In recent years, young talent (Gen Y/Millennials and Gen Z) has begun to demand big changes from their work life and employers. The world of work has changed greatly since these generations entered the work force. For many years people have worked with only one purpose – to earn an income. Additionally, most worked at one company for their entire career and adhered to all the demands a company made of them. Today, with technological advances, global teamwork, virtual communication and collaboration and influencing topics like the drive for more equality and inclusion at work, people young and old are looking for much more than an income and more “purpose” in their jobs.

Young talent expects greater transparency, purpose, social responsibility and sustainability as well as positive impact from corporations. Aspects like these used to be the prerogative of an organization for its own purposes, but now are important just to attract and retain talent. Flexibility and a more “modern” working environment, including benefits such as versatile work hours, less rigid or formal settings, dog-friendly and family-friendly offices are all attractors of the modern young worker. Young talent also wants better work-life balance, more autonomy, and the ability to make an impact in their work as opposed to just “towing the party line.”

Companies must pay attention to not simply attract talent but to retain it while inspiring higher performance.

With a talent shortage that could reach 85.2 million people globally by 2030 according to Korn Ferry, it is now more important than ever for companies to consider what young talent is seeking. Implementing new ways of working will not only improve talent acquisition and retention, but also employee engagement and productivity.

Aligning a defined purpose with their work and making work a more integrated part of their lives seems to be at the core of the what the future generations of talent are seeking. The importance of the work environment, culture and norms matching the values of the upcoming talent is changing what it looks like to work for people of all ages…and maybe that is a good thing.

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