Spotlight on: Millennials

Spotlight on: Millennials

Spotlight on: Millennials

Are Millennials really that different from the older generation? From career aspirations to consumption patterns, explore selected PwC insights on understanding the Millennial generation.

As thousands of new graduates start their professional life, many employers are keen to understand what makes the so-called Millennial generation tick. What do Millennials want from their career, and how can employers best incorporate this new, young talent into the workforce?

Understanding Millennials is important to us at PwC - after all, two out of three of our staff are in their 20s and early 30s. That's why we commissioned NextGen: a global generational study, a comprehensive survey of PwC’s own employees. What we discovered was many of our Millennial employees do have a different outlook when it comes to work/life balance. We found that Millennials are unconvinced that the excessive work demands older workers have taken for granted are worth the sacrifices to their personal life. They believe international experience is crucial for furthering their careers, according to our recent Millennials Survey, and a majority (58%) seek employers whose corporate responsibility behaviour matches their own ethical standards.

At the same time, Millennials are having to make compromises to get into the workforce that older employees didn't have to worry about. These include taking a lower salary, working away from their preferred location and settling for fewer additional benefits. Millennials also question the traditional structures of how and where they have to do their work. Given the technology expectations of a generation that's come of age always being online, and places a premium on being connected, it’s not surprising that Millennials want more flexibility in working hours and schedule. In this case, however, the connected culture seems to be rubbing off on the entire workforce. Our NextGen study found that a significant number from all generations want a flexible work schedule and are willing to give up pay and delay promotions in order to get it.

“There are increasingly younger employees, a more diverse set of them that are joining the organisation whose aspirations and expectations are very different from what a new set of employees had five years ago.”
Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, 17th Annual CEO Survey: the talent challenge

Adapting organisations to attract and retain this new talent is a high priority for CEOs. Yet our study, The future of work: a journey to 2020, found that many HR professionals don’t believe their companies are prepared for meeting the needs of a Millennial workforce that demands more freedom, autonomy and flexibility.

Millennials are also presenting themselves as an interesting new consumer segment. Their aptitude for technology and social networking will have an impact on the stores of the future, as shown in How grocers can get ahead for the future. It will also influence the products and services companies offer. The CEO Survey highlighted the importance of serving new customers and our insights on the Sharing Economy show how companies are adapting to consumers who look to rent and share products - be it cars, household tools or even homes - that non-Millennials have always sought to own.

What expectations do Millennials have when it comes to the workplace and their careers?

Hear from Toni Cusumano, PwC's US Technology Industry People & Change Leader, on rethinking talent and the connected experience.

Find out more: