Millennials in the US industry
It has recently been announced that 74 percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year, a steady increase from last year’s CareerBuilder survey, with plans for increased starting salaries to attract millennials within a range of industries.
So, how can millennials help impact and shape your business positively? We take a look at how the largest sector within the employee market can help support business growth and drive new ideas and skills into the business.
Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder said, "Competition for soon-to-be college grads is escalating to a degree we haven't seen in the last 10 years. "In the current environment, where job unemployment continues to decrease and there's continued competition for sought-after skills, employers are especially attracted to college graduates, and the fresh perspective and skills they can bring to the workforce."
Expectations of employers
With the rise of technologies amongst societal and political change, millennials have gained a different set of priorities, as they are increasingly connected through phones, apps and various devices, adapting their ways of working and overall outlook within the workforce. Such increased awareness has not gone unnoticed by employers, who seek to benefit from workers with an advanced set of technological skills, and an ambition to rise up the career ladder and compete for roles which provide a sense of value, personal challenge and job satisfaction.
However, the recent survey has stated that employers are concerned as to whether college graduates have been prepared for roles within organisations due to some of the following factors:
- Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning: 44 percent
- I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts: 38 percent
- Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today: 23 percent
- Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs: 12 percent
Such industries popular for employees are based around STEM subjects, alongside business and information technology, highlighting the change in the employee sphere.
Expectations of millennials
With less money to spend amongst increased debt, millennials increasingly feel employers want more for less in the employee market. However, this year graduates will be able to gain an increased salary, with many starting at $50,000, with 23 percent under $30,000, and many will receive offers before they graduate to secure full time roles and financial stability.
However, unlike baby boomer generations, millennials are increasingly aiming for the American dream, with owning a home and having no financial debt, yet want to travel and see the world, with larger ambitions then previous generations
With an increased focus on financial help and education, millennials are taking less risks in the employee market, and rising house prices see many millennials staying at home due to rising rental costs. Paul Appleton, Executive Vice President, Consumer Payments & Product, Bank of the West said, "Millennials want the choice and flexibility to make their own decisions — whether it is to build a new life in a foreign country, navigate a career change to pursue their passions, or buy a home and raise a family.”
However, financial planning will have to come into play for millennials if they are to achieve these goals, and to think long term in placing investments which will provide significant returns.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.