Here come the Millennials – Implications for the SME workplace

(An exclusive sneak peek)

If you can’t wait for the full release, we’ve got an exclusive sneak peek at our up-and-coming Perspective series report. Far from a disruptive force, Millennials are slotting in well to the workplace. But are SMEs really able to compete with big business to attract these digital natives?

The rapid advancement of technology over the past decade has brought with it a host of new opportunities for SMEs to grow profitability – from automating operations to engaging with a truly global customer base. But that’s not all. It’s also triggered changes to work culture and created new employee expectations.

‘Millennials’ are the digital native generation born between 1988 and 1996 who are now increasingly present in our workplaces. They are constantly connected with a plethora of technology at their fingertips. As they become a growing proportion of the workforce, they bring with them a host of new skills, new expectations and new challenges for businesses to address.

Attracting talented Millennials may not be easy, but this is only the beginning of the challenge. SMEs report that the average period of time a new graduate stays with their organisation is less than three years.

This is not entirely unexpected. The job market has changed significantly over the past couple of decades and most employees, regardless of age, no longer have a ‘job for life’ attitude; instead they are often eager to move on after a few short years on a constant search for the next opportunity and career progression. They are markedly more restless than their experienced colleagues.  HR professionals say that employees that are 10 years into their careers are likely to stay with an employer for on average 5-10 years, as opposed to Millennials who just stay for 2-3 years.

The report explores the impact Millennials are having on SMEs, revealing the opinions of HR managers tasked with recruiting them into the workplace whilst balancing the impact on more experienced employees.

We also examine the expectations and ambitions of Millennials themselves. Furthermore, we see how this new generation is seeking interactive, online communication with their potential employers in a job market where company image can no longer be controlled, but must instead be managed.

Millennials expect an excellent work-life balance with technology that underpins their ability to work where and when they want. And if this isn’t provided, they are not afraid to speak with their feet. Just under half would switch jobs in order to improve their work-life balance or have more flexible working opportunities.

The full report will be available in October. So keep following Your Ready Business for the best ways to attract and retain Millennial talent entering the workforce, focussing on how SMEs can seamlessly integrate multiple generations into a more productive whole. We are sure that you will find the insight as valuable and thought provoking as we have.

Sources: 1Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2014; ONS, 2014