Five Ideas

Five Ideas: Millennials

May 2015

Millennials are already creating big changes in the way we work, and their influence is only going to continue to grow. According toa PricewaterhouseCoopers report, millennials already form 25 percent of the workforce in the US. By 2020, they will account for 50 percent of the global workforce.


For Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, this huge demographic change presents a huge opportunity. Hurd said hiring recent college graduates—rather than recruiting employees other companies don’t even try to retain—will infuse Oracle with more modern skills and enthusiasm. In fact, Oracle has hired some 10,000 recent college grads in the past four years, Hurd said.

“It is so motivational for Oracle to have these kids come into the company. There is so much excitement in our company—new talent, new skills, and a different view of the world. And I think it’s very good for us. It changes everything,” he said at the Oracle HCM World conference in March.

Here, experts including Hurd provide advice about preparing your organization for more millennial employees. Plus, discover what you need to know about selling to millennial customers.

“Millennials will not tolerate the antiquated stuff people of my generation thought was leading edge. If your organization doesn’t have smart tools that employees can use on their smartphones from just about anywhere on the planet, you might as well roll out electric typewriters. Otherwise, your brightest prospects will defect to your closest competitor before you’ve had a chance to offset the cost of hiring them in the first place.” —Mark V. Hurd, Oracle CEO

“If you’re a manager in a very traditional, hierarchical environment, one of the first things you need to do is look at how things get done, and start to challenge convention around these very common ideas and assumptions that you have. For example, expense policies, vacation times, flexible work environments, giving employees the opportunity to choose who they work with, when they work, and how they work.” —Jacob Morgan, principal and cofounder of Chess Media Group and author of The Future of Work

“An engaging and personalized user experience has become the new weapon in the battle to attract and retain millennial customers. Businesses that cannot add value for customers with a more convenient, functional, and relevant mobile experience have little chance of coming out on top.” —Suhas Uliyar, Oracle Vice President Mobile Strategy and Product Management

“While millennials wield massive demographic influence over how we work, what we build, and how we buy, it’s a mistake to characterize 79 million as a monolith of singular motivations and behaviors.” —Aaron Lazenby, Profit Magazine Editor-in-Chief

“What quickly becomes clear is that targeting millennials as a whole is ineffective, as they range from financially dependent teens to married homeowners with kids. By considering these unique segments and determining which have the most potential for your brand, there’s an opportunity to build a deeper connection and deliver an experience that will appeal to the next generation of customers.” —Cassie Moren, Oracle Senior Director of Consumer Goods Industry Marketing

Photography by Shutterstock