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VIDEO: Millennials are in the driver’s seat

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Columnist New York Times

People in their 20s increasingly have the choice of jobs they want.

Companies will have to make a bigger effort in recruiting.

As the job market tightens, how are firms going to get the best recruits?

bookThe surge of young people into the labor market is a welcome change. Those between 20 and 34 years old represent three-quarters of the total growth in employment.

Competition for their services creates opportunities. Millennials will increasingly have the choice of positions and greater opportunities to get the jobs they want.

Companies will have to compensate or make concessions.

J.P. Morgan Chase is encouraging its investment bankers to take weekends off when they don’t have deals. Westport, Conn.-based Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, provides a bus from New York City to headquarters, just as Google does from San Francisco to Mountain View.

Some financial firms, such as Bloomberg, are trying to copy the open plan look of high-tech companies. Walk into the reception area at Bloomberg in New York City and you’re greeted by an array of food stations with fruit, energy bars, bagels and drinks, all at no charge. It’s part of the compensation package. Offices have disappeared; instead, people are seated in large open spaces.

Greg Karr, executive vice president for Seven Step RPO, a recruitment process outsourcing firm, told me that young people see the tech sector as the future of work. It has more risk than in other fields, but millennials like what they see as the unlimited opportunities and the flexibility. It’s the latest gold rush.

Other sectors, such as finance, are having a harder time.

Some millennials have complained to me that they can’t get any work done in these large open spaces, and that the noise-canceling headphones they bring to work give them headaches. They would like to go back to the quiet of an individual office. But the point is that companies are searching for ways to compete. If open plans won’t work, companies will be forced to add quieter environments.

The job market is looking up, and millennials are regaining the advantage.

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