Last updated: 20.01.15

Businesses should 'focus on people, not just products'

Businesses need to reconfigure their purpose in order to attract millennials, according to new research.

For its fourth annual millennial survey, Deloitte Global surveyed 7,800 graduates born after 1982 in full-time employment across 29 countries, including the UK. The respondents were questioned about their attitudes towards effective leadership and how business operates and impacts society.

It was revealed that 77 per cent of UK millennials, and 75 per cent globally, believe that businesses are too focused on their own products and profits rather than helping to improve society.

Just 48 per cent of millennials in the UK went as far as saying that businesses execute strong leadership skills on important social issues - significantly lower than the 61 per cent of global respondents.

Steve Almond, chairman of Deloitte Global, said: “The survey sends a clear and strong message to business leaders that, to stay engaged with millennials, they need to focus on their broader purpose and their people as much as they do on products and profits.”

When questioned about the sector they would most like to work in, 40 per cent of UK millennials pointed to the professional services sector, while 34 per cent found the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector more attractive.

From a global perspective, these trends were reversed, with 46 per cent of millennials worldwide favouring the TMT sector over the 39 per cent who would prefer to work in professional services.

What's more, only 21 per cent of UK respondents feel that their employer is making full use of their skills, while 43 per cent hope to one day become the leader or most senior executive in their current firm.

Barry Salzberg, chief executive of Deloitte Global, added: “Millennials want more from business than might have been the case 50, 20 or even ten years ago...The pursuit of this different and better way of operating in the 21st century begins by redefining leadership."

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