Millennial employees matter. Particularly to the hourly industry. In less than a decade, millennials will make up three quarters of the U.S. workforce. That means 75 percent of the workforce will be comprised of 16-25 year olds. They are the future of your business. In this two part blog series, we will provide you with critical information on millennial employees: who they are, what they want, and how you hire them.

Before you can attract and retain the best millennial employees, you have to understand them and their perspective on work. There are some major perceptions floating around out there. Here’s what many of us think we know about millennials:

  • They are young….so they are inexperienced.
  • They are entitled….so they are high-maintenance.
  • They only communicate via social media….so they lack people skills.

And while these may be true (or not) it’s always best to go by actual facts. Check out the chart below. It lists different career goals for different generations of people. In some respects, millennials are just like you. When compared to older generations, millennials’ career goals are actually not that different.

Career Goals Millennials Gen Xers Baby Boomers
Making a positive impact on my organization 25% 21% 23%
Solving social and/or environmental challenges 22% 20% 24%
Working with a diverse group of people 22% 22% 21%


Where they differ from us is in their technology usage. They are technologically savvier, expect more and are increasingly more selective. They want personalization, flexibility and immediate, ongoing connections. The amount of time they spend with technology is staggering. According to, millennials spend 18 hours a day consuming media – and often on multiple devices. In fact, millennials only spend 3-5 minutes a day engaged in a verbal, meaningful conversation with their parents. Here are some other interesting stats:

  • 90 percent sleep with their cell phones,
  • 80 percent multitask on devices while watching TV, and
  • 74 percent would give up alcohol for a week vs. their smartphone.

They rely on mobile devices to manage their lives and expect no different when it comes to looking for jobs and engaging with their employers. Their lives do not revolve around their jobs…they demand their jobs revolve around their lives. And if they don’t get that from their current employers, they will find a new one.

This evolution has placed the hourly industry in uncharted territory when it comes to hiring and recruiting. Check back here next week for part two of the millennial employee blog series: how to recruit and retain them.