retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

An organization called Millennial Branding is out with a new study that addresses the professional priorities and goals for Gen-Y, noting that “only 7% of Gen-Y works for a Fortune 500 company because startups are dominating the workforce for this demographic in today’s economy. If large corporations want to remain competitive, they need to aggressively recruit Gen-Y workers. Gen-Y will form 75% of the workforce by 2025 ... and are actively shaping corporate culture and expectations. Big corporations can’t afford to be left behind.”

Indeed, “‘Owner’ is the fifth most popular job title for Gen-Y because they are an entrepreneurial generation. Even though most of their companies won’t succeed, they are demonstrating an unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit. Companies need to allow Gen-Yers to operate entrepreneurially within the corporation by giving them control over their time, activities and budgets as much as possible.”

The study also says that “the travel and hospitality industry hires the most Gen-Y candidates now because young people are having trouble getting internships and jobs so they turn to bartending and waitressing jobs,” and that “the US Military is the largest Gen-Y employer overall and Deloitte is the largest corporate employer. Companies such as Walmart and Starbucks ranked high and should focus on training their in-store workers to become corporate employees when they graduate.”

The disconnect between how Gen-Y thinks and the realities of the current job market also is illustrated in other findings from the report. It reveals that they largely are using the technology for personal rather than professional purposes ... though they also are “friending” an average of 16 co-workers.

And, the study reveals:

• “64% of Gen-Y fails to list their employer on their profiles.”

• “80% of Gen-Y list at least one school entry on their Facebook profiles, while only 36% list a job entry. They define themselves by their colleges instead of their workplaces.”

• “They spend an average of just over 2 years at their first job. They are job hopping multiple times in their careers.”

The most important and eye-opening takeaway is that if they want to be relevant to this generation, they need to offer entrepreneurial opportunities, the ability to shape culture and expectations, and an sense that they are invested in the companies where they work, and that those companies are investing in them ... not just paying them a living wage.
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