Millennials Want Jobs With Social Conscience
Young workers want jobs with a social purpose. / Credit: Hiring image via Shutterstock

Businesses looking to attract future leaders need to step up their social responsibility efforts, new research shows.

A study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited revealed that millennials want to work for organizations that make a positive contribution to society, foster innovative thinking and are willing to take the time to develop employees' skills. Millennials are already emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025.

The research shows that nearly three-quarters of millennials believe business is having a positive impact on society by generating jobs and increasing prosperity. However, members of this generation think employers can do much more to address some of society's most concerning challenges, such as resource scarcity, climate change and income inequality. Additionally, 50 percent of the millennials surveyed want to work for a business with ethical practices. [10 New Year's Resolutions for Young Workers]

Members of this generation also believe that it takes more than just financial performance to make a business successful. In particular, millennials say businesses should focus on improving society.

"Our society, globally, faces many critical issues, and it has become clear no sector should 'go it alone,'" said Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. "By working together and combining their different skills, business, governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) have an opportunity to reignite the millennial generation and make real progress in solving society's problems."

Despite their young age, millennials also want employers to give them opportunities to lead. More than one in four of those surveyed are asking for a chance to show their leadership skills, while 75 percent believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders.

Finally, millennials look for forward-thinking employers. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed look for innovative companies when deciding where they want to work, with most saying their current employer does not greatly encourage them to think creatively. 

"It is clear that millennials want to innovate, and businesses should be listening," said Salzberg. "Fostering a culture of innovation will not only help retain high-performing talent, but it will also drive growth by creating opportunities for individuals to unlock the next game-changing innovations."

The study was based on surveys of nearly 7,800 millennials, those born after January of 1983, from 28 countries across Western Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.