They’ve been accused of being overly-entitled, seriously lacking in social skills, and disrespectful of authority. They’re also extremely digitally savvy, very coachable, want to do a good job and move up the ranks quickly, and most of all, want their time on this earth to count. Millennials are an eclectic mix of characteristics that, if shaped well, can turn them into stellar leaders of the future who have a good chance at making the world (and your business) a better place. But first you have to get them into your workforce. That’s proving challenging for the financial services sector.

In my previous post, I introduced a 2016 Accenture report on recent college graduates’ attitudes towards career and workplace. Now I’d like to share more in-depth results from this important research. Insights from the report can provide a foundation for making the right choices in your recruiting efforts and workplace so that Millennials will want to work for you.

And the survey says…

Overall, Millennial college grads entering the workforce present an excellent opportunity for employers, for two key reasons:

  1. They’re very passionate about their career and highly prepared for it (having given a lot of thought to the relationship between their studies and their job future)
  2. They’re not afraid to commit themselves to their job responsibilities (but that doesn’t mean they won’t change jobs if they’re not feeling fulfilled).

Millennial Job StabilityAccording to the research, Millennials are not averse to hard work. They want a full time job, they’re willing to relocate, and they’re not interested in freelancing unless it helps further their career path (though they like the freedom and flexibility freelance and contract work can offer).

Another key data point that emerged from the survey is that employer social responsibility is very high on Millennials’ list of employment criteria. A whopping ninety-two percent of college grads deem social responsibility as an important factor in workplace choice.

On the downside, those grads who’ve entered the workforce are increasingly feeling underemployed and disillusioned. This idealistic generation wants to contribute, and they don’t want to wait. They want to be trained, guided, and migrate quickly to positions of increasing influence. They expect continuous feedback on their performance so they can improve and take on more responsibility. And if they don’t get the opportunities they’re looking for where they are, they’ll look for them elsewhere.

While Millennials want to be compensated fairly, money isn’t everything. A social and inclusive environment, meaningful work to do, and ongoing opportunities to achieve are much more motivating to Millennials then a high salary. (By the way, sociability in the workplace is important to them, but they don’t need a lot of frivolous perks to keep them engaged—meaningful work is more important).

Lastly, Millennials overwhelmingly prefer medium-size businesses or small startups.

Catching their eye

Catching Millennials Eye With Mobile
Attracting and retaining Millennials takes more than building a reputation as a great place to work. You also have to find them where they are. While word-of-mouth through friends and family is their leading method for finding a job, Millennials next turn to online job boards in their job search—followed by perusing company websites. Mobile technology is playing a more integral role in Millennial job searches. In fact, two-thirds of this year’s graduating seniors used a mobile app to find a job, versus only one-third of the grads from previous years.

Perhaps one of the most startling statistics regarding capturing Millennial attention as a prospective employer is that more than fifty percent of recent and soon-to-be grads state public perception is the most influencing factor in choosing to work for a particular company—which is not surprising, considering the importance of social responsibility to this generation. However, this poses a particular problem for many financial services firms, given the public perception around their role in the global financial crisis and the concerns that are being raised in many countries about their conduct and culture.

So what does all this mean when it comes to your company’s recruiting and retention efforts? Look for answers in my next post.

To learn more about employing Millennials, please see:

Ultimate Guide to Millennials in Financial Services

Accenture 2016 College Grad Survey

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