials are in a younger age group than the non-millennials, they have spent less years working. Millennials being slightly more high-educated also adds to it. Being younger and spending more time in academia means less time working. The key takeaway is that millennials are the generation that will have to fill the seats of future retirees in work places. Which shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to education.

Years working since graduation, millennials

24%
25%
24%
13%
5%
11%
<2 years
2-5 years
6-10 years
11-20 years
20< years
None

Years working since graduation, non-millennials

9%
25%
23%
18%
24%
2%
<2 years
2-5 years
6-10 years
11-20 years
20< years
None

What do they want to know?

For big companies, attracting top talent amongst the millennials is a must to keep building success stories. But how do you attract this new generation? To answer this, we asked our respondents what they want to know about their future employers. The career section is often the first place a potential employee really digs in to what a company is about and is often the first real two-way communication a company has with potential employees. Some of our data differs for millennials and non-millennials, but some doesn’t. Let’s go through the key takeaways.

The career section: contact details and sustainability data wanted

A company introduction tailored for jobseekers is something both groups want to find, but millennials want it more. 67% of the millennials state that they want to see that kind of information whilst 60% of the non-millennials stated the same. Millennials are also more likely to be looking for a direct contact for a recruitment employee and an FAQ covering job offers and applications, while non-millennials look for a contact for questions about specific vacancies. A minor difference worth noticing is the fact that millennials are more interested in health and wellness in the company, as well as the company’s ethical stance. The biggest difference is about training programmes – 58% of millennials would like to find this information compared to 39% of the non-millennials. Which could have to do with the fact that the millennials has spent less time working. Both groups answered similarly when it came to pictures of employees, work place and office surroundings and promotion opportunities, all of which ranked around 40%.

This doesn’t mean that the previously mentioned information is given the same importance by the respondents. When asked to rate the importance of career-related information on potential employer’s website on 5-point scale (1 = Not important at all / 5 = Very important), the millennials’ top choices are “Contact details for a recruiting manager or HR professional” (3.8), “Work environment/working conditions” (3.8) and “Explanation of the recruitment process” (3.6), compared to non-millennials, whose top choices are “Company's expectations of future employees” (3.9), “Work environment/working conditions” (3.9) and “A contact person for questions about specific vacancies” (3.8)

The most wanted information

Importance of career-related information on a potential employer's website, millennials

54321
0
3.8
3.8
3.6
(1 = not important / 5 = very important)
Contact details for a recruiting manager / HR professional
Work environment/working conditions
Explanation of the recruitment process

Importance of career-related information on a potential employer's website, non-millennials

54321
0
3.9
3.9
3.8
(1 = not important / 5 = very important)
Company's expectations of future employees
Work environment/working conditions
A contact person for questions about specific vacancies

When asking the respondents to rate the importance of employee and work environment information on a potential employer’s website, it’s clear that the millennials find this a lot more important. On all accounts, they ranked this information higher. The most important information, rated on 1-5 point scale (1 = Not important / 5 = Very important), for millennials is the following:

Millennials rank the importance of info about companies child labour policy & human rights stance at:

3.9

Millennials rank the importance of info about companies values & workplace culture at:

3.9

Millennials rank the importance of info about companies environmental targets at:

3.8

The only choices that stands out in the data from the non-millennials are “Company's culture and values” (3.8) and “Child labour policy and human rights stance” (3.5). It’s clear that millennials are more likely to look in to a company’s sustainability in general, whether it covers the environment, work environments or social aspects.

As for the company introduction in the career section, which should be tailored to jobseekers, there are things all stakeholders look for. According to both millennials and non-millennials, they are primarily interested in a company overview/description of mission, vision and values, as well as geographical locations.

Outside of the career section, both groups agree on wanting a company overview and a career section, which is unsurprising. Besides that, non-millennials are more interested in seeing financial reports and press/media information (45% and 46% respectively, compared to 27% and 39% respectively for millennials), while millennials are more interested in sustainability and governance information (51% and 39% respectively, compared 42% and 34% respectively for non-millennials). The gap therein isn’t huge, but worth noting.

Where do they want to find it?

When asked on which channels they would like to find information such as generic company information, what it’s like working at the company, how to apply for vacancies, company´s financials, sustainability, geographical locations, statements on equal opportunities and data on diversity, both groups clearly prefer the corporate website. Which can be explained by the fact that when the respondents were asked to rate the trustworthiness of corporate websites, both groups ranked it at 4.1/5.

What sets the millennials apart from non-millennials is their attitude towards social media. Both groups are on par when it comes to LinkedIn, but millennials are much more interested in the above-mentioned information on social media channels, especially Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia. Not surprisingly, the millennials have more trust in corporate social media channels.

Read more on trust from all respondents in the summary of the survey.

Most trusted social media channels, millennials

54321
0
3.9
3.5
3.3
(1 = Don't trust / 5 = Trust completely)
LinkedIn
Facebook
YouTube

Most trusted social media channels, non-millennials

54321
0
3.7
3.1
3
(1 = Don't trust / 5 = Trust completely)
LinkedIn
Facebook
YouTube

We also asked the respondents how they would prefer to use the different social media channels to find information about a potential employer. Below are summaries of the top choices for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

LinkedIn

When it comes to LinkedIn, the millennials and non-millennials use it similarly but with slight differences. The millennials are overall more accepting of using LinkedIn and wants to see posts about job fairs/career days, they want to connect with company employees and see reviews. The non-millennials also want to see posts about job fairs/career days, as well as vacancies in the feed and looking at the company profile.

Instagram

Instagram is a bit of a divider amongst millennials and non-millennials. The millennials want to see posts about working environment and working conditions, job fairs/career days and people that work in the company while 60% of the non-millennials doesn’t want to interact with companies on Instagram. Those that do want to see the same thing as the millennials, as well as products, services and recent projects.

Facebook

Millennials has no problem using Facebook when it comes to looking for company information. They are no strangers to reading reviews about companies, products and services either. The non-millennials mostly don’t want to interact with companies on Facebook, but if they do, they look for company information and posts about job fairs/career days.

Twitter

Millennials and non-millennials alike aren’t really interested in interacting with companies on Twitter (41% of the millennials, 60% of the non-millennials). If they do, both groups primarily use it to find links to vacancies, while the millennials also look for posts about job fairs/career days and the non-millennials state that they also use it to ask questions about companies.

Catching the job hoppers

According to Forbes, millennials are known for being job hoppers and that statement also applies to young people in general. As those of our respondents who describe themselves as millennials are in the younger age category we can look at their preferences when it comes to looking for jobs application processes.

We asked our respondents if they’re currently jobseeking and the results lean towards millennials in general being more likely to be on the prowl for a new job. This could also be explained by most of the millennials being students at the time of answering our survey.

Are you currently jobseeking? Millennials 

46%
32%
22%
No, but I keep my eyes open
Yes, I am actively looking
No, I am happy with my job

Are you currently jobseeking? Non-millennials 

42%
34%
24%
No, but I keep my eyes open
No, I am happy with my job
Yes, I am actively looking

When it comes to looking for new jobs, both groups prefer using the same sources – corporate websites, LinkedIn, career websites (e.g. Indeed, SimplyHired, The Ladders or Monster), and friends or personal contacts. There are two differences worth noticing: the millennials are more open to looking for jobs on Facebook and by googling a job title and city (e.g. "accountant London”). Facebook as a source for job hunting was preferred by 35% of the millennials and 15% by the non-millennials, googling a job title was preferred by 44% of the millennials and 29% of the non-millennials. This is in spite of the fact that googling didn’t yield any results when we asked the respondents how they learned about the last vacancy they applied for – 0% of the millennials and 1% of the non-millennials. On the topic of how both groups learned about the latest vacancy they applied for, the pattern roughly mirrors their preferred sources: company website, friends or personal contacts, LinkedIn, career websites and Facebook. The only difference is that it was more common amongst millennials to learn about the latest vacancy they applied to on a company’s website (21%), while the non-millennials learned through friends or personal contacts (24%).

To complete this picture, we asked the respondents what source they would choose when looking for a new job if they could only choose one. Both groups agree on their top choices, but in a different order:

If you could only choose one source when looking for a new job, which would it be? Millennials 

34302622
18
33%
24%
20%
LinkedIn
Company's website
Career websites and apps

If you could only choose one source when looking for a new job, which would it be? Non-millennials­

34302622
18
23%
22%
20%
Career websites and apps
LinkedIn
Company's website

Next up in this chain of thought is the application process. Besides the fact that both groups, especially the millennials, would like to understand the application process, they agree on how they want to apply. Top choices for both groups are “By uploading your CV to the company's website”, “By email”, “By filling in a form on the company's website”, “Via LinkedIn, logging in with your account”. Furthermore, the responses from the millennials lean more towards “Easy application without CV” and the ones from non-millennials more towards “Through a recruitment agency”. Which could have to do with the number of years spent working.

Once the respondents have landed the job, both groups would like to get to know the new company through a guided tour or by information in an e-mail. But the responses from the millennials are more diverse – they don’t mind a team building exercise or visiting an onboarding website.

In short: overall, millennials and non-millennials aren’t that different from each other. But the details matter here. The major difference is that millennials are more interested in sustainability overall, aren’t afraid to use social media to satisfy their needs and are more open to doing things in new ways.

By Timmy Fredriksson

Cookies
This website uses cookies as described in our Cookie policy. To see what cookies we serve and set your own preferences, please use your web browser's settings. Otherwise, if you agree to our use of cookies, please continue to use our website. Cookie policy