CAHRS Member Talks About the Millennial Workforce

Human Resource Executive's May 2017 issue talks about the millennial generation maturing into leadership positions with Ellyn Shook, Accenture's chief leadership and HR officer, and Center for Advanced Human Resources member in "Millennials Rising."

"In 2015, we hired more than 90,000 millennials," says Shook. "We are living in that future world now," she says, adding that the company expects to be 75-percent millennial by 2025.

In an effort to stay ahead of the generational curve, Shook says, the company is surveying its "next-generation leaders" about their expectations for leadership characteristics in the digital age.

"One thing that is really interesting and differentiating and highly valued by next-gen leaders," she says, "is that they understand the importance of collaborating across an ecosystem. Leaders of today have come from a hierarchical background, while millennial leaders understand you need to collaborate through the entire ecosystem.

"Even more importantly," Shook continues, "if you start to think about the workforce, you're going to have to be able to collaborate in a more boundary-less way. That's something millennials have spotted clearly and are really comfortable operating in that environment."

Millennial HR leaders, Shook says, are going to have to look at talent practices in a very different way than previous generations did, in part because of the rise of the gig economy, or what Accenture calls "the liquid workforce."

"We found a shockingly high number of people we surveyed around the world who viewed their work as independent of an organization," she says. "I think with that value increasing, millennials inherently understand that, in order to tap into the best talent, you have to be open to where those sources are."

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