Millennials have become the subject of conversation in many articles within the past few years. The topics range from their obsession with social media, to their disinterest in establishing roots, and settling down. As recruiters, we interact with young professionals on a daily basis, and get to know them in ways that are separate from their social media handles. We talk to them about their future goals, and more often than not, their future is less clear than their next Instagram caption. Our millennial candidates have been given the world while simultaneously being told they do not deserve what they have come to expect. This creates a disconnect in their attempts to relate to other generations in the workforce.
Millennial job seekers have developed expectations that are vastly different from past generations. How could they not? Constant internet exposure, social media feeds that show friends on perpetual vacation, and their lack of financial independence (most are on their parent’s insurance until age 26) have all contributed to a shift in priorities when it comes to a new career.
According to studies, a major development that differentiate Millennials from other candidates, is the fact that their main concern is not always about money – the number one reason to leave a job used to be the very predictable “I want to make more money.” Now the reasons vary from “I want the option to work remote,” “I want a good company culture,” “I want better work life balance,” or “I need a job where I can bring my dog to work.” Compensation is and always will be a very important deciding factor while choosing a career. However, we find that roles within similar compensation ranges will almost always come down to which offer has more “perks,” “a better reputation,” and “a good company culture.” All things candidates can easily find through reviews on Glassdoor or similar sites.
Tech companies created the wave of change, and now the traditionally corporate industries such as finance and real estate are shifting their cultures to cater to new lifestyle demands. We often ask clients to give us any and all “perks” to working at their firm to help us sell the job and to further entice a candidate to take an interview. In a candidate driven market, the promise of a steady income is no longer enough to keep individuals satisfied and content. If a company cannot adapt to the demands of the millennial generation, they will lose quality talent and experience turnover.
It seems even the employers have come to terms with the fact that most recent college grads are a short-term investment as their demand for growth and opportunity outweighs their desire to stay put just to have stability on their resume. In speaking with more tenured recruiters, their opinion seems to be that the millennial generation has created a wave of change in the industry, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Job-hopping is no longer seen as a red flag in today’s job market, which means candidates are being poached daily; either directly, or by recruiters. This creates a constant reminder that there may be something better on the other side.
So if a company asks why they are experiencing turnover, maybe suggest becoming more innovative with what they offer employees. Tuition reimbursements, free equinox memberships, avocado toast Tuesdays, nap pods, meditation rooms, kegs on tap, stocked kitchens and unlimited vacation time are just some of what companies are incorporating into their cultures to keep their employees happy and satisfied which ultimately leads to better production. Anything to boost morale and overall happiness.
In closing, millennials seem to be doing things other generations have never done and changing the trajectory of the work force. Some may argue they are lazy or not hard working and others will say they are smarter than any generation that has come up thus far. Opinions will always vary and there will be those that are the exception to the rule but what an interesting topic this is. We will leave you with that.
Alexis Ackerman, Whitney Johnson and Chelsea Kim – Corporate Services