How millennials network: New LinkedIn data

Millennials are already the largest generation in the workforce, making up more than one-third of those employed today. By 2020, they’ll grow to represent more than 50 percent of the workforce. Much has been written about this generation’s defining traits: purpose-driven, digitally-savvy, and extremely well-connected. But how connected are they really?

To understand professional networking behaviors, we conducted a survey among thousands of LinkedIn members worldwide, including more than 7,000 millennials. Here’s what we discovered about the way millennials network:

Key Findings:

Millennials are unsure of how to reconnect, or what to say when they do.

  • Seventy-one percent of millennials agree that networking is an effective way to build and nurture relationships.

  • Regardless, they find it more challenging than older generations to stay in touch: 43 percent of millennials find it difficult, compared to 31 percent of those older than 45.

What’s holding millennials back?

Use your network to find your way in.

  • More than half (55 percent) of millennials reach out to their network when they’re starting to think about their next opportunity.
  • When they do tap their connections, many are rewarded: 56 percent of millennials were introduced to a new job through a casual conversation.


The LinkedIn online survey was conducted Feb. 6 to March 18, 2017 among 15,905 LinkedIn members across 17 countries. This included more than 7,000 millennials (aged 18-34).