Kiwi tech sector needs to reset its purpose to attract Millennials

New Zealand business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits in the 21st century.

New Zealand business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits in the 21st century.

According to Deloitte’s fourth annual Millennial Survey, businesses across the country, as well as developed global markets, will need to make “significant changes” to attract and retain the future workforce.

Surveying tomorrow’s leaders, from 29 countries, on effective leadership, how business operates and impacts society, Deloitte claims Millennials, overwhelmingly believe (75 percent) businesses are focused on their own agenda rather than helping to improve society.

“The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits,” says Hamish Wilson, partner and human capital leader, Deloitte.

“These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community, particularly in developed markets like New Zealand, that they need to change the way they engage Millennial talent or risk being left behind.”

Only 28 percent of Millennials feel their current organisation is making full use of their skills with more than half (53 percent) aspiring to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organisation, with a clear ambition gap between Millennials in emerging markets and developed markets.

Sixty-five percent of emerging-market based Millennials would like to achieve this goal, compared to only 38 percent in developed markets - this figure was also higher among men.

Additionally, the survey found large global businesses have less appeal for Millennials in developed markets (35 percent) compared to emerging markets (51 percent).

Developed-market based Millennials are also less inclined (11 percent) than Millennials in emerging markets (22 percent) to start their own business.

Tech industry…

Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) most attractive employers, according to findings, with TMT ranking the most desirable sector and the one to provide the most valuable skills according to Millennials.

So much so that Kiwi men (24 percent) were nearly twice as likely as women (13 percent) to rank TMT as the number one sector to work in.

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Among broader sectors, leadership is also perceived to be strongest in the TMT sector (33 percent) - this percentage was three times higher than second ranked food and beverages (10 percent), and four times that for third-ranked banking/financial services (8 percent).

In addition, when asked about the businesses that most resonated with Millennials as leaders, Google and Apple top the list of businesses, each selected by 11 percent of respondents.

Working for a purpose…

Millennials want to work for organisations with purpose, according to additional findings.

For six in 10 Millennials, a “sense of purpose,” is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers.

Among Millennials who are relatively high users of social networking tools (the “super-connected Millennials”), there appears to be even greater focus on business purpose; 77 percent of this group report their company’s purpose was part of the reason they chose to work there, compared to just 46 percent of those who are the “least connected.”

With regards to the changing characteristics of leadership, today’s Millennials place less value on visible (19 percent), well-networked (17 percent), and technically-skilled (17 percent) leaders.

Instead, they define true leaders as strategic thinkers (39 percent), inspirational (37 percent), personable (34 percent) and visionary (31 percent).

“Millennials want more from business than might have been the case 50, 20, or even 10 years ago,” Wilson adds.

“They are sending a very strong signal to the world’s leaders that when doing business, they should do so with purpose.

“The pursuit of this different and better way of operating in the 21st century begins by redefining leadership.”