Back to Blog

What Millennials Want | How to Retain Your Finest Young Talent

happyBy 2020 millennials will make up 50% of the workforce, and 75% of the workforce by 2030 (1). In line with these forecasts, in 2011 the millennial generation accounted for 29% of the population (2). Ever increasing, this population is the largest generational cohort since the Baby Boomers (3). Best known for their flexibility, technological competency, innovative nature and fresh perspective, millennials offer employers across all industries the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

While employers may be successful in attracting this generation’s Top Talent, there is evidence that they are struggling to retain it. Today, 91% of millennials expect to stay at their job for less than three years (4) and 70% will leave their first position within two years (5). With a millennial tendency to job hop, employers are at risk of facing high turnover costs [see “The Real Cost of Hire” ] in the future if they do not take the initiative to truly understand this generation’s needs. The following are three of the most popular demands of the millennial generation.

  1. Career Progression  |  The #1 ranked factor that makes an employer attractive to millennials is opportunity for career progression, trumping higher salaries and other financial incentives (6). For employers, offering mentorship opportunities, job rotations and potential to move up could help attract the best talent and keep them more engaged, involved and loyal.
  2. Aligned Values and Meaningful Work  |  Shared values are very important to millennial job seekers. 58% would willingly take a 15% pay cut to work for an organization whose values aligned with their own (7). This gives insight into why the top employers millennials wish to work for include health care companies and government agencies (8). Millennials are also attracted to entrepreneurial roles such as positions in start-up companies, where they are able to more directly witness their impact on the organization and its surrounding community (9). Employers must take initiative to regularly communicate the organizational mission, vision and values to millennial workers,  highlighting the big picture of each person’s role and the personal contributions they have on the communities and stakeholders they serve.
  3. Work-Life Balance  |  Millennials are also significantly attracted to positions that provide work-life balance. Only 29% expect to work regular office hours (10). Similarly, three out of four millennials agree that work-life balance drives their career choices (11). Offering flex time, telecommuting opportunities, and more employee ownership of their own time are a few simple, low cost incentives that could yield great returns in organizational productivity.

With millennials forecasted to dominate such a large percentage of the workforce, employers must continuously assess what matters most to the generations that make up their workforce and react accordingly to maximize performance.

(1) Forbes
(2) Catalyst
(3) Catalyst
(4)  Multiple Generations at Work Survey
(5) Accenture
(6) PWC Millennial Study
(7) Net Impact survey
(8) National Society of High School Scholars
(9) Harvard Business Review
(10) PWC Millennial Study
(11) US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Millennial Generation Research

Please choose to subscribe as:

After a great run of 33 years, we're picking up the pace.

The Personnel Department is now TPD.

Video

Continue to the new TPD website