Episode #134 – What Millennials Are Really Looking for in the Employment Marketplace

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #134 - What Millennials Are Really Looking for in the Employment Marketplace
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Yvette: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about what Millennials are really looking for in the employment marketplace. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Yvette. As always, I’m glad to be here.

Yvette: You’ve discussed Millennials before on the podcast, haven’t you?

Stacy: I certainly have, and with good reason. There are now more Millennials in the workforce than any another generation.

Yvette: There has also been much talk in the media about Millennials in terms of their habits in the workplace, some of which has been negative in nature.

Stacy: Yes, but we’re not going to focus on those things in this episode. Instead, we’re going to talk about what Millennials want. It’s important to talk about these things because we’re in a candidates’ job market. What Millennials want in their job and their career are important to those Animal Health organizations and Veterinary practices that want to hire them.

Yvette: So what do they want?

Stacy: Well, let’s start with what they don’t want. By and large, they don’t want to be the boss.

Yvette: They don’t? That’s a little surprising. Why is that?

Stacy: According to a recent report by the Manpower Group, just 17% of American Millennials aspire to leadership roles as a top priority in their career. Manpower conducted a survey of Millennials to gather information for its report. There were three categories in the survey in terms of aspiring to leadership roles: managing others, getting to the top of an organization, and owning their own company. Only 4% of Millennials wanted the first category, 4% wanted the second category, and 9% wanted the third category.

Yvette: Wow, that’s not a lot.

Stacy: No, it’s not a lot at all.

Yvette: So if the majority of Millennials don’t want those things, then what do they want?

Stacy: Before we answer that question, we should provide a little background. As you know, Millennials grew up during one of the most tumultuous financial periods in this country’s history.

Yvette: The Great Recession?

Stacy: That’s right. Because of that, they have a rather unique point of view. Sure, we all went through the recession, but Millennials did so during their formative years. As a result, they have a different perspective. Believe it or not, the Manpower Report revealed that one of the things that Millennials crave the most is job security.

Yvette: Really? But isn’t the economy and the job market really good right now?

Stacy: They are, but Millennials know that can change, and they want to be prepared for it. However, Millennials define job security differently than previous generations.

Yvette: How is that?

Stacy: I’ve talked before how the days of working for one organization for your entire career and retiring with a gold watch are over. Obviously, Millennials do not view that as job security. They know that’s not going to happen. In fact, they don’t even want that to happen.

In the past, members of previous generations viewed their job security as coming from their employer. They looked to their employer for their security. That’s not the case with Millennials. Instead, they’re looking to themselves for their job security.

Yvette: How are they doing that Stacy?

Stacy: By putting an emphasis on skills development. According to the Manpower Report, 93% of Millennials view ongoing skills development as an important part of their careers. In fact, they view it as so important that they would pay for it themselves if they had to.

Yvette: So from a Millennial’s point of view, they value job security, but they believe that to achieve more job security, they should increase their skill level as much as possible, regardless of their employer?

Stacy: That’s correct. And not only do Millennials expect to work for more employers during the course of their career then previous generations, but they also expect to work longer than previous generations.

Yvette: What do you mean by that Stacy?

Stacy: According to the Manpower report, half of Millennials globally expect to work past the age of 65. In addition, 27% expect to work past the age of 70. But it doesn’t stop there, because 12% indicated that they expect to work until the day they die.

Yvette Really? I would not have expected that!

Stacy: I know. This is an eye-opening report, for a number of reasons. It shows that Millennials have a grasp of what has happened in the employment marketplace, what is happening, and what might happen in the future. Not only are they aware of what’s going on, but they’re also making adjustments to what’s happening in the interest of furthering their careers.

Yvette: So I guess the question I have is what does this mean for employers in today’s market?

Stacy: That is exactly the question that employers should be asking themselves, including those employers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. Obviously, the overriding goal is to hire and retain the best candidates in the marketplace, and that certainly includes Millennials. They become a bigger part of the workforce with each passing day, so employers absolutely must know what drives them and what motivates them.

Yvette: And I imagine that employers must use this knowledge during the interviewing and hiring process, is that right?

Stacy: That’s correct, but that’s just one aspect of this topic. As we’ve discussed before, hiring is the first step and retention is the second step. In fact, you could consider retention to be the more important step, because what’s the point of hiring a top Millennial candidate if you can’t retain that candidate?

So during the hiring process, the hiring manager should definitely stress the opportunity for skills development that exists at the organization. If possible, they should provide concrete examples of that opportunity.

Yvette: It almost sounds as if the employer has to prove that there are opportunities for skills advancement at the organization.

Stacy: That’s exactly what the employer has to do! They have to prove to candidates that those opportunities exist. They must convince candidates they will have access to things that they value the most.

Employers should also stress that there will be opportunities for the candidates to work on different projects with different teams if they become an employee. Millennials crave a variety of work situations. Sure, they have to complete the duties and responsibilities that go along with their job, but they want to expand their horizons in every way possible. So if there’s a cross-training or mentorship program at the organization, make sure they know about it. That would be something of interest to them, and you as the employer can use it to “sell” the candidate on both the opportunity and the organization.

Yvette: Is that because Millennials will view that as a way for them to continue growing their skills?

Stacy: That’s exactly right. There are two types of skills: technical skills and soft skills. Millennials are interested in improving both types. So when they have the chance to collaborate with other professionals on projects, they have the opportunity to develop both their technical skills and their soft skills. From the point of view of the Millennial, this means they’re investing in themselves, which also means they’re investing in their long-term job security and career security.

Yvette: Because they don’t look to their employer for job security, they look to themselves instead.

Stacy: Exactly, just as we discussed earlier in today’s episode. And now that we’ve talked about hiring, let’s talk about retention.

Yvette: You mean what it will take to retain Millennials after an employer has hired them?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. And there are numerous things that an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer should be doing. The first thing is communicating and engaging with Millennials on a regular basis regarding their level of job satisfaction and where they are with their career. Employers can not just rely on the annual job performance review, even if there are two of those reviews each year. Managers and supervisors should be connecting with their employees more frequently than that, so they can gauge the satisfaction level of those employees and make sure that the organization is giving them what they want in both a job and a career.

Yvette: Stacy, was there anything from the Manpower survey and report that dealt with the topic of retention?

Stacy: There certainly was. We’ve already established that the majority of Millennials are not preoccupied with working their way up the corporate ladder. We’ve also established that they plan to work longer than previous generations, some right up until the day they die. To offset this, according to the Manpower report, Millennials put a higher priority on time off.

Yvette: You mean in terms of paid time off or vacation time?

Stacy: Well, paid time off for a variety of reasons. The main focus for Millennials is that they want the time off to refuel, to recharge, or to switch gears with their career. The majority of them are glad to take more time off instead of the chance to climb the corporate ladder. It’s just more important to them, plain and simple. In fact, according to the Manpower report, 40% of Millennials indicated that they’re planning to take significant breaks in the coming year. That’s a substantial amount.

Yvette: So what should employers do?

Stacy: Employers need to be prepared for their Millennial employees to ask for time off, and quite possibly, to ask for it frequently. At least more frequently than members of other generations. The key is to be as flexible as you possibly can and understand that this is what Millennials want the most. This is one of their top priorities. As an Animal Health or Veterinary employer, if you want to successfully hire and retain Millennial candidates, then you must address their priorities, both before and after the hire.

Yvette: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. And for those individuals who are considering a job change, there are plenty of employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website, aren’t there?

Stacy: Yes, there are. For those listeners who want to change their current situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com. We have a number of employment opportunities available on our site, and new ones are posted on a regular basis.

Yvette. : Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It is my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider! Remember we are your source for top animal health jobs and veterinary jobs and are your resource for hiring top talent in the Animal Health and Veterinary Industry.