Companies that are looking to hire or sell to millennials are having difficulties because it's a different generation with a different mindset. If you try and treat them the way you do other generations, you will come up short because they think and act differently. They are 80 million strong, which means they have the numbers. They also have the buying power, despite the recession and are loyal consumers. They are hyper-connected, optimistic and have a strong sense of self, yet prefer to collaborate in teams. Viacom recently released a new study on millenials which surveyed 15,000 people across 24 countries. Here were the main findings:
1. They use technology to create a stronger sense of self. Technology doesn't define who they are but it enables them to be more of who they already are. They view technology as a tool to reach out to new people, maintain their current friendships and be happier. In the study they found that 75 percent of millennials believe that social media has a beneficial effect on relationships with friends. In addition, 73 percent of millennials think about the world differently because of how they are currently using the Internet.
2. They have more pride and loyalty than you would think. Millennials have a horrible reputation of job-hopping and disloyalty to employers and brands. This isn't true as long as the brand understands them and caters to them in a unique way. The study also found that they have a strong sense of national pride and interest in maintaining local traditions. They are the most diverse generation, which can also explain why they are more tolerant of other people, countries and cultures. 83 percent of millennials are more proud of their nationality this year as opposed to in 2006, which was at 77 percent.
3. They don't believe job security exists. Millennials have been through a horrible recession. Many are unemployed or underemployed (working in retail) and have student loans to pay back. The economy has made it difficult for them to get a head start on their careers and many have had to wait years to attain a professional position. Unemployment is the hottest issue for millennials, even more so than world hunger. Half of millennials believe that job security will continue to get worse and 78 percent would rather have a minimum wage job than no job at all.
4. They are all about the community. One reason why millennials cling to social networks is that they enjoy being part of communities. A lot of people believe that millennials are selfish and narcissistic but they aren't. 87 percent apply the phrase "sharing and connecting" to themselves. They are also able to adapt to change (85 percent) which is good in this economy because the workplace is more unstable than it used to be.
5. They are family-oriented. Millennials are very close with their families, so much so that their parents fly around with them wherever they go. They derive happiness through friendships and enjoy tighter circles. Over the past six years, they've had the same amount of best friends and will have an average of more than two hundred online friends.
Read more about the millenial generation.