How are millennials feeling about the current business environment? Deloitte recently published the results of their annual millennial survey and the results are alarming for businesses. Specifically, there has been a significant downward trend in how millennials view the motivations and ethics of businesses.

A mere 48% of millennials believe that businesses behave ethically, representing a sharp decline from 2017 where the survey revealed a 65% response. 47% believe that business leaders are helping to improve society, down from 62% in 2017.

What’s causing the changing tide? It would be difficult to pinpoint a particular thing, but without question the fragmenting and divisive social and political climate is contributing in a big way. There was a seismic shift as millennials went from being statistically apathetic towards politics and social causes in 2016 to being highly engaged in 2017 –with the 2016 election being the catalyst for that shift.

For that trend to carry over to how millennials evaluate the ethics of businesses is not something that’s terribly surprising. The speed of which it carried over, however, is surprising.

In addition to the distrust, respondents had for businesses and business leaders, there were a few other key insights that recruiters should take note of.

Young Workers Feel Unprepared for Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a term used by Deloitte to categorize the current industrial revolution we’re experiencing today, which is centered around automation, cloud computing, and cyber-physical systems. Deloitte’s study revealed that millennials are aware of the changing landscape. 70% of those surveyed predicted that Industry 4.0 would bring about wide-scale changes. However, only 36% stated that they believed that they had the skills required to succeed in Industry 4.0.

The survey also showed, by a wide margin, that millennials felt that businesses should be responsible for educating the workforce on the skills they’ll need to learn –as opposed to government and universities. Recruiters should be mindful of this when pitching jobs to candidates, and when getting job descriptions from clients.

(Photo Credit: Deloitte 2018 Millennial Study)

Flexibility and Diversity are Attractive to Millennials

While compensation remains the most important priority for choosing an employer for millennials, the other priorities that the study revealed demonstrate a change from recent years. 50% of millennial respondents cited workplace flexibility as being a very important factor on where they’d work. Of those millennial employees who deem their current job as not being flexible, only 17% say they plan to stay long-term.

Diversity is another key to retaining millennial employees. 69% of employees who work for diverse organizations say they plan to stay for 5 more years, whereas just 27% of employees who work at non-diverse organizations plan to stay for 5 more years.

For recruiters wanting to place their candidates with confidence that they’ll commit to clients long-term, the diversity of an organization and the workplace flexibility are two subjects you’ll want to cover.

For more information about the Deloitte Study, we encourage you to read the full report here.