How audit departments are attracting “millennials” and the next generation of Internal Auditors.

Posted by | October 4, 2018 | Latest Audit Information & News

Internal audit – Managing the Next Generation

It is estimated that 27% of the world’s population (two billion people) belong to the so-called Generation Y or “Millennials” (19-35 years old) and another 32% (2.4 billion) belong to the following generation, known as Generation Z or “Centennials” (0-18 years old).

In total, they account for 59% of the global population and in 2020 they will make up 60% of the workforce.

According to the World Economic Forum 2016, 86% of “Millennials” have a favourable attitude towards technology and believe it is creating jobs rather than destroying them. They are therefore open to creating new business models such as those launched by benchmark figures -teenage businessmen that include Mark Zuckerberg, Wang Xinwen, Tavi Gevinson, Elon Musk, Robert Nayo and Maddie Robinson, among others- who became multimillionaires doing something they liked and believed in.

Approximately 55% of 10,000 young people from Generation Z surveyed by Universum are interested in setting up their own business, with this figure rising to 75% of those surveyed in such regions as the Middle East, Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The greatest goals are to become one’s own boss and have an impact on society. As workers, they are non-conformist professionals who demand employment flexibility and value quality of life over and above their professional career. At the same time, they are highly pro-active, have the energy to propose change and are not afraid of presenting innovative ideas.

New Challenges and Implications :

Both the “Millennials” and the “Centennials” face a significant challenge from a demographic point of view due to a falling birth rate and rising life expectancy. In 2020, for the first time ever, the number of people over the age of 65 will be higher than the number of children aged 5 or less. In 2050, the “Silver” Generation (65 years old and above) will have increased from 885 million people to 3.4 billion.

These problems could mean that Generations Y and Z will end up being poorer than their parents and grandparents, with the corresponding problem for economic growth and creating a future scenario in which we will be forced to seek solutions to the problems affecting health, housing, pensions, labor markets, public finances and other types of risks that will transform the economy as we know it today.

For this reason, organizations that fail to consider this reality will face serious problems. Nowadays, HR managers are highly conscious of this transformation and are working hard to manage the special features of these professionals.

The Role of Internal Audit:

These changes at organizations also affect Internal Audit, requiring the Head of Internal Audit to check the measures being adopted by the organization to adapt its image, to develop new products and services aimed at younger generations, and to incorporate a new way of interacting with them.

They are also being required to properly manage their teams and, as stated by the study entitled The Millennial Auditor (Source: Wolters Kluwer), harness the skills of these new generations with new technologies and their relationship with the environment.

On the other hand, they will also need to strengthen other aspects related to the soft skills that have been gradually lost and are indeed important, such as interview skills, the ability to communicate via the written form effectively, and drawing up an internal audit report.

Furthermore, in order to retain the talent that these generations possess, efforts should be made to strengthen the working environment.

Audit International are specialists in the recruitment of Internal Auditors and Corporate Governance Professionals across Europe and the US.

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