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What do millennials want?

by Heat Recruitment

It may not be an age-old question, but it’s certainly a common one – what do millennials want from a job? And it’s not surprising that it’s being considered, given that by 2025 millennial workers will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce. One of the key reasons business leaders are so keen to get their heads around what it is millennials actually want from their careers, is because it really does differ from traditional workers. If you are looking to attract, hire and retain these key employees, you’re going to want to read on…

Complete transparency

What millennials desire arguably most, is strong transparency in all aspects of work. This begins from the job advertising stage. Millennials want to know where they stand, what they will be doing day-to-day and most importantly, what their future will look like in your company.

Millennials tend to get an, unjustifiably, bad reputation in terms of longevity and loyalty at companies, when in fact, they just need clear direction. Consider providing millennial talent with personal development plans from day one and schedule regular one-to-ones to ensure they are enjoying their role. It’s not that they need their hand held, they just appreciate support, investment and clear aims.

Trust and purpose

Most of the bad press millennials get is based around studies that show the average number of jobs they’re likely to hold during their lifetime is over 12. Sure, it may seem like an increase compared to the older generation who traditionally worked their way up and stayed put in a company, but actually millennials seem to have a better idea of how they want to be treated. Given the fact that millennials hold a great amount of candidate power, this can be utilised to change jobs if they aren’t happy with their current situation.

So, how can you ensure your candidates are fulfilled? It’s simple, millennials thrive off of trust and purpose. Trusting an employee to take on more responsibility, to meet clients or to represent the company all aid towards a strong sense of purpose. If your employee feels useful and valued, they are going to have a much higher level of job satisfaction. Also ensure their salary is reflective of the efforts they are putting in. Competitive hiring environments boost average wages, and you want to remain ahead in the contest.

A diverse team

The importance of diversity is gaining traction globally, but it is also appealing to the millennial generation who are more openly embracing and celebrating minority communities. Millennials see the value in diversity and for many it is a core principle personally. It has been identified that company values are important to staff and you really have to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk.

The buck doesn’t stop with minority communities either, in fact, the conversation around increasing women’s accessibility to the workplace and senior positions is gaining traction. More women than ever are choosing to have families and return to work, so they’ll want to work for a company that provides for and values that choice – rather than putting up a glass ceiling and paying lip service to the problem.

Perks rather than increased pay

 Whilst salary and money are important, this isn’t the driving force behind a millennial’s choice of workplace. More than ever, work-life balance is a big desire. Millennials don’t want to be using their days off to head to the dentist, clean their houses or do the food shop – instead they want to make the most of their free time to follow their passions or hobbies.

Flexible working has gained great traction. Not only do millennials want it, but businesses are seeing the value in it through increased productivity and reduced absenteeism in many cases. It’s simple: Millennials want and believe that they can get their work done without sacrificing their quality of life.

Additional perks that are outside of the norm are also attracting interest. Mental wellbeing is a topic that is being talked about in an increasingly frank and open manner, thanks to the openness of key celebrities and figures on social media who suffer with their mental health. Wellness perks therefore are desirable: free gym passes, free fruit, and exercise classes for example.

Millennials are also finding great value in travel, in a less disruptive way than traditional gap years posed to careers. Instead they are opting for micro-gapping, in order to fit their pursuits around their careers.

Travel perks don’t necessarily mean you have to offer unlimited holiday. In fact, time out of the office – whether on client visits, networking events or workshops – are also popular with employees who enjoy the freedom, trust and learning experiences that are on offer to them.


Whatever perks you choose to implement or practices you may take from this, it’s important to know that a millennial is not a one-size-fits-all persona. In fact, the companies that are truly getting it right are the ones taking a more personalised approach, getting to know their staff and tailoring the working experience around the employee.

Looking to attract millennial staff, skilled enough for your business? Get in touch with our team of expert recruiters.

by Dan Hazzard