By John Dujay
Having a chance to advance in their careers and strong growth potential for the company are two of the most desired employer traits that attract millennials, according to a new survey.
Sixty-eight per cent of 2,000 young workers (ranging in age from 18 to 38) said that opportunities to progress within an organization must be “plentiful and diverse” when considering an employer.
“Millennials want their work to be acknowledged and they want to see that it’s amounting to something and that they can rise up in the ranks, but also be financially rewarded for it,” says Catherine Fortin LeFaivre, director of communications at Impact Public Affairs in Ottawa, speaking on behalf of Cars and Jobs Canada, an organization looking to promote jobs in the car dealership industry.
“We know that for millennials, the cost of living is proportionately higher than it used to be, so where we can [we] promote that dealers do very well and there’s a lot of different types of opportunities. Even if you’re not exactly sure what your career path will look like in a dealership, there’s different paths to making a very good living and rising up in the management ranks.”
Unlike previous generations, millennial workers are adopting a new mindset towards their careers and its progression, according to Christina Stewart, president of client engagement at Praxis Performance Group in Vancouver.
“This whole idea of my parents and my generation was ‘Slave, save, retire’: I don’t think they want to do that,” says Christina Stewart, president of client engagement at Praxis Performance Group in Vancouver.
“They don’t want to slave away, they want to spend their time doing something that matters and so I think one of the first things when researching an organization is that they take a look at what are they actually doing and what are they contributing? And are they doing something of value? Are they helping the planet? Are they helping people? Are they solving a big problem?”
Opportunity for growth
Opportunity for growth in a business was also cited by 63 per cent of millennials, which is in line with what auto dealers can offer, says Fortin LeFaivre.
“Car dealerships employ about 150,000 people across the country. And that is a number that usually surprises people. They’re present everywhere in every community.”
“People value their cars quite a bit. [They’re] in almost everybody’s life in a big way that we depend on in Canada, with our geography especially, and so [dealers] need, especially as a lot of the baby boomers retire, those job need to be filled,” she says.
“We need accountants, we need bookkeepers, we need graphic designers, we need marketers, we need managers, we need people with financial backgrounds and millennials or even younger generations that are going into business schools. They might not think to look into working at a dealership, and so that’s what we’re trying to change.”
Facebook popular for jobs
When making that first step to finding a new job, millennials are most willing to visiting aggregator websites such as Indeed or Monster, according to the survey: 59 per cent went there first, while 42 per cent cited Facebook as a top choice for information about a career-change.
“Word of mouth is always very powerful but I was surprised to see that 42 per cent said Facebook: I thought that was really interesting,” says Stewart, who found it surprising that LinkedIn was not more highly rated by millennials.
“It did open my eyes a little to thinking, ‘OK, wait a second, maybe if the millennials aren’t buying into LinkedIn the way that we buy into LinkedIn, then I need to make sure that I’m capturing the right audience in my recruitment efforts.’ Because recruitment is marketing, of course, and I have to get in front of the right people. I think that that’s pretty interesting that it’s Facebook, because we do not use Facebook at all.”
Technological advancement that approves people’s lives is another driver of millennial interest, says Fortin LeFaivre, which aligns with the dealership industry. Sixty-one per cent of millennials said they preferred to work at a business that was “at the forefront of technological advancements.”
“What’s more cutting-edge than a new vehicle? It’s a huge computer that is changing all the time. There’s been so many changes in the auto sector, in terms of how cars work in the last 20, 10 or five years. And in the next five years, there will be quite a change so when we’re talking about cutting-edge, car dealerships’ main product revolves around something that’s cutting-edge and that has an impact on people’s lives every day,” says Fortin LeFaivre.
A great familiarity with technology is one reason why millennials crave working with high-tech firms, says Stewart.
“They’re comfortable with technology and so a company that isn’t using technology to its advantage is probably seen as something antiquated and to be avoided,” she says.
“When I see that a millennial wants to work with a leading-edge company, it isn’t necessarily just tech, but rather [it’s] creating that impact and doing something of value that feeds the world in a positive way.”
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