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Luxury Bags are Better than Cars: Surprising Data about Millennials

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Erin Cushing
on February 01, 2016

Still don’t think that millennials are worth discussing as a whole? Then we have some news for you – not only are they the largest generation in US history, according to the US Census Bureau, but they are also the most represented generation in the American workforce. No matter who you are, the odds are heavy that your professional life is greatly affected by these young Americans – the Digital Generation.

But who are they really? Goldman Sachs recently released an impressive amount of statistical data regarding how millennials live, work, and spend, and we have found some interesting correlations with our own data about the Digital Generation. Here are the stats that caught our eye:

The Brand isn’t Enough to Guarantee a Buy – or a Hire

One of the elements of millennial purchasing behavior that Goldman Sachs called out was the propensity of millennials to “always try to buy branded products.” The study found that 35% of millennials tend to disagree with that statement, and around 20% of that group strongly disagree that they tend to look for brand names. With the amount of product and pricing information available from both companies and consumers online, particularly on social media, brands cannot depend solely on the strength of their name to guarantee a sale.

The same goes for organizations looking to recruit members of the Digital Generation into their workforce. Relying simply on the gravitas of your organization’s brand to impress the best millennial candidates will get you nowhere in actually attracting or hiring them, for many of the same reasons that retail brands cannot rely on name recognition; employer reviews are ubiquitous online and on social media. Instead, recruiters must focus on demonstrating the value of their hiring organization to candidates; setting clear expectations about job roles, benefits, and highlighting differentiators are all important ways to attract talented millennial candidates. For recruiters, it pays to think like a marketer.

The Generation That Lives Online, Buys Online – and Job Hunts Online

A whopping 87% of millennials highlighted in the Goldman Sachs report purchased something on the internet at least once in 2014. It’s also one of the most popular places for the Digital Generation to discover and apply to new job opportunities. According to our study – 33.7% of millennials found their most recent opportunity on the internet (14.7% from an online job board, 10.8% from the company website, and 8.2% from social media). Organizations that want to reach millennials – both for selling opportunities and for hiring purposes – need to ensure their digital presence is easily searchable and constantly updated.

millennials, recruiting, hiring, digital generation

And when we say digital presence, we don’t just mean update your webpage for traditional viewing. Delivering a convenient recruiting experience via mobile is becoming increasingly important, as is updating social media channels. Finally, video-enabled recruiting is a fantastic tool that can help sway members of the Digital Generation researching your organization. Use video to introduce your leadership team, company culture, or to better describe the open job role they are interested in. These elements create a more engaging, transparent recruiting experience – which will help attract the best millennial candidates.

Millennials Prioritize Things Differently – like Purses over Cars and Salary Over Culture

One of the most interesting portions of the Goldman Sachs report was the breakdown of how millennials prioritize major spending. For example, only 25% of millennials found that purchasing a car is “important, but not a big priority.” However, 30% of the Digital Generation felt the same way about a luxury purse. While we don’t know exactly what that says about millennials’ hierarchy of needs for retail items (although I will admit as a millennial to driving my car into the ground, but carrying wet wipes around for my luxury handbag), we do know that millennials also have a hierarchy of needs from their job and hiring organization as well. Overall, the Digital Generation has the same top consideration as other generations when it comes to choosing a new role – salary. However, millennials prioritize interesting, challenging work and career growth opportunities more than other generations do. In order to hire and retain talented millennial employees, your organization must provide them with clear career paths and development opportunities.

Millennials are your organizations’ current employees and future leaders; in order to better serve them and your organization, you must attract and hire the best young talent possible. But how is recruiting the Digital Generation different than previous groups? Learn what makes today’s millennial employee tick – and what makes them walk away from a job opportunity – with our brief, “Recruiting the Digital Generation.”




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