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Young adults, also known as millennials, generation Y, or the net generation, are the subject of much discussion. From articles bemoaning their perceived lack of work ethic to reports of their affinity for technology, millennials are a hot topic – especially in the world of contingent workforce management. Like it or not, the socially networked, ethnically diverse children of the so-called helicopter parents have an important role in today’s workforce – an important one.
You may be surprised to discover that millennials have goals and aspirations (besides taking selfies) and actually want to follow their dreams. In fact, if you have a few notions about millennials that miss the mark, you're not alone. More evidence is surfacing suggesting that a huge disconnect exists between employers and the ever-growing number of their millennial workers. However, there doesn't have to be.
Business leaders who take advantage of the opportunity to work with millennials have a chance to connect with a previously untapped, skilled talent pool. More importantly, they will be able to close the widening gap between talent-starved enterprises and millennial independent workers – the fastest-growing segment of the modern global workforce. It will involve changes and challenges, but it is an achievable goal. It’s important to understand more about the role millennials play in the extended workforce and how forward-looking enterprises can adapt to the future of this workforce.
Why We Love Millennials (And You Should, Too!)
Maybe it's universal. Maybe each generation is destined to look at the demographic cohort that directly follows them as "lost" or apathetic. The fact is, despite being misunderstood, millennials make important contributions that many people may not recognize.
Here are 3 ways millennials are improving the workplace:
- They embrace technology: Millennials grew up in the age of technology. Graphical user interface (GUI), the Internet and computers are second nature and have always been a part of their lives. That's important because, according to Accenture, "within the next 5 to 7 years, we expect digital platforms and technologies to have totally transformed the way most procurement organizations do business." Millennial workers will be the ones helping organizations handle this transformation.
- They are the future of work: According to Pew Research, there are about 75 million millennials in the United States alone. By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be comprised of Gen Ys. As baby boomers head toward retirement, organizations will need to engage millennials both as full-time employees and as members of the extended workforce.
- They are non-traditional: Intuit conducted a study and found that by 2020, more than 40% of the U.S. workforce will be contingent workers. Millennials will make up a large part of that group as many are choosing a contingent arrangement. Why? They value workplace satisfaction and work-life balance.
So What's the Importance of This?
According to third-party research conducted for MBO Partners, there are about 30 million independent workers in the U.S. alone. That's a big number, especially when you consider the millions of skilled workers across the world not included in the research. With so many independent workers in (and preparing to enter) the workforce, a sea change is upon us.
Beeline, OnForce and the Workforce of the Future
In order to compete, organizations need to build the workforce of the future. That means being able to accommodate millennials who increasingly are looking for career opportunities as independent workers.
“Contingent workforce/talent services have long been predominantly sourced through traditional suppliers, but new technology based platforms and channels – coupled with the urgency of talent/skills shortages – may be tipping organizations toward models of direct access to a talent population that prefers to work for and engage with those organizations directly as independent, non-employees. Not only might these ‘e-procurement’ models deliver new transaction cost and on-demand types of efficiencies (provided compliance challenges can be addressed), but they also might mean a shift of talent acquisition and necessarily different procurement approaches.” ~ Andrew Karpie, Spend Matters
Pay attention. This is what the future looks like. Smart organizations are looking for ways to access and engage talented millennial workers right now.
Beeline is helping companies connect with talented millennials. When Adecco Group acquired OnForce and merged the company under Beeline's portfolio of workforce solutions, the stage was set. Now, with the launch of Onforce Sourcing – the industry's first and only self-sourcing solution – organizations will have unmatched access to their trusted supply chain and a network of highly skilled, carefully vetted and correctly classified independent contractors.
Enterprises can adapt to the future of the workforce. All it will take is a little planning, a lot of work and a willingness to understand millennial workers. Talent sourcing is changing. There is no doubt about it. The only question is, “Will you change with the times, or get left behind?”
What are your thoughts about the value of millennials in the workforce? Be a part of the conversation happening now on Twitter.