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  • Writer's pictureJake

Millennials and GenZ: separating non-fiction from fiction...

Over the weekend-- Andrew Hill from the FT, referencing Deloitte's 2019 Millennial Survey, wrote about millennials in the workplace in an attempt to debunk the myth claiming younger generations are "job-hoppers", lacking loyalty to their employers. While this myth has been debunked repeatedly for much of the last five years-- as it's clear from the data that each generation changes jobs more frequently early in their careers, there are some notable differences between Millennials, and the now-entering-the-workforce Generation Z, and their predecessors that portend changes in how companies should think about early-career retention.

To generalize some of the findings from the Deloitte 2019 Millennial Survey, the evidence points to a new generation of educated consumers entering the job market with (1) more information at their fingertips than ever before (Glassdoor, LinkedIn), (2) a greater degree of skepticism about the effectiveness of institutions (companies, governments, universities) in helping them achieve their professional goals, and (3) a greater demand for skill development, feedback and stretch assignments (treating careers as "up-or-out") than any previous generation.

While it's unsurprising that 49% of Millennials say that they expect to leave their current role within two years-- it is more striking that fewer than 20% believe that businesses achieve the goals of improving the lives of their employees or helping their employees improve their skills. This points to a yawning gap between the perceived degree and realized degree of training and support provided by businesses in helping their employees improve skills and enhance their livelihoods, leading many to leave roles in favor of employers that are more willing to help employees advance in their careers.

SOURCE: Deloitte 2019 Millennial Survey

Millennials also appear skeptical about the benefits of the Gig Economy-- viewing it mostly as a means of supplementing full-time work, rather than a career in and of itself. This runs counter to a lot of the prevailing logic that an accumulation of side-hustles is becoming the career preference of many of the younger generation, as most individuals favor stability to the flexibility (and intermittent income) of the gig economy.

Maybe the most concerning discovery of all is a perpetual game of chicken, where companies believe their employees lack loyalty and will leave at regular intervals (driving down the ROI of training investments), and employees believe that their employers are only minimally responsible for helping them acquire skills-- a gap remains to be defined in who will ultimately pick up the bill for ensuring an adequately trained workforce. Universities have proven incapable of delivering career training in the classroom, and bootcamps, with income share agreements, and other means of providing financial support, aren't currently set up to either provide the financial continuity many students need or the proven ability to deliver quality graduates at scale.

The private sector needs a more scalable twenty-first century apprenticeship, that exposes more students to career training and valuable experience, and doesn't penalize companies for investing is candidates who are ultimately better suited to work elsewhere. This is core to the mission of Nlyst, where we building a better model for recent graduates to launch their careers. Learn more at

1- Deloitte's 2019 Millennial Survey


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