In May, Business Insider published an article titled “Millennials Want to Work at Google”, which, from many Millennials that actively read the publication, was met with: “tell me something I don’t know.” Google is one of the companies that is helping redefine not only the face of the tech industry, but the face of industry in general. Indeed, the odd company culture provided the comedic subject matter of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s The Internship, specifically Google’s “odd” wearable tech, the bikes the company provides to workers, and the campus-style set up of the Googleplex headquarters outside of San Francisco.
Again, to Millennials, working at a cutting edge tech firm like Google seems an instinctual no-brainer. But why? What is it about these companies that separates them from the old guard of businesses? Some would say it’s simply that they exist in the tech field, catering specifically to software development, systems analyst, and web developer positions–and they may be partially right. These titles indicate three of the most sought after career paths in the U.S. with potential to grow massively through 2022 as Millennials flock to them. However, there are hundreds and thousands of tech firms and startups out there that offer these jobs, so the question has still gone unanswered: why Google?
To understand the answer we have to go back to the Business Insider article, and look at the stats. “Nearly 20% of millennials say Google is their ideal employer. Apple was named by 13% of millennials, and 9% listed Facebook as their ideal place to work.” While Google has the lead by 7 points, all three of these companies share one shining point in common, and it’s the strength of their respective company cultures. This is important, because it transcends the idea that Millennials simply want to flock to the biggest tech firms that there are, and actively supports the idea that these tech firms got as big as they are because of they offered a more enticing working environment–and your company can too.
I’m not saying that what the job-seeking Millennial desires are multicolored slides to get you quickly from the second floor to the first, or company bikes to get you across the sprawling campus that your need to transform your offices into. It’s much simpler than that. According to business author Daniel Pink, all that Millennials really want are three things:
Millennial job seekers want to be able to work when they want, how they want, and where they want. We’ve been raised in an age where it’s become possible via smartphones and laptops to do anything from anywhere, so why shouldn’t this translate over to our jobs? Many companies are already catching on to this, as about 24% of employed Americans work remotely on a weekly basis.
It’s human nature to want to be great at what we do. It’s why so many of us pick up instruments and hobbies, so that we can apply ourselves to tasks that we’ll see growth and improvement in, regardless of whether we make money off of them. While we still might pursue these hobbies, many Millennials want their working life and their personal lives to blend into a fulfilling experience that they are good at. In fact, Ohio University released a study showing that the more hours employees spend using their strengths (up to 10+ hours per day), the less they will experience worry, stress, and sadness.
This last one is a doozy. Purpose is what gets you out of bed in morning without dreading work. It’s the connection to something larger than yourself or a paycheck. It’s why Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Apple have all instituted and inspired others to take up their own forms of 20% time, which gives employees the ability to spend a day of their week researching projects that are important to them. Both Google Glass and the Google driverless car are the results of research born out of passion. Provide purpose, and your employees will go above and beyond for you and your business.
If you can provide a strong company culture via these three elements, Millennials will not only flock to you, but stay with you. As was mentioned in the “Prepping for the Millennial Workplace Invasion” #cloudtalk recently, Millennials “boldly go where no generation has gone before. As more and more Millennials enter the workforce, we’ll see a definitive, permanent shift to a more mobile, connected, and collaborative work environment.”
Will yours be one?