It is hard to ignore the rising influence of the Millennial Generation. Also known as ‘Generation Y’, millennials make up 1.8 billion of the world’s population. It has been predicted that this growing demographic is estimated to form 75% of the workforce by 2030. Attracting these individuals is key to the future of the security industry – so who are they and what do they want?
According to research by PwC there are strong similarities between millennials and the generations that have preceded them. They want security and variety in their career; they want to be stretched and challenged; they want to work for a company of which they can be proud; and they have every intention of being loyal. So far so good - however there are several ways in which this growing proportion of the workforce is different.
Millennials are attracted to businesses that maintain a bright and vibrant social media presence. Sites such as Instagram and Twitter provide community-based platforms through which they can share their thoughts about a company or sector with other like-minded individuals.
Social media is not an area in which the security industry shines, to say the least. But it is increasingly important for security companies to engage with these platforms to ensure they reflect the culture of the business and the reality behind the work they do.
Training and Development
The PwC research also shows that millennials want to experience as much training as possible and to advance quickly in their careers. They do not accept that seniority and time of service is as important as talent and results. In order to retain the high achievers, we need to let them rise up the ranks quickly to meet these expectations. One solution for this might be the introduction of more levels and grades in your organisation.
Preferring a more relaxed environment, millennials are also less tied to traditional ways of doing business. The ability to work in an open and flexible environment is essential. With this in mind, relaxed office spaces are something to consider, opting for a communal desk space as opposed to cubicles. The option for flexible working hours and the opportunity to work from home are also both big factors which can help attract them.
There is no doubt that the security industry needs to attract and retain new blood and it is extremely important that we adapt accordingly to appeal to this generation. If this means moving towards having a greater emphasis on career development and training and also looking at more flexible ways of working, then not only is this relatively straightforward it is also, in my view, very positive. In fact, I for one am excited to see how much this group will influence and inspire our sector over the coming years.