As Millennials enter the workforce in greater numbers, there is a concern from the existing workforce as to how to adapt to this newest generation. Sometimes when I hear older generations speak about Millennials in the workforce, it is negative. Keep in mind, this criticism happens with every new generation entering the workforce. Rather than rushing to judgment about this newest generation, perhaps we should take the opportunity to consider that Millennials can offer a positive step in the evolution in our workforce.
When I was young, I was often told, “You can be whatever you want when you grow up,” and “Baby boomers will be leaving the workforce, so you’ll have many opportunities to pursue the career you want.” Then the 2008 recession hit. Disillusionment. The opportunities that were promised to us were no longer a reality as a greater number of Baby Boomers remained in the workforce for longer than we expected or they planned. Millennials would have to adapt to survive in the post-recession economy. From a young age, we were engrained with a sense of freedom, and we clutched onto that freedom into adulthood.
The recession has made us nervous about the traditional model of employment. We witnessed mass layoffs and are weary of the idea of being tied down to job that may not exist in the future. We want to ensure our skills are sufficient to adapt to a new job market. As such, we look to diversify our skill set and test new career options. Older generations may view this as a lack of commitment and loyalty, but we are too restless to settle if we think there are greener pastures on the horizon.
We value balancing our work with our personal lives. Millennials are helping to push our workforce into a mobile, global, 24/7 environment. We don’t understand why the old model of 9-5 office work needs to remain when technology allows for flexibility to work from whenever and wherever is most convenient. This may not be an undesirable shift, but just another step towards a “new norm” of doing work. On the other side, Millennials also understand they are expected to be connected to their work at all hours.
Additional economic forces have increased our desire for this flexibility. Long gone are the days when a single income is sufficient for a family to live a middle class lifestyle. Two incomes are often necessary for a family to live comfortably, so both parents strive to have careers. Parents must now balance careers and child-rearing responsibilities. This shift has had a profound effect on the workforce driving more workers to request flexible work schedules.
The World Economic Forum report states the top trend in the drivers of change is the “Changing work environments and flexible working arrangements” (44%) and the young workforce is the reason for this trend. A major shift in the workforce that helps satisfy Millennial desires is the concept of independent work. This can range anywhere from temporary employment assignments to independent contractor relationships.
The industry is trending toward a greater shift to independent work from the traditional employment relationship model. TalentWave is at the forefront of the industry in engaging in these types of relationships. We see these trends and offer solutions to our partners that help guide them in navigating risks and rewards of the independent workforce. TalentWave offers Professional Payrolling (often referred to as Employer of Record) and IC Engagement (Agent of Record) services for your contingent workers so you can compliantly engage with the talent you need, when and where you need it. All of the independent workers who clients refer to us go through a comprehensive vetting process to ensure they are correctly classified per IRS and various state and federal guidelines for independent contractors. Our Employer of Record services alleviate the frustrations of on-boarding pre-identified flexible independent employees. As the independent workforce continues to evolve, and new generations like the Millennials emerge, TalentWave is here to help our clients adapt and thrive in the new economy.