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Part One: The Grumpy Baby Boomers take on Millennials

07 December 2017

No matter what Internet-related business you’re in, millennials (born 1980-2000) are your most important demographic.

Understanding how they think is critical. It’s an understatement to say that the world they’ve grown up in is dramatically different from Gen X (born 1965 – 1980) and Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964). The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of HORNER .

The baby boomers satirical take on Millennials…

Millennials are unique and different, but don’t worry as they will tell you that sooner than a vegan starved of a good eye-fillet steak would tell you to be vegan. This (special) group of humans with a range of emotions and skills including the ability to take a selfie simultaneously with 5 iPhones whilst standing on their head, enjoy life-styles that will see more change than a slot machine hitting the jackpot.

This change isn’t just in their personal lives, but is also found in their working lives..

Remember, this is all coming from a “soon to be redundant to the world baby boomer”, which is obviously pretty hard to ignore.

So what’s does this mean? A major reason that Millennials are changing the way society engages is that baby boomers are retiring to our beach houses on the peninsula, and Generation X; well don’t get me started on Gen X. The next set of industry leaders are twenty somethings with huge aspirations and facial hair to match. They have multiple social media accounts and may or may-not be perfectly capable of performing the task at hand. Again, don’t worry because they will have more confidence getting the job done than a one-armed bricklayer from Baghdad!

When working with Millennials, it’s important to know what they seek in the job market and their drivers to apply for particular roles. Sometimes Millennials will even have to take jobs they don’t like so they can upgrade their mobile phone plan, and some don’t bother to get a job at all because of the comfort of knowing they will live in the family home forever; I’d do the same if I could!

According to Forbes, the top 5 things we know Millennials want from a job are:

  1. They Expect Employer Benefits That Fit Match Their Values
  2. Loyalty Is More Valuable Than They Let On To
  3. They Want Retirement Investment Options
  4. Ability To Prioritise Family
  5. Social Impact Is Key

Following the needs above being satisfied, we have a pool of happy candidates who then seem to leave within 6-months of being hired. Is this a reality or a myth that needs to be busted?

With this in mind, I was shocked to stumble across the following data:

When you compare people aged 18 to 35 from February 2016 (Millennials) and February 2000 (Gen X), you find both groups report a similar tenure with their current employer: roughly 13 months. Things get even more interesting when you compare the following figures — 22% of Millennials and 21.8% of Gen X have been with their employer for 5 years or more. Things are pretty close here, too, but believe it or not, Millennials have a slight edge over their former Gen!

The Digital Native

Millennials tend to go into job interviews with completely different expectations and hairstyles than earlier generations (bring back the Farrah Fawcett!). If you hand a business card to a millennial, they think it’s either some sort of “paper app” or a YouTube video. If we (baby boomers/gen x) don’t catch up in the digital landscape, then we risk losing our positions in a world full of digital natives.

When communicating with and wanting to capture a Millennial’s attention, be sure to text, Snapchat or Whatsapp them. Better yet, send them a list of the most recent popular emoji’s to get their full attention! The list of new instant messaging platforms continues to grow daily!

Millennials are used to swiping or tapping when interacting with a person for the first time so approach with caution. Use acronyms such as LOL, YOLO, My Bad or FOMO and suggest you go to the nearest café for a designer single-origin, soy frappe latte or 3/4 flat white; this will put them at ease!

If you want to tap into the millennial talent pool and keep them on your team, you have to adapt to their new modes of thinking. Here are 5 tips on How to Hire and Retain Millennials:

  1. Give them the freedom/autonomy to work the way they want to work.
  2. Have a massively transformative purpose (MTP) that the team can rally around.
  3. Align the incentives with what’s important to them.
  4. Millennials love a good challenge, so challenge them!
  5. Encourage them to experiment with exponential technologies.


The disgruntled Baby Boomer.

Please note: If you have any questions about the content above or would like to inquire about how you can hire and/or retain a millennial workforce, please contact us.

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