Only 27% of Millennials intend to stay with their current employer for more than 5 years. That’s a powerful statement.

What does it mean for employers in the war for talent?

Millennials, often referred to as ‘Gen Y’, are by definition born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. According to the fifth annual Millennial Survey, we expect Millennials to make up 75% of our global workforce by 2025. Take a moment to think about that… and now overlay it with the impact of movement if the majority of Millennials intend to change job every 2 years. In Australia, it looks even more volatile, with only 46% saying they expect to stay with their employer for more than two years.

Is this a product of them chasing the $$$ and wanting fast tracked career progression? Is this the entitled generation?

Spoiled, lacking humility, supremely confident, impatient… words regularly associated with Millennials who career hop regularly and end up with ‘choppy’ resumes.

Less than a generation ago, professionals sought stability and long-term relationships with their employees who wouldn’t dream of saying no or vocalising their opinions. Change takes place fast. Are Millennials just smarter about knowing what they want and not being afraid to go after it?

In the Australian market there are 7,700 tertiary educated and employed Millennials – when they interview they expect it to be a two way process. When we ask if they have any questions, we take a moment to sip our water and get comfortable in our chairs… because we know they want to be listened to, they want transparency, and they care about social, and are eco conscious.

Work/life balance isn’t a term Millennials are comfortable settling with… they want life integration, and to feel they are part of something that makes a difference and drives an outcome. They want flexibility, and a sense of purpose that extends beyond profit.

Is that all I hear you ask?

NO… absolutely not.

Millennials want inspirational leaders. This is something we see day in and day out when we talk to candidates at all levels. They care about who they can mirror and what they can learn – the questions aren’t only around salary and extrinsic benefits anymore, but around the mentoring and leadership programs offer, overseas or domestic secondments, intrinsic benefits that have meaning to them. Through these wants, Millennials challenge us to evolve our offerings, optimise and enhance our practices, and to improve constantly.

I once heard Millennials described broadly as ‘career consumers’ and I think this is an apt descriptor. If a Millennial isn’t impressed, or at the very least intrigued, at an interview… they won’t come back for a second one.

So next time you interview a Millennial, the best piece of advice I can give you is to prepare – prepare harder, and then prepare some more. Look through their resume the night before – know what your organisation has to offer, have questions ready, and be confident talking about all the things that resonate with them. You may just be the type of inspirational leader they’re looking for.