The job market in 2015 is hot. According to a recent survey by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor, professional and business services, hospitality, healthcare, construction, and more are experiencing an upward trend in employment and job openings with more than one-third of employers adding full-time, permanent employees in 2015.1 The CareerBuilder by Harris Poll survey confirms this is the best outlook for the job market since 2006.2
With this boom, a new generation of skilled employees, who came up through economic turmoil and a shifting benefits market, have different ideas about what they want from work, and many of them get to enjoy their choice of employer. This generation is beginning to dominate the workplace.3 As an employer, if you want your business to succeed, you have to build a workforce of dedicated and committed talent that wants to stay with you by choice.
Many of these younger workers aren’t interested in getting a job where they can put their heads down for the next 30 years. Not only do they not expect it, they also rarely want it. They are far more interested in exploration and refining their talents, which means they’re much more prone to job-hopping. That’s why, if your business is going to attract and retain top talent, you have to offer a combination of benefits and perks that appeals to this new generation. Creating the right environment and the right benefits package can be the difference between getting top tier talent and settling for the second best. At ABD, we understand the need to attract these employees, and we can work with you to design and deliver the benefits that help your company succeed and grow.
More Than Money: The Perks That Attract Top Millennial Talent
Salary is still hugely important, but it is no longer the only factor. For many people, especially those just starting their careers, lifestyle benefits also matter and can potentially balance out salary concerns.
Many of these benefits and perks can provide both tangible and intangible rewards at a reasonable cost. These include perquisites like offering gym memberships or an on-site gym, or providing lunch and healthy snacks during office hours. Many employers are even going so far as to provide organized perks and programs like yoga classes, hair salons, massages, dry cleaning, car detailing, and much more. For employees, these benefits not only bring convenience but also bring non-work-related interests into the work environment, creating an integrated work-life culture that increases productivity, and breeds satisfaction and loyalty.
Many of the most popular lifestyle perks revolve around this generation’s ideas of wellness, both physical and mental. Wellness programs are becoming more than just about encouraging and rewarding healthy living. Sponsor a biking club, softball team, book club, or knitting society, or participate in charitable and philanthropic endeavors. These initiatives encourage employees to see their workplace as solicitous of their ideas and lifestyle, and also help to create an atmosphere where an employee can see their job as supplemental to their social life, rather than as a hindrance to it.
Finally, in terms of non-material perks, possibly the most important are skills training and mentorship. Many “Gen Y” employees are focused on real career development, which doesn’t always mean a fast track to the top, but instead means increasing their skills and training.4 It makes their jobs more exciting. Many employers are leery of providing training to a generation that is so often interested in job-hopping, but doing so can engender a level of loyalty that might be missing. Mentorship builds a real connection and shows employees that they are more than a number – they are a valued part of a team in a place where they can make their mark.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Benefits Package
The healthcare market has seen as much flux in the last decade as the job market. The introduction of the ACA has allowed millennials to remain on their parents’ healthcare plans until the age of 28 in some cases. While this has been a huge benefit for many, it has also caused many in this generation to take their healthcare far less seriously until they are in the job market. A number of them are not familiar with the options and so they may not know what option is best for them. For example, it isn’t unusual for people to take the lower-cost plan, thinking they are saving money, simply because they don’t understand the cost of deductibles.
However, these employees are savvy, and they tend to learn quickly. This is a generation that understands innately how to do research and, when educated on what is the right plan for them, usually makes the right choice. Education is hugely important for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important of which is that it builds trust. Remember, this is a generation that saw the economy eat itself, and many have reacted accordingly, with some institutional distrust and even apathy. Demonstrating that you have the right plan that can help them take care of themselves, and showing that you understand their concerns and are willing to work with them to meet those concerns, can separate you from your competition when it comes time for these employees to choose a job.
What to Consider When Attracting Millennial Employees
There are a few overarching ideas that can attract a new generation of talented workers, and these ideas show up in both the perks and the benefits:
- Lifestyle: This is a healthier generation that wants to be outside, exercise, bike to work, take yoga classes, and go to a gym. It’s important to them, which means it should be important to you.
- Ambitions: This is an ambitious generation. They want the training and mentorship to learn and grow in their careers. Providing a personal mentor who guides them along can build loyalty, in addition to making them much better employees for you. Offering the right benefit package is an important part of that, because getting involved in your employees’ futures can help to ensure they are part of yours.
- The need for flexibility: This is huge – from allowing employees to bring their own devices to work and permitting casual attire, to giving employees the option to work from home, younger employees want to be able to set some of their own rules. This isn’t anarchy – it is collaboration.
ABD Can Help
For companies that are looking to attract and retain a new generation of talented employees, making sure that your business’s culture, perks, and benefits match their lifestyles and expectations is crucial. The insurance and benefits experts at ABD can help you create a package that is designed to work for this rising generation. Get in on the ground floor of the new wave and contact us today.
- Bureau Of Labor Statistics News Release, June 5, 2015. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf ↩
- CareerBuilder 2015 Job Survey http://careerbuildercommunications.com/pdf/careerbuilder-q1-2015-forecast.pdf ↩
- Asghar, Rob, “What Millenials Want In The Workplace (And Why You Should Start Giving It To Them).” Forbes. January 13, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2014/01/13/what-millennials-want-in-the-workplace-and-why-you-should-start-giving-it-to-them/ ↩
- Matuson, Roberta. “Purposeful Hiring: How to Attract Millenials To Your Workplace.” Forbes, January 15, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertamatuson/2015/01/15/purposeful-hiring-how-to-attract-millennials-to-your-workplace/ncreasing their skills and training ↩