Talent Acquisition Fast Facts – Millennials, the Most Coachable Generation?

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) in the U.S. are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day—and with them they are removing a generation of experience, values and knowledge from the workforce. Looked at on a global scale, this number is multiplied exponentially.

This is a loss to be sure, but organizations don’t have the time to dwell on the past. They must look to the future, and look to replace vital roles with talent capable of stepping in and excelling in short order. As Baby Boomers continue to retire and the pace of change continues to accelerate, is the answer to hire younger and more coachable talent than organizations are accustomed to?

To explore further, we turn to this week’s edition of Talent Acquisition Fast Facts:

As mentioned above, Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day; this trend will continue for the next 15 years, according to the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Millennials will make up 50% of the working population by 2018.

Software company, Achievers, surveyed 15,000 2014 college graduates to gauge their outlook on employment in the months ahead. According to this study, 72% of surveyed respondents “are optimistic they’ll be able to find a job.”

  • This number is up 7.5% from 2013.

This optimism is not unfounded as, according to a 2014 study by CareerBuilder and CareerRookie, 57% of employers plan to hire new college graduates this year.

  • This number is up from 53% in 2013 and up from 44% from 2010.

However, according to this same study, 2,138 surveyed hiring managers believe 2014 graduates are less prepared for a number of roles. Specifically, surveyed respondents believe graduates are inadequately prepared in the following areas:

  • Roles tied to customer service (41%)

  • Public relations/communications (22%)

  • Business development (21%)

  • Sales (21%)

  • General office functions (20%)

  • IT (18%)

In North America, hiring managers admit that 1-in-5 hires turn out to be mistakes, costing businesses an average of $25,000 per “bad hire” (SmartRecruiters, State of Hiring Top Talent in 2014).

As companies continue to hire younger talent, how can they make sure they’re recruiting the best and the brightest? With such limited experience to draw from when hiring recent graduates, how can organizations avoid such costly mistakes?

According to ConnectEDU’s 2014 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads report, companies who excel in hiring recent graduates (and retaining them for 3+ years) overcome inexperience by:

  • 92% offer mentoring to new employees

  • 88% offer formal rotational training programs

This make sense as, according to the Achievers’ study, Millennials ranked training and mentorship as a top-3 most important factor when looking for a job/deciding whether to take a job.

Although salary ranks higher than training and mentorship, career advancement opportunities are at the top of their list—something that can perhaps be achieved through formal training programs, mentoring and effective management.

Looking to hire young talent? The 15,000 2014 graduates surveyed by Achievers listed how they plan to search for jobs in the weeks and months ahead:

  • Directly to the Company (Career Website): 60%

  • Networking/Recruiting Events: 45%

  • Career Services at My Campus: 42%

  • Through a Friend: 33%

  • LinkedIn: 28%

  • Experience.com: 28%

  • Recruiter/Headhunter: 19%

  • Facebook: 3%

  • Twitter: 2%

Although the workforce is getting younger—and, in turn, more inexperienced—it’s also becoming more coachable. If the statistics above are to be believed, the Millennial generation and recent college graduates are receptive to and excited about being molded into the worker their new employers need. In fact, according to the Achievers’ study, 93% of 2014 college graduates do not want to be self-managed; they want to be coached. Do you agree?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Jeff Lincoln 11/10/2016 9:30:25 PM

11/10/2016 9:30:26 PM

My experience has shown that Millennials prove to be difficult to generalize. While many try to put them in a box and say they are unmotivated and don't want to commit to an employer, I have consulted many clients whose Millennial leaders show a great deal of commitment and persistence.
Jeff Lincoln 2/20/2017 5:34:06 PM

11/10/2016 9:31:26 PM

However, this being the "Participant Trophy Generation" whose parents allowed them to hang out in their basement and on their health insurance well into their 20's, if I was to generalize, I would have to admit that as a group they may say they want to be molded, but their actions seem to show otherwise. An astounding number of them are dealing with depression as they have been pressured to achieve accomplishments throughout their upbringing.
Jeff Lincoln 2/20/2017 5:34:43 PM

11/10/2016 9:32:26 PM

By their parents who carted them around to cello practice, martial arts practice, soccer practice, etc., instead of just getting to be a kid and play around in the neighborhood exploring life lessons informally and on their own. By their teachers who were forced to teach to a test thanks to the failed "No Child Left Behind." This generation, while coddled in many ways, has also had heavy expectations placed on them to achieve that preceding generations didn't have on such a broad scale.
Jeff Lincoln 2/20/2017 5:35:33 PM

11/10/2016 9:33:26 PM

Now that they have graduated from the small ponds of their high schools to the large pond of corporate America, the competition is more stout, and the accomplishments far more difficult to come by. At the same time the social media world they live in persistently flaunts the accomplishments of their peers. A recent Psychology Today article claimed, “the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.”
Jeff Lincoln 2/20/2017 5:36:58 PM

11/10/2016 9:34:26 PM

All this to say they want to achieve and they know in their heads in order to do so, they must be coach-able, but in their hearts they struggle to be coach-able because that first requires humbling yourself to admit you need help which their ego struggles to allow them to do.
Jeff Lincoln 2/20/2017 5:37:16 PM

11/10/2016 9:35:26 PM

If I was to generalize, I would say as a generation, coach-ability is a developmental area for Millennials. Those who can overcome it, stand to do very well given their commitment to achieve, ability to manage change, collaborate with peers and their heart for social justice. The future of our country hangs in the balance of this generations abilities, and we elder generations would do well to find a way to mentor them.