Tag Archives: "Employment"

The 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce Study

Hiring Managers Say Millennials Surpass Prior Generations In Several Key Business Skills, New Study Reveals

Millennials are projected to become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce in 20151

The majority of hiring managers now say hard skills trump personality when hiring

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — October 29, 2014 — Elance-oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace, and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y consulting firm, today announced results of a new study, “The 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce.” Findings reveal that millennials are the generation considered best at key skills businesses require to remain agile and innovative. Millennials’ advantages over prior generations include the ability to adapt, come up with fresh ideas and keep up to date on emerging technology.

The survey was fielded in the United States among 1,039 millennials (21 – 32 years old, with a bachelor’s, Master’s degree or postgraduate degree) and 200 hiring managers (33+ years old and responsible for recruitment or HR strategy within their business). For full results, please visit: http://www.elance-odesk.com/millennial-majority-workforce. Results highlights are also in this infographic.

Millennials are poised to drive the future of business

In 2015, millennials will become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and 28% of millennial respondents said that they are already in management positions. A full two-thirds say they expect to be in management by 2024.

Nearly seven out of ten (68%) hiring managers say millennials have skills prior generations do not, and more than eight out of ten (82%) hiring managers feel that millennials are technologically adept. In addition, 60% of hiring managers agree that millennials are quick learners.

The majority (53%) of hiring managers report difficulty finding and retaining millennial talent, more than three times the number who say it is “easy.” The study also found that 58% of millennials expect to stay in their jobs fewer than three years. This contrasts with previous generations, with Gen X (born between 1965 – 1981) leaving a company in 5 years on average and Baby Boomers (born between 1945 – 1964) leaving in 7 years on average2.

In the “millennial majority workforce,” hard skills reign

The most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover report3 reported 4.8 million job openings in August – the highest level of U.S. job openings since January 20014. This indicates record-high labor demand.

In order to fill their job openings, hiring managers are prioritizing hard skills over personality. 55% say they focus more on hard skills when hiring, versus only 21% who say they focus more on attitude or personality. 45% of hiring managers expect to become even more skills-focused in ten years (versus only 11% who expect to become more personality-focused). This is a shift, given research as recent as 2013 found that soft skills were most important, followed by hard skills5.

As focus on skills increases, companies are adopting new hiring methods. 41% of hiring managers plan to hire more freelancers in the next five years. Top benefits of hiring freelancers that the hiring managers cited include: ability to start work immediately, access to specific skills and scaling as needs change.

“It’s absurd that while we see a record level of job openings, millennials are struggling to find jobs and companies struggle to hire them,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. “Clearly, something is broken. Technology has forever changed where, when and how we work. Millennials are already more adaptable and focused on flexibility than generations before them. Businesses need to move more in this direction as well.”

Millennials are viewed as more adaptable, creative and solo-oriented than the generation before them

Hiring managers, asked to choose whether millennials or the generation before them were more likely to possess an attribute, painted the following picture:

Among the characteristics that hiring managers see millennials possessing, a number lend themselves to independent career paths. The survey found that freelancing appeals to the vast majority of millennials. 79% of millennials say they would “consider quitting their regular job and working for themselves” in the future. These millennials cited flexibility, the ability to choose what they work on and control of their own destiny as top reasons why they would choose to freelance.

“Hiring managers express the unflattering belief that millennials are more narcissistic than the previous generation. At the same time, they view millennials as more open to change, creative and entrepreneurial, the very qualities that fuel agility and innovation,” said Jaleh Bisharat, SVP of Marketing at Elance-oDesk. “That millennials are different is to be expected — they need to be. They are inventing what it means to be successful in a technology-driven world where workdays are infinite, needs change on a dime and independence and flexibility are at a premium.”

About Elance-oDesk

Elance-oDesk is creating the world’s largest online workplaces. Cumulatively, 3.7 million businesses and 9.3 million freelancers have tapped into www.Elance.com and www.oDesk.com to access talent via the Internet.

As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, talent—like software, shopping and communications before it—is shifting to the cloud. This shift is making it faster and easier for businesses to hire for the skills they need, when they need them, while freeing professionals from set time and place work.

Freelancers are expected to earn more than $900 million in 2014 via Elance and oDesk. Elance-oDesk is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, California, and Oslo, Norway.

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in New York, NY. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging millennial employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of millennials and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your millennial employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to millennials, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

About Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages. Dan is a columnist at both TIME and FORBES, and has been featured in over 1,000 media outlets, such as “The Today Show” on NBC and “Power Lunch” on CNBC, and “Fox & Friends” on Fox News. He’s spoken at Google, NBC Universal, McGraw-Hill, Oracle, Harvard Business School, MIT, Time Warner, IBM, and CitiGroup. Dan was named to the Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2010, the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 List in 2012, and BusinessWeek cites him as someone entrepreneurs should follow.

About Red Brick Research

Red Brick Research is an internationally renowned youth strategy and insight consultancy headquartered in London, UK. Working with top consumer brands, educators, investors and governments, Red Brick delivers insights and strategic advice, supported by business consulting, research, marketing, communications and brand-development partnerships. The firm’s goal is to connect decision makers to emerging markets and demographics, to seek out and maximize new opportunities and turn global players into global winners.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted by independent research firm Red Brick Research on behalf of Elance-oDesk from September 1 – September 10, 2014, among 1,039 Millennials (21 – 32 years old) and 200 hiring managers (33+ years old). Millennials were graduates with a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or another postgraduate qualification. hiring managers were company owners or managers with responsibility over recruitment or HR strategy within their business. The estimated sampling error for the Millennials was +/- 3.2% and for the hiring managers was +/- 6.9%. Millennial results were weighted to ensure demographic representation across sample, based on figures from the United States Census Bureau.

For more on the survey, a full results deck is at http://www.elance-odesk.com/millennial-majority-workforce, or contact press@elance-odesk.com.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections
  2. Millennial Branding & Payscale.com: Gen Y on the Job
  3. Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary
  4. CNBC: US job openings at highest level since 2001
  5. Millennial Branding & American Express: Gen Y Workplace Expectations Study


The Multi-Generational Job Search Study 2014

National Survey Finds College Doesn’t Prepare Students for Job Search 

A new study from Millennial Branding and Beyond.com reveals how personality can impact hiring and long term career prospects 

Boston, MA and King of Prussia, PA, May 20, 2014Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and Beyond.com, The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally, today announced the results of a study entitled, “The Multi-Generational Job Search.” Following a national survey of job seekers and HR professionals, 43% of the 2,978 respondents said that “cultural fit” was the single most important determining factor when making a new hire. And while academic success was helpful, the majority of hiring managers (64%) would still consider a candidate who hadn’t even attended college.

According to the survey, the top three attributes that companies are currently looking for are: a positive attitude (84%), communication skills (83%) and an ability to work as a team (74%). However despite this need, liberal arts majors (who are historically more focused on communications) were shown to be the least likely to land a job, with only 2% of companies actively recruiting those graduates – versus 27% for engineering and computer information systems and 18% for business. Proof of this shift was evident when 49% of all generations responded that they believe there are “no jobs” out there for those with a liberal arts degree.

Based on the data, acquiring a college degree is important, but may take a backseat to an applicant’s personality. In fact, 73% of hiring managers felt that colleges are only “somewhat preparing” students for the working world. The biggest challenges facing hiring managers seem to be how the job seeker presents themselves – 36% of HR Pros reported that candidates are “unprepared” and 33% said they have a “bad attitude” when interviewing.

The survey looked at Gen Z (Ages 20 or younger), Gen Y (Ages 21-32), Gen X (Ages 33-49), and Baby Boomers (Ages 50-68). Responses were then segmented into whether the respondent was an employer, or a job seeker.

Highlights from the Employer Responses:

Cultural Fit is Key – 43% of HR professionals rank “cultural fit” as the single most important thing in the hiring process, followed by “relevant courses” (21%) and “internship experience” (13%). Only 2% ranked “GPA” as being most important in the recruiting process.

Job Boards Are Effective – 45% of HR professionals find candidates on job boards, followed by their company website (18%) and employee referrals (17%). 71% said that referral candidates get high priority when deciding whom to hire.

Employers Want Personality – The top three skills hiring managers are looking for are: a positive attitude (84%), communication skills (83%) and teamwork skills (74%). The least important skills were:  “having a global perspective” (10%) and “working virtually” (10%).

College Isn’t Everything – 64% of employers would consider a candidate without a college degree, and 65% said that where a candidate went to school doesn’t matter. 73% feel that college is only somewhat preparing students for the working world.

Employers Can’t Communicate Needs – 61% of companies said that their talent needs have changed over the past two years, but 54% haven’t communicated those changes to the student marketplace.

Students are Unprepared – 36% of respondents said they are unprepared, and 33% said they have a bad attitude when interviewing. Employers suggested candidates could stand out in the recruiting process by “learning as much as possible” about their company (57%), “bringing a portfolio” of work (15%), and “bringing a case study” showing the results from a project (10%).

Highlights from the Job Seekers Responses:

Salary & Meaningful Work Are Key – The two most important benefits all generations look for when selecting an employer are “salary” (30%) and “meaningful work” (30%). Only 10% said “healthcare benefits” and 2% said “401K” plan.

Jobs are Online – The most popular way respondents are getting jobs is through “online job boards” 28%, followed by “company websites” and “referrals” at 8%. Only 2% have gotten a job from a career fair. More Gen Y’s are getting jobs through job boards than older generations and when it came to social networks, 53% are applying to jobs through LinkedIn, followed by 19% for Google+ and 10% for Facebook.

Is College Worth It? – Although 71% of all generations pay their way through college, 31% of job seekers said that a degree isn’t worth the cost. Due to the high price of education:

  • 41% said it’s going to take 4 or more years to pay back student loans
  • 53% said that colleges should be accountable for getting students jobs
  • 33% of all generations would have rather started a business than attended college in the first place
  • 59% said that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world

Young Entrepreneurs – 65% of Gen Z and 62% of Gen Y are either somewhat interested or very interested in starting a company, versus 54% of Gen X and 40% of Boomers. Gen Y’s (47%) and Gen Z’s (60%) are slightly more likely to work at a start-up than Gen X (43%) and Boomers (45%).


“In the current economy, majoring in liberal arts won’t yield good job prospects so you have to pair a liberal arts degree with business courses in order to become a more appealing candidate. Students have to up their game by being prepared for interviews, presenting their best self and matching their work style with the right company culture if they want to successfully find a job.”

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself

“You hire a person, not a resume – college graduates need to take this into account as they prepare for their career. Corporations are looking to make a long term hire, preferably individuals that are flexible and can work well in a team environment. It is important to study a company prior to the interview, show them your passion and present yourself in the best possible light. Recent college grads need to remember that there is still one test left – the one-on-one interview.”

Rich Milgram, Founder and CEO of Beyond.com

Millennial Branding (Spokesperson): Dan Schawbel, dan@millenialbranding.com
Beyond.com (Media Contact): Michael Cavacini, mcavacini@brownsteingroup.com

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader. As ambassadors to Gen Y, we want to give our generation a voice, support their careers, and connect them with brands that understand their needs.

About Beyond.com

Beyond.com is The Career Network focused on helping people grow and succeed professionally. By connecting job seekers and employers through 70 unique career channels and 3,000 industry and regional communities, we are changing the way job searching is done and helping people build relationships around the world. Through powerful communication tools and a personalized online Career Portfolio, members have a 24/7 online presence and access to job search functions, networking features, statistics and social and industry research. Beyond.com was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious ‘Inc. 500’ list and is a Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) portfolio company. www.Beyond.com.

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