Each generation brings a unique perspective to the workplace and the Millennial Generation (broadly defined as those born between 1979 and 1999) is no different. Their "wish list" for employers isn't too outrageous but some expectations do vary from their predecessors, according to a report from Robert Half International and Yahoo! HotJobs, What Millennial Workers Want: How to Attract and Retain Gen Y Employees.
The report was based on a national survey of more than 1,000 adults 21 to 28 years old and beginning their careers. It gives insights that can help managers improve their hiring and retention efforts.
Focus on the basics
If you want to impress Millennial job candidates, you don't need to get too creative. When asked which work-related factors are most important to them when evaluating an employment opportunity, respondents ranked salary, benefits (health insurance, 401(k), etc.) and opportunities for career growth/advancement at the top of the list.
The benefit that affects their job satisfaction most is healthcare coverage. Generation Y workers also place value on vacation time (paid time off), dental care coverage and 401(k) programs.
Show that you care
Millennials have different expectations than previous generations and expect to advance quickly in their organizations. When asked how long people entering the workforce should have to spend "paying their dues" in entry-level positions, more than half of respondents said just one to two years. That's not to say these workers expect it to be easy; most are highly committed to keeping their skills sharp. Nearly three-quarters said they expect to go back to school to obtain another degree during the course of their careers.
Gen Yers also seek frequent feedback and reinforcement from their managers. Six in 10 of Millennials surveyed said they prefer to hear from their supervisors at least once a day and only one in 10 would be fine with weekly discussions.
Make life easier
Providing job-sharing, telecommuting, compressed workweeks or alternative scheduling can help you stand out as an employer and retain Generation Y workers. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Millennials polled said they're worried about balancing professional and personal obligations, so they're looking for programs at work that can alleviate these concerns.
Keep it casual
The more informal your firm is, the better. Gen Y workers who were surveyed prefer business casual or sneakers and jeans over business attire by a wide margin. And status is a low priority for these professionals as well. When asked what would prompt them to leave their current positions, a "more prestigious job title" came in last.
Recruiting and retaining Millennial workers may not require significant changes from your current strategies with other generations. However, by making even slight adjustments to better suit Gen Y preferences, you can make a positive impression and differentiate your firm from competitors.
Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support.