What do millennials want from an employer?

Love it or hate it, millennials are the future, and they’re the pool from which companies need to select the bright young minds with the latest, in-demand skills.

By 2020, 86 million millennials will be in the workplace, representing a 40 percent chunk of the working population, according to Intelligence Group.

It pays to understand what the talented people of tomorrow want or ignore their needs at your bottom line’s peril.

A Company with a Clear Mission

According to Deloitte, seventy-six percent of millennials view business as a source of powerful and positive social impact. Millennial job candidates want to join an organization that sees a social role for itself.

Companies with excellent employer brands have specific mission or vision statements. These statements are referential. They encompass the company’s reason for being. Look at some of the companies that have no problem securing applications from the most qualified twenty- and thirty-somethings. They all have mission statements.

For example, Google isn’t just a search engine. It’s a company that wants to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Understand your brand values, and use them to draw great candidates.

A Collaborative and Innovative Culture

Famous advertising exec Bill Bernbach said, “A principle isn’t a principle until it costs you money.”

Millennials put their money where their mouth is when it comes to company culture. According to a study by Fidelity, millennials are willing to take a $7,600 pay cut in exchange for moving to a company with a better company culture.

It comes as no surprise since we already know that millennials look closely at a company’s values. Well, company culture is often informed by those values. Millennials seek a company culture that values collaboration, innovation, and an investment in professional development and the employee experience.

Almost eight grand is a pretty significant chunk of change, so it should demonstrate how serious millennials take this. Promote your company culture by sharing your brand values online, sharing behind-the-scenes footage of your office on social media, and by advertising your opportunities for continued learning and advancement.

A Management Team That Is Committed To Employee Success

Millennials are not looking for the sitcom experience where a new employee is left to fend for themselves with ambiguous instructions on their first day of work. Rather, this generation judges a company based on how much effort it puts into setting up its new hires for success.

According to one survey, employees expect employers to offer the following:

  •       40 percent expect sufficient training
  •       31 percent want goals and expectations to be clearly established
  •       30 percent of millennials want to be given all the information they need to get the job done
  •       26 percent expect reasonable goals and deadlines
  •       23 percent want leaders who are demonstrably invested in their success

Simply throwing an employee to the wolves doesn’t suggest to a millennial that you’re a serious, impressive company. Rather, it signals that this is not a place they’d like to stay long-term.

A Flexible Work Schedule & Remote Work Opportunities

Once upon a time, it was necessary to physically be at the office every day. Now, so much work can be conducted from home with an internet connection. Moreover, employees often do additional work outside of the office because it’s very difficult to remain turned off with so many connected devices. In the eyes of millennials, it’s silly that they can’t work a day from home when they’re informally expected to answer emails on weekends.

As a result, today’s talent looks for jobs that offer flexible work schedules. One way companies do this is by offering days out of the week where employees can work from home.

So long as you hire carefully and thoughtfully, this should not be a problem. Remote teams have been found to increase productivity, boost employee efficiency, reduce employee turnover, and boost morale.

Healthy Work-Life Integration

Move over, work-life balance – there’s a new wellness buzz word in town.

Technically speaking, the two terms mean the same thing: Finding harmony so that your work is not negatively impacting your life, relationships, and happiness. Companies, especially startups, know that they’ll be asking for a lot of their employees. There’s the expectation that employees will go the extra mile (and most are happy to do so!) but millennials expect a certain level of support in this regard.

Initiatives some companies take to allow employees to do this are:

  •       Unlimited vacation policies
  •       Covered dry cleaning
  •       Free lunches (or dinners for late work nights)
  •       Demonstration from the management level that it’s okay to leave early for family commitments

As you sit down with your human resources team and recruiters and think about how to sell your company to desirable candidates, consider ways to work these millennial wishes into your recruiting strategy.