Millennials and Generation Z have become some of the most unique sets of students and employees. These young and ambitious individuals desire more experiences, better treatment, and more transparency with almost everything they approach.
As these traits infiltrate industries as well as the job market, we have begun to see an evolution in the way the business world needs to act.
Furthermore, as Millennials and Gen Z start to found and grow enormous institutions, these business principals have only become even more ingrained in our society.
1. Company culture matters.
Through the precedents set by major companies such as Google or Facebook, an onslaught of research, and educational institutions' efforts to create better school cultures, college students now more than ever care about the environment in which they will be working. Company culture is often treated as a binary: free food and video games in the office or suits and 9-5 hours.
This could not be further from the truth though. Most millennials simply want an environment that supports them, allows them to succeed, keeps them passionate, and overall does not feel like work.
While this might sound interesting, the execution is important since college students are really pushing for a few major considerations with regards to culture. The first consideration to always remember, is that students are individuals and are different in their own ways. So when deciding your culture, think about what kinds of people you want to attract and what precedent you want to set within the company.
From there, you need establish a structure which supports those ambitions and desires, whether they are more risk oriented or risk averse. Once this structure is in place, ensure a healthy feedback loop is in place so that everyone feels fairly evaluated and treated within the workplace. No matter if someone wants to work in a suit on Wall Street or in a t-shirt in Palo Alto, everyone hates a bad manager who fails to bring out the best in employees or ignores accomplishments.
2. Digital nomads are rising.
Decades ago when people left school, they often picked a career as well as a city and stayed there. Nowadays with the rise of the Internet and platforms such as Skype, which allow you to work with people you've never met from the convenience of your bed, we have seen a huge spike in "digital nomads". These individuals have figured out how to accomplish all of their required output, whether for a corporate setting or startup, without ever needing to put on pants.
As Millennials want to travel, feel free, and work with their computers (as they have for their whole lives), this career path has spiked. Companies are able to leverage some of the best talent, while also reducing the need for office space and all of the added costs which come with it. This combination of increased efficiency and access to talent means digital nomads are replacing many of the jobs which were traditionally held in a stagnant fashion and in turn is shaping the way college students choose from job prospects.
3. Students own the job market.
The image of poor college students is probably echoing through your brain as you read this point. However, while students may not always find the best job, ultimately employers have had to shift their priorities to cater towards the best talent.
This knowledge that better talent equals better profits has driven a world in which skilled students truly own the job market. In order to attract these recruits, we have seen a drastic rise in employers fighting to compete for desirable hires, which has benefited the entire set of future employees.
4. Salary is not enough.
While you will always find people caring about the number on their paychecks, more and more college students are looking other benefits, whether equity, 401(k) plans, work environment, "the people", "the mission," etc. in order to decide on job offers.
In Tom Cruise's film The Firm, the fact that his future employers pitched him the largest salary of all his enticing offers definitely weighed on his decision whether or not to join a niche law firm. However, in the modern job market, you will be hard up to find a college student whose only consideration at the end of the day is how much money they will be bringing home.
5. Corner offices are going extinct.
Elitism is a dying breed. As a result, companies are being forced to kill of status symbols. Facebook has famously adopted an open floor plan, with an all glass office for Mark Zuckerberg in the middle of his floor. What college students have realized is that tall structures mean climbing, intimidation, and lack of cohesion between managers and underlings. As a continued pursuit to find the best talent, companies have gradually been shifting their company structures flatter and flatter.
This has begun the transition of eliminating "corner offices," which do more harm than good. Everyone should be working, know everyone else is working, and know that they can approach anyone anytime they want.