Understanding Millennials

Contact: Claudia Richards
Senior Director, Community Member Support
(202) 266-8211

Elevate’s tagline is: Engaging Younger and Future Members. To effectively recruit and retain these younger members, who typically fall within the Millennial, and to a lesser extent, the Gen X, age range, it’s important to understand their professional needs, thoughts and desires, when it comes to a member association.

The biggest difference between Millennials and other generations, including Gen X, is the way they communicate, what they want out of life and what they look for in a career.

How Millennials Communicate

Millennials network and communicate through a social lens. Relationships, whether personal or professional, seem to last longer because there’s a sense of constant connection. For example, Person A may meet Person B in passing, spending a day or maybe only a few hours with them, but upon becoming a friend on social media, they become lifelong friends since the possibility for following their life, for life, has opened up. For Millennials, their lives and the lives of their friends and family members play out in front of each other on social media. Even if it’s not an entirely accurate representation of who everyone is, the connection is still felt.

Professionally, Millennials prefer email, text or direct message (DM) via various apps (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) as a means of communication whenever possible. It’s quicker and more efficient; five emails can be sent in the time it takes someone to dial a number, wait for someone to pick up and leave a message when they don’t. Millennials prefer these forms of communication over calls because they are more efficient and less of a distraction in an open office environment. However, most Millennials understand that email, text and DM are not appropriate in every situation.

What Millennials Want

Millennials are typically very open-minded individuals. They are usually less inclined to ‘quid pro quo,’ prefer to take action that benefits the greater good, rather than themselves alone. For example, recent research shows that 80% of Millennials donate time to philanthropic causes and community giving.

Another 75% said it’s fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit (The Millennial Survey, Deloitte 2014).

Millennials aren’t looking for a job; they are looking for a fulfilling career. The concept of living to work, not working to live is very important to them. They tend to place a lot of focus on being successful and having a career, but more as an integral part of who they are, not just a necessity to survival.

Quick Facts

Millennial Generation
Born: 1981 to 1997
Age in 2016: 19 to 35

Generation X
Born: 1965 – 1980
Age in 2016: 36 to 51