Where do millennials want to work?
Texas has one of the youngest work forces in the country; and millennials are flocking to the Lone Star state in record numbers to join small businesses or to launch them. Of the top 10 cities where millennials show increased interest in working for small businesses, three are in Texas: Houston at number 3, Austin at number 6, and Dallas-Fort Worth at number 7, according to the job search site Indeed.com.
“We know that millennials make up the largest age group in the workforce today,” Paul Wolfe, vice president for Indeed told Small Business Trends. “Small business employers desire millennials because of their fresh perspective and technical skills. Smaller businesses attract them because they can directly see the impact their work has on the company’s success.”
Flexibility and Passion
Matt Mayes, president of San Antonio-based MaGi Foods, a 12 employee food manufacturing company, certainly agrees. He finds millennials bring a passion that is essential for a small businesses to succeed. That passion is reflected in everything from their political views to their social awareness to their minimalism.
“I see this generation can take on multiple projects with ease and requires little instruction or hand holding,” Mayes wrote in a column for Texas CEO Magazine. “As a small growing company, we are forced to do more with less. We welcome a workforce that is willing and able to take on a variety of tasks – no matter what the physical or mental requirements.”
These tasks include the steps around physical inventory, production line, marketing presentations, or trade shows. “These showcase examples of value-added activities. For a small company where resources are tight the millennials take it in stride,” he says. “Working multiple projects in a fast paced environment seems well suited for this generation.” At the same time, he notes that small business owners must have new expectations for managing millennials. “If a successful outcome does not occur in the timeline provided, they may need help to move on to the next project, perhaps in a different department all together.”
Millennials are also coming to Texas to launch their own small businesses. Austin has been recently named the best area in the country for young entrepreneurs by NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Nearly one fifth of the area’s residents are aged between 25 and 34, and some $18 million in small business loans are currently distributed among each 100,000 residents.
“Many top cities for young entrepreneurs are on the expensive side. Three of the top 10 cities (Austin, Salt Lake City and Midland, Texas) offer costs of living below the national average,” explains Nerdwallet’s CFO Jonathan Todd. “By reducing living and office space costs, entrepreneurs have more cash to invest in their growing businesses.”
Millennials Aren’t Monolithic
Texas demonstrates the diversity of millennials, depicted often as a monolithic group. More than 20% of U.S. millennials are Hispanic, nearly double the share of Hispanic boomers. In Texas, though, Hispanics represent a larger share of millennials than Anglos, 42% to 38%.
Typically, millennials are flocking to hip cities, like Austin. Data from DCInno.com, San Antonio was among the nation’s fastest-growing cities for college-educated millennials over the last four years. The influx of millennials has brought growth to interior neighborhoods, such as the Pearl District. It also shows how Texas’ popularity with millennials also involves the variety of lifestyles the state offers them.
“Austin millennials and San Antonio millennials are two different breeds,” Lara Kilgore, a 28-year-old transplant from Phoenix told Forbes. The former “are going to be more focused on having an edge, being cool”. With San Antonio, “You’re coming here because you’re logical. You want to save your money. You may be entrepreneurial. But you know that’s going to take some cash, and so you want to put that away.”