Millennials and their Employment
Millennials and their Employment
The global economy is as fragile as it is competitive, which makes the employment hard to find and even harder to retain. Although World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018 says that the global unemployment rate has been stabilizing after a rise in the year 2016, factors such as the inflation of wage rates are still a cause for concern.
In India alone, unemployment levels have been rising steadily, after staying at around 2-3% for several years. As per a report by State of Working India 2018 (SWI) the headline rate of unemployment was reported at 5% in 2015 while the youth unemployment was pegged at a whopping 16%. The report further stated that the rate of unemployment is the highest it has been in India in the last 20 years.
The numbers themselves are alarming, but what does this mean in reality? Every year, millions of fresh graduates enter the job market, but not all of them land a job successfully. The reason is two-tiered: one, there is an evident dearth of jobs vis-a-vis the population and GDP growth rates; two, the ‘employability’ of any job aspirant, not just recent graduates, is surprisingly low. And this begs the question of what exactly a job means for the present generation and what their expectations are from employment.
What Employment Means for Millennials
Millennials, those born between 1981 and 2000, are currently the largest active generation in the workforce. Older generations might view them as lazy and impulsive, hopping from job to job, but the truth is that this new generation of workers is actually faring really well. In fact, a Udemy report suggests that millennials are doing well, both in terms of their own attitudes to work and the challenges they face with other generations.
As for the Indian millennial workforce, a survey conducted by job site Indeed reveals that money is the key motivating factor for 83 per cent of employees and that they would readily switch jobs for a salary hike. Sashi Kumar, the Managing Director of Indeed, further noted that, “millennial job seekers, in particular, are today exploring highly aspirational career paths, and are not afraid of seeking greener pastures and newer experiences to further their professional goals and widen their horizons.”
On the other side of the pond, a Forbes’ report says that the millennials’ expectations from a job include pay, social impact, and a match for their values. However, it is also true that millennials are struggling to get a job. So how does one stay relevant in the current job market? What’s the mantra for ‘assured employability’ in the face of all this uncertainty and unemployment?
Upskilling — The Surefire Way to Stay Relevant in the Job Market
Advancing existing skills and acquiring new and relevant skills are both essential to staying ‘employable’ in a competitive job market. That said, it is also important to invest in quality education and training — whether as an employee or employer.
In fact, for millennials, a job is often not just a job — it’s a way of life. In a study by Department26, about 44% of millennials value passion for their job over pay and other benefits. They believe in the philosophy of “doing what you love”, and are also eager to enhance their skill sets. What this means is that employers need to provide quality learning resources if they want to hire millennials and, more importantly, retain them.
However, most employers look for results — it all boils down to who can get things done. And in the quest for achieving the highest revenues, the fastest turnaround, and the cheapest solution to the problem, employers sometimes tend to overlook the need for quality talent and fail to nurture the talent they have. Employers are also unsure of how much their employees can actually achieve — which employees are well aware of. Over 67% of millennials believe there is a considerable gap between what they are capable of doing and what their employers believe they are qualified for.
What all this means is that, for both employers and employees, it’s a changing market. One that’s filled with uncertainty. The way forward now is to simply account for more passion, more flexibility, and more change — ultimately leading to a workforce that’s truly involved with the growth of a business.