The Millennials Are Coming!!

July 4, 2012 - 1 Comment

Today, Americans in the United States will celebrate the 4th of July, commemorating their independence as a nation.  But how independent are they really, “they” being those Americans who embark upon a career in public service, those persons responsible for keeping their independent and free nation as such?

The answer is:  some are more independent than others, namely the Millennials, you know, that little Generation Next, soon to comprise more than half of the world’s population, and dominate the global workforce?

The Millennials are demanding independence, freedom, and flexibility in the workplace, and not just in the United States.  If you’d like to become better acquainted with them, watch this Ted Talk as Scott Hess discusses who they are and why they’re the “better” generation, and then read on.

2 in 5 college students would accept a lower paying job that offered more flexibility.  That’s good news for government agencies that typically pay lower salaries than the private sector, right?  Absolutely.  Until you consider the flexibility part…

The Millennials, by nature, are well-suited for public service [because they want to do meaningful work], but fewer are pursuing government jobs.  “The Partnership for Public Service’s analysis of the 2011 NACE Student Survey reveals that the percentage of students who plan to work for government—local, state or federal—is in decline. College students increasingly prefer the private sector, graduate school, and non-profit work.”  (Government Business Council (GBC) Analyst Briefing, GovExec)

Because of this, governments globally must focus on improving the employee experience, not just on attracting young workers to public service.

A few agencies have embraced the Millennials’ demands for better work/life balance, and adopted Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and mobility policies.  Not only are they able to attract talent and fill open positions as their current workforce retires (the average age of government employees is on the rise), they’re better leveraging resources, improving operational efficiency, and saving money.

Gordon Bruce, CIO of the city and county of Honolulu, said that if correctly managed, workers’ personal mobile devices could end up replacing some of the jurisdiction’s desktop computers. “Which means we won’t have to pay for them, which means the taxpayer won’t have to pay for them,” Bruce said. “So I like that idea.”  (Wayne Hanson, Digital Communities)

Agencies that have yet to embrace this movement should take note because “government, at all levels, will face a crisis if recruitment efforts are not modified to attract the Millennial generation” (GBC Analyst Briefing, GovExec).  The mobile revolution is here; need we embark upon a midnight ride to alert governments worldwide?  A coordinated digital intervention might be more appropriate today, so spread the word…

"The Millennials Are Coming!"


For information about how your organization can become more Millennial-friendly, please visit

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