Are Millennials Ready for the Corner Office?

June 21, 2016

Most Canadian CFOs Confident Millennial Employees Could Take the Reins 

Toronto, ON. -- Most CFOs have faith in millennial workers’ abilities to become future leaders, recent research from Robert Half shows. Ninety-five per cent of Canadian CFOs interviewed said they are confident their millennial employees -- the swath of workers born between 1978 and 1999 -- possess management potential.

The survey also found businesses are offering professional development resources to help these workers prepare for leadership positions. CFOs said their organizations most often provide opportunities to attend conferences, seminars and webinars (61 per cent); mentoring (58 per cent); and subscriptions to trade publications (49 per cent).

“Well-educated and highly-motivated, millennial workers seek out positions that inspire them personally while allowing them to grow professionally,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations.

“As potential future leaders, their preference for open lines of communication and collaborative work styles will prove invaluable in both developing and supervising staff and strategies,” added Scileppi. “Senior managers should focus on cultivating millennials’ strengths through ample training, continual feedback and clearly defined opportunities for career advancement, keeping them engaged and on track to excel as leaders within the company.”


CFOs were asked, “How confident are you that millennial workers at your firm are prepared to assume leadership positions?” Their responses:


Very confident


Somewhat confident


Not very confident


Don’t know












CFOs were also asked, “Which of the following, if any, is your firm using to train millennial workers for leadership positions?” Their responses*:


Conferences, seminars and webinars




Subscriptions to trade publications


Onsite training


Online courses


Memberships to professional and trade associations









*Multiple responses allowed.


For more insight on preparing millennials for advanced positions, download Creating a Leadership Pipeline: Developing the Millennial Generation Into Finance Leaders from Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), Robert Half and author Michael S. Seaver.

Robert Half offers five tips for tailoring professional development to millennials:

  1. Learn what makes them tick. Millennials commonly seek inclusive and transparent workplaces, and many expect to move into leadership roles rapidly. Capitalize on their problem-solving skills, curiosity and confidence.
  2. Support their professional growth. Listen to what workers envision for their careers, and give them assignments to help them move in that direction.
  3. Let them manage. Starting with smaller initiatives, enable them to flex their ingenuity as project leaders. Give guidance, but allow them to set strategy.
  4. Pair them with a mentor. In addition to sharing insights and unwritten rules of the workplace, mentors can help millennial employees hone their soft skills such as communication and collaboration.
  5. Be accessible. Research shows millennials often prefer face-to-face interaction with their managers. Help them become next-generation leaders by communicating in person, when possible.

While millennials, like any group, are not uniform in their goals and preferences, research for Get Ready for Generation Z from Robert Half and Enactus provides insights into their work priorities and styles.


About the Survey

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.


About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow Robert Half on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]