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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.

Sources

  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 High School Careers Study

Millennial Branding and Internships.com Release First Ever Study on High School Careers

50% of companies are creating high school internship programs this year
and high school students are now more career focused than college students.

Boston, MA – February 3, 2014 – Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm and Internships.com, the world’s largest internship marketplace, today announced a groundbreaking new study called “High School Careers“. The study shows the importance of career development activities, such as internships and volunteering, for high school students who want to get into better colleges and find future employment. From both the student and corporate perspectives, the study examines why students are focused on their careers, what professional activities they are participating in, their entrepreneurial ambitions, and how they search for internships. It also discusses the criteria that companies are using when recruiting and the importance of high school internships when it comes to college admissions and employment. A total of 4,769 students (172 high school students and 4,597 college students) and 326 employers from across the country were surveyed on January 16th, 2014.

Half of employers are either currently accepting applications from high school students for internships or plan to this year, and nearly half of high school students are participating in internships for the purpose of advancing themselves professionally in high school. 60% of companies agree that students will need to begin to focus on their careers in high school in order to compete for internships and jobs in the future. 90% of companies agree that high school internship programs can help students get into better colleges, 89% say they’ll have a competitive advantage when looking for a college internship or full-time job, and 83% said those internships will yield better paying jobs.

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Parents are pushing their children to focus on careers during high school but they aren’t helping them out. 55% of high school students (57% of college students) say that their parents are putting pressure on them to gain professional experience during high school and 42% (30% of college students) say they are under pressure because of the economy. 54% of high school parents, and 52% of college parents, haven’t helped their children get work experience during high school.
  • High school students are more willing to volunteer than college students. 77% of high school students are either extremely or very interested in volunteering to gain work experience compared to 63% of college students.
  • High school students are more entrepreneurial than college students. 72% of high school students and 64% of college students want to start a business someday. 61% of high school students and 43% of college students would rather be an entrepreneur instead of an employee when they graduate college.
  • The top three things that high school students are looking to get out of internships are new skills (92%), work experience (81%) and mentorship/networking (72%). The top three things that college students are looking to get out of internships are work experience (89%), new skills (85%) and job offers (72%).
  • The top qualities that companies are looking for when recruiting high school students are their interview performance (50%), a high academic performance (41%) and references (36%). Half of employers say that the reputation of the high school matters when recruiting students for their programs.
  • The top reasons why companies are offering high school internships are to support local high schools (46%), gain new ideas (23%) and to find future college interns (18%).
  • High school internship programs center around social media. 73% of high school internships focus around social media marketing projects, following by data entry (41%) and admin work (36%).
  • Companies surveyed say that high school internships turn into college internships and jobs. 70% of companies say that high school students who complete their programs are either very or completely likely to eventually land a college internship with their company. 45% that high school internships will very likely or completely likely turn into a full time job at their company.

Quotes:

“In today’s economy, students have to start building their careers in high school in order to better compete in the college admissions process, for college internships and eventually full-time jobs. Employers who offer high school internships will build brand awareness early, fill up their talent pipelines and be able to remain competitive in their marketplace.”

- Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding & New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success

“High school internships are a win-win for both employers and students,” said Robin D. Richards, Chairman and CEO of Internships.com.  “For students, work experience is the key to ensure they make a good career decision and build their professional network.  By employing students, companies get exposure to talent early in their career journey and help support the well being of the local community.”

- Robin D. Richards, CEO, Internships.com

“Maximizing Return On Education for students requires not only a school recommendation engine that incorporates personalization, predictive modeling, and specific economic projections for graduates, but also a clear path to connecting that personalization and matching process to summer jobs and internships.  The sooner that students can leverage employment opportunities related to their field of study, the more likely they will be to complete their degree and find a relevant career opportunity post graduation.  This tailored matching activity throughout the higher education lifecycle will also optimize their student loan payback – a major hurdle to overcome on their life path post completion.”

- Brad McMahon, the SVP of Business and Product Development at +U, an Internships.com Partner

Contacts:

Millennial Branding: Dan Schawbel, dan@millennialbranding.com
Internships.com: Yair Riemer, yriemer@careerarcgroup.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 Internships.com:

Internships.com — a CareerArc Group company — is the world’s largest internship marketplace bringing students, employers and higher education together in one centralized location. The innovative, Los Angeles based company, develops a wide variety of interactive, world-class tools and services to enable every student, employer and educator to better understand and optimize internship opportunities. For additional information, please visit www.internships.com. For tips on finding internships, hot internship listings and internship advice, follow Internships.com on Twitter (www.twitter.com/internships) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/internships.com).

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