Millennials have much different career priorities compared to previous generations. For instance, just a small percentage of them aspire to climb the corporate ladder, and they are most concerned about money, security and paid-time-off when choosing a job. So, they tend to focus more on continued learning to ensure long-term career security. Yet, most of them aren’t driven to a linear career path either. Instead, they view their paths more organically, and strive to stay in “it” for the long haul. “It” in this case is not a single company or career, but more of a journey marked by the evolution of their skills and experience.
Continued Learning and Adaptability
Ongoing skills development is important to millennials, as a majority of them are quick learners and crave continuous intellectual stimulation. It’s even common for them to invest their own time and money toward furthering their training. Then, when it comes to considering a new job, they’re more likely to accept positions that provide them with opportunities to learn new skills. Millennials view individual jobs as resources for self-improvement, rather than final destinations. The ability to adjust their skills sets as they progress throughout their careers is also a concern.
Even though they have been stereotyped for being job hoppers, contrary to popular belief, millennials do prioritize job security. They do favor traditional full-time opportunities to maintain their standards of living, but a growing number of them are at least open to the concept of freelancing, self-employment, gig work, etc. But it takes a specialized approach when it comes to managing and retaining this generation. Since they thrive on recognition and affirmation, their leaders can help them to feel appreciated by offering more frequent, face-to-face feedback. Another retention strategy involves offering career enhancement opportunities and showing examples of employees that have received promotions after completing additional on-the-job training. Organizations can help satisfy the urge that millennials have for new opportunities by offering them an array of projects to choose from.
Some of the standard operating procedures, like conducting annual reviews, just are not as effective with millennials as they were with other generations. So, managers should focus more on plans to achieve more current objectives. Time off from work is another one of their primary concerns. It’s important for employers to allow for periodic leaves of absence that enable workers to recharge.
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