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ManpowerGroup's 'Millennial Worker: 2020 Vision' Analyzes the Needs of Young Workers


Milwaukee-based HR consulting firm ManpowerGroup recently released a study called, “Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision.” The report analyzes what millennial workers want from employers, how they differ from previous generations and the kinds of traits employers should be looking for from these employees.

It scores potential employees based on certain traits. A willingness to spend their own time and money on training, for example, makes a candidate more desirable. It also gives employers advice on how to retain millennial employees, by offering new opportunities and support.

"This report is really meant for, I think, all types of people. It's geared around millennials though, with their careers and aspirations, but there's very clear recommendations in the report for employers to talk about how they can attract, retain, develop, motivate millennials in the 21st century workforce," says Nicole Francis, the managing director of CORE operations at ManpowerGroup's headquarters in Milwaukee. 

ManpowerGroup conducted the study both nationally and globally, and compared U.S. millennials to the rest of the world. On average, U.S. millennials are working more than 40 hours a week, and many of them expect to work until they die. "They are looking to work what we're calling, 'career ultra-marathons,'" says Francis. Still, they're optimistic about their careers paths. 

The study also looks at "learnability," which it defines as "the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one's skill set to remain employable throughout their working life." The higher the learnability, the more likely a candidate is to be a better employee, and advance in their job.

Traits of "high learners," include a willingness to spend their own time and money to train, a determination to "upskill no matter the cost" and a willingness to move jobs for skills training. "Potential learners" are also willing to spend their own time and money to train, but have lower confidence. 

"I think it's almost a bit of a shift in mindset that employers need to understand that it's so important to [millennial employees], that they're willing to do this on their own or invest their time," says Francis. 

Joy Powers hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2016.