The tech boom seems to have brought about a major shift in what employees and candidates expect from their (prospective) employers. According to a February 2019 CNBC article, this is especially true amongst millennials. On one hand, employers—particularly those within the tech realm—are offering an increasing number of “work perks,” while, on the other hand, college graduates and other young job candidates are, on average, facing more debt and other financial obstacles (see this Forbes article). Combined with ballooning commute times, gas prices, and housing costs, it arguably makes sense that jobseekers want more.
As an employer, you may be asking yourself, “what more can I offer?” Pet insurance? Company retreats? An on-site gym? The options for spending your money to attract candidates—and keep them—are seemingly endless. How to distinguish the perks that will pay off from those that would amount to nothing but a waste of company funds? And, more importantly, how to keep the higher-performing employees on your team?
A recent article in Forbes looked into these questions. Authors Emily He and John Jersin (from LinkedIn) found some surprising results. According to the authors, when they talked to millennials what they discussed had little to do with tangible, fiscal perks. Instead, millennials and Gen-Z jobseekers want a job that is not only financially rewarding, but one that contributes to a greater, deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose. This can range from working somewhere that values sustainability, to landing a job with the potential for continuous growth and learning. Key words like “paperless” and “upward mobility” tend to capture the attention of millennial and Gen-Z candidates. In practice, this could look like offering to provide in-house training programs or to subsidize attendance to other educational courses.
Most importantly, use these terms only if you mean it: signing a candidate is one thing, but if they don’t reap the benefits of the very element(s) that drew them to your position in the first place, they will likely take their skill set elsewhere.