Graduate Programme: Attract the last young millennials from Generation Y

Soon, the last members of Generation Y – also known as millennials – will enter the job market. Many will pursue the popular graduate programmes, where the young millennials quickly evolve their professional skills. However, it sets new requirements for your graduate programme.

Christina Højgaard Haversen

17. September 2019 · 6 min reading

Make your graduate programme ready for the last millennials

In the next few years, the last young members of a whole generation will finish their education and enter the job market. And many will go for the popular graduate programmes.

This is exactly the case for the last of the millennials, who are also known as Generation Y. This generation consists of people born between 1979 and 1995.

The generation is born into another reality than the previous generation. A reality in which tolerance and inclusiveness is essential in their upbringing and where their choice of profession is rarely mimicked that of their parents’.

A great deal of the generation has already established itself on the job market.

However, when the last millennials step into the job market with brand new knowledge from the universities, you will need your graduate programme to be adapted to the young millennials.

In the following, we provide four recommendations that concern millennials at the workplace. You can use these recommendations to attract graduates to your programme.

1. Millennials are independent

According to Rasmus Lindgaard, Ph.D. and Team Leader for Insight at CompanYoung, millennials have grown up in a world in which they have been their own boss.

As opposed to older generations, they’ve not needed to follow in their parents’ footsteps.  Instead, they were encouraged to follow their dreams and were told that the sky’s the limit.

The result is an increase in optimism and independence, which is reflected in their work.

This comes to show in the field of skill development. As the first ‘digital natives’, they have a different perception of skill development.

In a study made by Upwork, the largest US-based freelancing website, a comparison was made between the older generation and millennials. It showed that millennials answered three times as often than the older generation that they themselves are responsible for skill development.

They are independent – and they expect the same from their colleagues.

Millennials don’t wait to take a class in graphic design – instead, they expect that they and their colleagues seek out information on YouTube or digital learning platforms.


2. Millennials tend to change jobs more often

However, their independence can have a downside. A downside that occurs if one does not incorporate this knowledge about millennials in one’s work concerning employer retention.

For the millennials, the reason for them switching jobs is based on jobs becoming routine. When the job and its tasks become routine, millennials will quickly look for new opportunities: Even quicker than the older generation.

Graduate programmes appeal to young millennials, as they offer a steep learning curve with ever emerging challenges.

Therefore, when they have finished your graduate programme, it is important that this dynamic is maintained in both their tasks and field in order to keep the graduate.

GIF: Forskning om millennials viser, at de oftere skifter job


3. Millennials are leaders rather than bosses

According to Rasmus Lindgaard, there is a greater insecurity among the millennials despite an increase in independence and optimism.

Some millennials have experienced the transition into a digital age where every digital footprint was followed and commented on, whereas others have been born into it. For the generation of young graduates who will soon be entering the job market, the latter is the case.

The millennials’ use of digital platforms is marked by constant feedback, which is also reflected in their work.

An appreciative work environment is characteristic to millennials, which is why they thrive on a short feedback cycle.

In the future, millennials will become leaders for the younger generation, Generation Z, which is a big plus, as they have an even bigger need for feedback.

GIF: Millennials er ledere - ikke chefer


4. Teamwork as a focal point for millennials

Millennials have grown up in kindergartens and schools that focus on having an appreciative culture as well as being inclusive and tolerant. Moreover, these institutions also focus on project-based learning. As this has affected the millennials, they have a more team-based approach to work and management.

In comparison to earlier generations, you can expect millennials to focus more on building a strong team as well as being part of that team.

This also means that titles and hierarchies will have less importance. Their work is characterised by a more meritocratic approach where skills and abilities mean more than seniority.

Remember this when you talk about internal career opportunities after a finished graduate programme. Millennials want to be promoted for their work – not for time spent in the organisation.

GIF: Millennials og teamwork


A word about generation research

It is important to point out that all generation research has to be perceived with a grain of salt.

It is difficult to generalise demographic segments. However, generation research can shed light on some overall tendencies.

Still, there is always the exception to the rule. There are millennials that stay in the same job for years. There are millennials that are so independent that teamwork doesn’t come natural to them.

Millennials are also born in different digital ages. The younger members of the generation, born in 1995, have a different relationship with technology and social media than the older members of Generation Y, those born in 1979 at the earliest.

These particular differences can play a role in your recruitment of candidates when you appeal to the future generation of graduates: Millennials.

Attract the last graduates from Generation Y

You have been given four recommendations in regard to millennials at the workplace. It can be difficult to correctly integrate knowledge about generations when you attract and recruit new employees.

However, at CompanYoung, we are experts in implementing knowledge about the generations.

Call or write Jarl Linder and ask him how your business can attract the best of the last millennials for your graduate programme. You can email him at or call him at +45 22 73 40 00.

Sign up for our newsletter

Join over 2,000 others in HR and administration by signing up for our newsletter, where we focus on the next generation and their education and career choices.

Sign up here