Through The Generations

What Do Millennials Want In The Workplace?

How their priorities and expectations have changed the equation

Excerpts from a new study from Zippia, an employment and job-search site, reveal the deep influence of this maturing demographic group. Access the full report here.

Millennials are no longer the youngest workers in the office. In fact, the oldest Millennials are nearly 40. Many are now balancing work with the demands of a growing family. In 2020, Millennials make up an estimated 50% of the workforce. As Millennials age and advance in their careers, how have their priorities and expectations from their employer changed?

Just as important, how do companies attract- and retain- the largest segment in the workforce?

We conducted a survey of 1,000 American job seekers to uncover what Millennials are looking for- and what they aren’t. The results? From rejecting lengthy commutes, seeking remote work, and prioritizing PTO more than other generations, Millennials are a generation striving for work-life-balance and flexibility at work. However, the realities of the job market often leave them coming up short. Specific detail about the methodology and survey questions can be found in the methodology section at the end of this report.

Benefits & Deal Breakers

Benefits are no substitute for competitive pay when recruiting workers. In fact, according to our survey, 30% of Millennials left their last job due to pay— not because their office was missing a foosball table. However, a strong benefit package (consisting of benefits job seekers value) can make attracting talented workers easier.

There is a perception that Millennials are attracted to flashy benefits, such as free food, fun offices, and other atypical benefits. However, when surveyed, Millennial’s most desired benefits are healthcare, remote work, and 401k/retirement benefits. Overwhelmingly, these are the most desired benefits of workers of all ages.

Ultimately, to drawn in the majority of Millennial candidates, HR’s best tool is a strong portfolio of benefits that appeal to all workers.

Are Millennials Flaky Job Hoppers

There is no denying that Millennials do believe it is okay to stay at a job for less time than previous generations. 20% believe staying at a job for less than a year is all that is needed, compared to only 14% of Gen X finding it acceptable.

However, it is worth noting, the vast majority of Millennials do still believe in staying with companies for more than a year. 22% even believe workers should stay at a company for the longest amount of time option available, 4+ years. While only 20% of Millennials say staying at a job for a year or less is fine, 27% plan to be at their current or next job for less than a year.

Millennial’s most desired benefits are healthcare, remote work, and 401k/retirement benefits...

However, when asked, Millennials stated their biggest reason for leaving their last job was lack of advancement opportunity and poor pay. Companies looking to retain workers can mitigate workers leaving soon than desired by developing mentorship programs to improve employee retention and focus on internal candidates when filling new positions.

A New Take On Job Hunting

An estimated 1-in-2 workers is a Millennial. What interview behavior can turn off half of your potential applicants?

Since Millennials value pleasant work environments, it is no surprise that 62% of Millennial workers are turned off by an unfriendly interviewer. The next biggest turn-off is discrepancies in the job listing and the interview itself, followed by workers losing enthusiasm for a role due to long, complicated interview processes. The majority of Millennial workers say these turn-offs could lead to them rejecting a job offer.

Of course, companies can only interview who applies. Where are Millennial workers looking for jobs? The vast majority of every generation now primarily use job search sites to find their next job, including 85% of Millennials. However, Millennials are more likely than prior generations to make use of social media and personal connections in the job hunt.

Companies can utilize this trend by establishing a strong, positive social media presence that will appeal to Gen Z. Similarly, they can encourage current employees to act as ambassadors using referral bonuses. Of course, creating a great place to work will organically spread much of the word! Happy employees will naturally share the love.

Bonus, the up-coming Gen Z is even more likely than Millennials to use social media and friends and family on the job hunt.

Key Finding & Fast Facts

  • Millennials three most desired benefits are health insurance (41%), remote work (31%), and 401k/retirement benefits(30%).
  • Millennials desire health insurance more than any other generation
  • 61% of Millennials prefer to work remotely, rather than in traditional office spaces
  • Only 13% of Millennials say they prefer to work in cubicles
  • Millennial workers are most likely to turn down a job due to a long commute, unpleasant office, or inflexible work environment.
  • 28% of Millennials say poor work-life-balance is a deal breaker when it comes to accepting a job.