Is your EVP ready to pass the new Millennial test.

Over a four part blog series, we explore the EVP challenge of the ‘Millennial’ and what it means for EVP builders and employment brands.


  • Millennials pose challenges around the construction and communication of EVP
  • Understanding Millennials further validates the value of EVP design
  • Millennials represent an amazing opportunity for EVP builders and HR practitioners to flex their ‘value’ muscles


Ever been in a meeting when the utterance of one word has initiated a particularly sharp intake of breath and a roll of the eyes? Try saying “Millennials” – it tends to work in most meetings. If the subject is EVP strategy – “what about Millennials?” elicits the full dynamic range, from overly animated shrugs and sighs and collective “Oh God’s” augmented with the incredibly deliberate putting down of pens and the closing of notebooks.

So, like, I just had to write about it. Ok?

Every generation deals with sequentially complex challenges, and it is very convenient for incumbents to forget that each new generation has their table set by the one that preceded. Some quirks are head-scratching ( ), yet Millennials have developed coping strategies to deal with things we have given them:

  1. Onerous student debt
  2. A society continually re-rationalising capitalism with ethics, environmentalism and social justice
  3. The distancing of home ownership as a ‘life achievement’
  4. Constant unfiltered and un-curated media projecting the importance of ‘personal image.’
  5. Relentless and inescapable peer influences
  6. Multiple competing ‘lenses’ to manage their identity on
  7. Cultural erosion through globalisation

* (shrug) Enough already.

There’s nothing in that lot that “generation me” – as it has been unkindly called – that hasn’t been gifted to them by “generation we”.

Here’s a research statistic.

“Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites than other generations.” [1]

If I were asked to summarise the Millennial condition in one word, I’d pick exposed. They are exposed to information, data and choices. They are personally exposed because we’ve created many more ways in which they can be perceived and viewed, and “gawked on”. Their personal data can be mined, leveraged and marketed to.

This constant exposure informs them that they are more accountable than any generation has been before. In return, they fairly expect everything to be accountable. This includes their parents, their boss, their mentors, the company they work for, and the brands they associate with. They are cool with the fact that everything they approve has the potential to impact their ‘personal brand equity’.

So an occupation is not just a “source of income”, or “I studied it at university and never got out of it” or “hey I hate it but it’s a job”, or “I’ve been with the same company for 20 years and the benefits are great and I can’t leave anyway because of the pension” or “I am hanging out to be made redundant”.

Occupation choice for a millennial is a defining personal attribute; it is open to inspection and part of the ‘lens’ through which Millennials view themselves; this extends to the brand that employs them.

Millennials represent an amazing opportunity for EVP practitioners and HR departments. Why? The idea we cling to about making businesses successful by hiring workers that share goals and beliefs…That textbook passage about the effectiveness of cultural alignment…is finally manifest in the arrival of the generation that expects it and demands it.

A well-designed EVP embraces every stakeholder to be a part of an employment brands intrinsic value. Millennial strategy does not ostracize any incumbents if executed correctly and collaboratively (more on that in part three).

Gauging the corporate commitment to an EVP promise is critical to career opportunity evaluation by Millennial talent. Failure to deliver on EVP correctly will create cancerous corporate cultures, and the un-flushable cache’s of google, facebook et al. will present permanent digital records. A millennial is accountable, yet still unafraid to comment publicly if they feel a promise has been broken.


[1] Christine Barton, Lara Koslow, Christine Beauchamp, The Reciprocity Principle, How Millennials Are Changing the Face Of Marketing Forever (The Boston Consulting Group, Jan 2014)


The Millennial Series


Comments? Thoughts?