LAS VEGAS — Job applicants are getting younger and bringing with them unconventional expectations for the workplace, which can lead to a disruption in the typical small business operation, according to Ryan Jenkins, a researcher, columnist and blogger who specializes in helping businesses hire Millennials.
Last year was the first year in which the Millennial generation, considered to be those ages 19-35, outnumbered Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) and Generation X (ages 36-51) in the U.S. work force, Mr. Jenkins told attendees at the Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo in Las Vegas last November.
In conjunction with the changing age of the work force, the work environment — the tools, the pace and the methods — has been changing quickly the last five years, and it's only going to accelerate in the future, he said.
Millennials are the most educated generation, with about 63 percent holding a bachelor's degree, he said. They also are restless as more than half expect to leave their current jobs in three years or less.
"The key word here is 'expect,'" he said, noting that in reality, it's more common for Millennials to stay only two years or less at a given job.
This may be due to the younger generation, which grew up with the Internet, mobile technology and a global viewpoint, feeling disengaged at a traditional job and desiring to work independently.
"Entrepreneurialship has never been easier than it is today. You can have an idea, go down to a Starbucks — it has Internet connection — jump online, create a business, market it to the world or via social media, and you're in business," Mr. Jenkins said.
"Today it's a badge of honor to be an entrepreneur, especially with this emerging generation because they want to be entrepreneurs," he said.
"If you're trying to recruit this talent into your organizations, not only are you competing with your competitors for the right talent, you are actually competing with Millennials with ambition and resources to be an entrepreneur. So there are new dynamics at play now.