Generation Y is now has the largest segment of the American workforce with one in three workers between age 18 and 35; and within the next 10 years they will occupy 75% of the workforce. In order to capture this group and utilize their unique skill set to advance your business, you need to find ways to be attractive and work cohesively in an environment with a rapidly changing dynamic.


Young workers value diversity. They value this in their day to day work, the teams they’re on, and the kinds of goals they’re striving for. This is a great angle to market your opportunity to an up and coming demographic that will be the backbone of your business’ growth. Small businesses are inherently diverse because they do not have the double edged sword that departments can be. Without a designated marketing team some of these responsibilities will invariably be spread among employees.

During a time of rapid economic change (c’mon- the world’s largest retailer has one brick and mortar location) your business will require constant innovation, and there is no generation more equipped to do that than a generation raised on the cusp of existing business models and complete innovation.

Millennials also crave purpose in the workplace more than previous generations. This is great news for small businesses. In Seattle when building your company in the shadow of local giants like Amazon and Starbucks it can be easy to forget that not everybody is attracted to a big title at a faceless organization. In fact, today’s emerging workforce see their careers as less linear than ever before. Local business cater to the ideals of purpose and community development and provide professional development opportunity – According to the World Economic Forum 65% of millennials consider making a difference in their communities as a primary goal of their career, with the opportunity to develop a new skills following closely behind . In highlighting the unique aspects of your company and the job you have to offer think about what needs your company has that aren’t common of that position. Is your bookkeeper also in charge of purchasing? This is a unique combination that you aren’t going to find in mega-corporations. Combine this opportunity with established values and culture- you will find someone that wants to contribute to their community with a diverse array of skills and abilities.  The same study discovered that over 75% of respondents preferred contributing to local economies. There is no better  way to do this than to work directly in midst of the local economy.

Finally, cultivate a culture that allows intersectionality between work and home lives. More than ever before workers are valuing flexibility that has been usher in with the digital era. This means creating a friendly environment, designing projects that are relevant to their interests and vision for their positions, as well as establishing balance and flexibility with the lives of your staff.