Why Millennials are Attracted to the Startup Work Culture

Why Millennials are Attracted to the Startup Work Culture
Written by Medhaavi Mishra

Millennials gravitate to startups over more secure, better paying, and less stressful jobs for several reasons, not least of which is the palpable energy prevalent at most startups. Following are few of the many reasons startups and Millennials gel well together:

Ability to get things done: Startups typically hire younger people, for their ability to get things done and keep moving forward. The pace at which a startup grows is different and much faster compared to larger companies in the industry. Hence young people, who are smart and learn quickly, can thrive in this environment. Millennials are associated with enthusiasm, dedication, a desire to solve problems and to build something; traits necessarily required by startups.

Fewer domain experts required: Undoubtedly, there are a few senior people at key positions in startups whose role is to pass on knowledge and guidance to the rest of the team, typically consisting of young people. Domain experience is not essential at most startups, another reason young people are suitable. Most startups look at having a central pool of industry experts who can mentor people with less industry background and make them domain experts.

Opportunity to work across functional lines: Age or work experience are not the deciding factor for hiring at startups, learnability and scalability are. It is important for new hires to have flexibility and dexterity to fit into different roles. This works as an advantage to Millenials, who join startups so that they get the opportunity to cut across functional lines faster, allowing for a steep learning curve.

Make a difference through their work: In bigger organizations, movement is slower. The main focus is on maintaining the business. At startups, innovation is not just acceptable but essential. Disruption is the key. Millennials have a strong desire to make a difference with their work and would give their 100% dedication and commitment to a startup even at the stage when it has been conceived and formed out of a need for disruption.

The work style suits this ‘always-connected’ generation: Millennials seek for their employers to value their contribution, which gives them a sense that they are actually making a difference and not just following a process. At the same time they are a generation that want work-life balance and would much rather prefer a workplace that allows them to leverage technology for flexible and remote working than one that bogs them down with a 9 to 5 routine. If there’s one characteristic that holds true for this generation it would be that they are ‘digital by design’. Having been born between the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, and started their education during and after the internet and digital era, this generation comprehends and is able to leverage the internet and social media at a level that older generations simply cannot and have already spent hundreds of thousands of hours on their mobile phones and internet exchanging emails, IMs, downloading apps, sharing files, playing video games etc.

Thus, a workplace that embraces technology, which allows for collaboration via video conferencing, internal social networks etc. that also complement the communication style and preferences of these ‘digital natives’ and their receptive and open nature, will hit home with them.

At the end of the day, this generation is a huge piece of the workforce pie that’s only growing. As per the 2013-2014 Economic Survey, by 2021, 64% of India’s population is going to be in the working age group of 20-35. Startups for sure are in good stead to capture the best of this talent. Even large corporates are beginning to take note of the Millenials and focusing on hiring them.

About the author

Medhaavi Mishra