The Implications of Changing Workforce Demographics – a Keynote Recap from Customer Success Summit 2017

Jobvite is the industry-leading, analytics-driven recruiting platform that helps emerging and enterprise companies hire top talent easily, efficiently, and effectively. With his deep industry knowledge, Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite, presented a keynote at Customer Success Summit 2017 that dives into the forces behind the shift in demographics that businesses are seeing across the board, and why the approach they’re taking with their customers, aka being more present and engaged, is the same approach they should be taking with their employees.

Following are the key takeaways from Dan’s presentation.

Dan kicked off with some fairly worrisome trends in the job market that are affecting us all:

  • During the latest recession, companies cut virtually all people expenses (e.g. jobs) instead of non-people expenses (e.g. marketing spend)
  • The population of working-age people is dramatically shrinking worldwide
  • New jobs with the highest growth rate now require formal education
  • Since 2011, nonroutine jobs have been growing, while routine jobs are quickly being eliminated
  • The unemployment rate is grossly unequal between those with formal education and those without

Millennials recently overtook Baby Boomers as the “largest living generation”, according to the Pew Research Center, which defines Millennials as those born between 1981-1997 (though the formal definition is still in flux and varies across sources at this time). The shift in population demographics is reflected in the workplace, where Millennials now comprise the majority of the workforce. Dan presented a comparison of the makeup of different generations in the labor force and how they rank certain factors in their job search.

Millennials Majority of Labor Force – and Have High Expectations

With shifting trends in the job market and majority presence at the office, it’s no surprise that Millennials are creating very different career paths for themselves. They know they’re in demand and that no company is going to build their career for them. They’re also aware that the world and job expectations are changing rapidly and the only way to survive and thrive is to consistently acquire new skills, not sit back and rely on past skills. For these reasons, a recent college grad will have a minimum of 15 (but more likely 20) jobs throughout their lifetime.

Dan’s key message:

“If you want to hire the best people, if you want to build a company with the most talented people in your industry, you’ve got to change your mindset about the role your company plays in their lives. If you think about your company as a university, you’ll be better off.”

People go to a university to learn, grow, and advance themselves, which is the way Millennials view jobs. So let’s explore the apt time parallels in this analogy. Students attend a university for roughly four years. Sometimes they’ll stay 5-6 years for a Masters, and very rarely for 7-8 for a PhD. Many only stay two years for an Associates.

Beyond length of tenure, the parallels are striking:

Build Your Employment Brand to Attract The Best Talent

When choosing a university, so much of the emphasis is put on the people and the culture. The same is true for the workplace. You’re not “acquiring talent”: you’re serving your employees.

When asked about his mission for Jobvite, Dan says there are many ways he could respond. He could talk about the importance of building teams and helping people find the right career path. But his real #1 goal is to hear a former employee say, “You know, that was the coolest time, working at Jobvite with you guys. I met the best people. I learned the most. It shot my career going forward.”

To view the slides of Dan’s presentation, click here.

Even better, you can watch his full session, clocking in at just 20 minutes, right now:

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