Millennials make up roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population. They’ve outstretched the population size of any generation before them, and account for approximately $1 Trillion in spending. So it’s critical for your business to understand who they are and what is most important to them, both as your customer and as an employee.

There are a lot of misconceptions about millennials. It’s thrown around that they are the “me” generation, they’re lazy, and that it’s impossible to work with them. Stereotypes, as always, are generally false and lead to misconceptions.

The millennial group actually consists of any person born between the years of 1981 and 2000. That’s right, you can be almost forty years old and still be considered a millennial– that doesn’t really fit the image in most of our heads.

This means that they’re holding down a large part of your consumer base and constitute a big percentage of your organization’s employees. They’re everywhere (insert *laugh* because a millennial wrote this).

While the group is not homogenous by any means, there are some trends in their behavior that we feel are important to note:

1. Company Image Matters

The actions of a company, now more than ever, have an effect on whether people will give their support. Millennials care about a company’s reputation, how it handles its money, and treats its employees.

75 percent of millennials say they won’t buy something from a company if they’re aware of using poor labor practices (Morning Consult). The same study showed that the group prefers a company that pays its employees fair & well and provides a great work environment. As you’ll see in the next points, that’s not all that matters.

2. Millennials Seek Purpose

Whether the group is making purchases or finding employment, they generally want to spend their time and money on things that are meaningful to them.

A brand that incorporates purpose is going to be more attractive to millennial employees than one that doesn’t. The more central and clearer your purpose is, the better.

It isn’t all about the paycheck. But when the paycheck comes and goes, millennials want to know that their money was well spent. What benefit does your company provide to the world? What is its purpose?

If the answer isn’t apparent to your customers and employees, it’s time to make it central to your business. Pledgeling has worked with numerous companies as their social impact agency partner, merging brand and purpose, and the results have been tremendous.

3. They are Charity-Conscious

In addition to seeking out meaningful work relationships and spending consciously, millennials are geared toward giving directly to causes that matter to them.

They are also changing the way that we donate as a country. When the group contributes, they lean toward donating goods and volunteering themselves.

Contributing in a social way – one that can physically engage the individual with the cause – is huge for millennials. 41 percent of the group prefers to donate their goods, while 27 percent prefer to donate their time (Bankrate).

When they donate money, they tend to do it online. Crowdsourcing sites and mobile donations are heavily contributed to by millennials.

The point is, if you want to attract millennials in any capacity, you have to enter their world. Engage with them online, be mobile first, unite your brand and your purpose, and give them opportunities to show up and donate what they can.

Part of that process is making it easy to donate and increasing mobile engagement. The easier the better – at Pledgeling, we’re here to help with that. Let us help your business grow and attract employees by incorporating purpose. Contact us @pledgeling.com to get started today!

Posted by Max Martinson

I'm a writer from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Passionate about people, music, and words.