As one of the newest members of the Development team, I recently attended my first Rainier Scholars event. I was inspired to witness our college graduates share their insights and act as strong champions for a new wave of young professionals.
For those who want to understand what the future holds, our annual Education Happy Hour provided a crystal ball perspective. “Recruiting and Engaging Millennials in the Workplace” was an eye-opening experience on many levels. By the year 2020, millennials will represent a full 40% of the total working population. Best of all, millennials have a strong desire to invest in a workplace where they can make a difference and value transformative professional opportunities.
Nearly 80 guests representing 48 companies, including some of the region’s largest like Amazon, Whitepages, Boeing, Skanska, and PATH were present. David Niu, executive director of TINYpulse, provided an insightful presentation and moderated a fascinating discussion about millennials – what they offer to employers and what they care about in the workplace. Panelists also touched on key opportunities and challenges millennials must navigate.
“If I’m given substantial work that allows me to make an impact-that is very important,” shared Myles Jones, a millennial panelist from Cohort III and technical sourcing recruiter at Amazon.
Myles reinforced a known fact that 75% of millennials will sacrifice a higher salary for a more fulfilling career. Employees entering the workforce are hungry for roles where they can gain experience and offer value to a company.
The panel discussed many facets about millennials including their desire for transparency, their sense of social responsibility and the fact that the millennial generation will be the most diverse workforce in U.S. history.
“What values are at the forefront of a company…” remarked Marisa Fang, a millennial panelist from Cohort I and HR generalist at The Boeing Company. “That’s what we really look for.”
Angel Franklin, a millennial panelist and talent development director from Skanska echoed, “I look for high integrity within a company.” Another panel member, Yvette Herrara-Greer, HR recruiter from PATH said, “Millennials have always had access to a lot of information so the perception of transparency is important to them.”
As the evening drew to a close, and I watched the networking among employers, recruiters and college graduates in the room I noted an additional element. Life at Rainier Scholars seems to go full circle. With two of the panelists, Marisa Fang and Myles Jones representing employers as well as the Rainier Scholars program, their presence demonstrated the ultimate goal for which we hope. Once young 6th graders aspiring to go to college, they are now college graduates and young HR professionals guiding us and leading the way. They are passionate about supporting the drive and leveraging the talents of young employees today.
I can’t think of a better example of the vision of Rainier Scholars – truly fostering a new generation of leaders.