Each generation is unique. With a new generation, come new purchasing habits, and new forms of communication. Motivational factors, and ambitions also change; but most of all, people change. Since the Industrial Revolution began in America, the rate of change between generations has skyrocketed. Just think of the advancements you have seen in technology and communication in your lifetime alone.  The biggest differentiator of generations is Father Time, and the ability to bridge generational gaps has been known to make or break companies.

As a result of the down economy the youngest generation to come of age, Generation Y; has yet to make a significant impact in the marketplace. With the highest unemployment numbers of any generation, the members of Generation Y (also known as Millennials), are unable to establish themselves at an early age, like generations past; but don’t let this fool you. With bolstering numbers upwards of 80 million, Generation Y is the largest, most diverse, generation to date. 

What separates Generation Y from past generations is their use of technology, the level of their education, their work ethic, and how they express themselves. Technology comes second nature to them, and has become an intricate part of their lives. They are also the most educated generation in history. With the current status of the economy; a high school degree isn’t enough, and many college graduates are even opting to attend graduate level school to wait out the storm. What drives them in the workplace also separates them. Outside of wanting flexible work hours, and the ability to work from home; many want to make a difference, and find great satisfaction in doing “meaningful” work. The idea is to work efficiently to “preserve their lifestyle.” While members of past generations let their work define them, Millennials are more focused on keeping their individuality. They like to express themselves through social media, and are very independent thinkers. They are more creative than past generations, and pride themselves on it.

As a recruiter for a direct selling organization, you may be asking yourself why you would ever want to target someone from Generation Y.  Not only are they the largest generation to date, they are expected to outspend the baby boomers by 2017. Social media is also becoming more relevant in Direct Sales. This fact, coupled with their expertise of communicating through these platforms, offer a very strong skillset direct selling companies should be looking for. Members of Generation Y also have the entrepreneurial spirit, but lack the funds to start their own businesses. Direct Sales offer independence, the ability to own your own business, and the flexibility to work your own hours at a low start-up cost. These motivating factors could drive the sales of your team, and help recruit new members. Tomorrow, I will discuss the best practice to reach members of Generation Y, and how you can recruit them to your sales team.