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Millennials approach jobs as consumers

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The most disengaged generation when it comes to their jobs, millennials don’t look at the job market the way others do. They act more like consumers shopping for the best product.

According to the Harvard Business Review, a new Gallup poll found that 71 percent are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work — making it tough for employers to hold on to them, since engagement is essential to retention.

Highlighting how engagement plays into a millennial’s decision to stay or go is the finding that 47 percent of actively disengaged millennials strongly agree that they will switch jobs if the job market improves in the next 12 months, compared with just 17 percent of engaged millennials.

Millennials, said the study, “are consumers of the workplace. They shop around for the jobs that best align with their needs and life goals.” That means that the onus is on employers to attract them — and to do that, employers have to know what millennials look for when seeking a job.

Top among their wants is the opportunity to learn and grow, followed by the quality of both their immediate manager and company management, as well as interest in the type of work they’re doing — the commitment factor. After that they look for advancement opportunities, followed by compensation.

Pay may not be their chief motivator, but it does factor in to the equation, especially considering their student debt load. And that could be the reason that, in another study, millennials said that they’d consider job-hopping to another company for a raise of 20 percent or even less.

They’re not fun-seekers in the workplace, compared with their other requirements, and while creativity ranks higher on their list than fun that’s not at the top of the list either. Surprisingly enough, boomers are the ones who look for creativity and fun in the workplace, while millennials look at jobs as stepping stones to their eventual goals — stepping stones that have to provide opportunities to improve themselves and their situations.

If millennials don’t get those all-important opportunities, they’ll soon be looking elsewhere for their next job. And employers will be back to recruiting.

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