Industry Insights / 3rd Dec 2018

What do millennials care about in the workplace?

It’s a topic that’s been discussed at many levels.  We work with and place many ‘millennials’ and thought we would find out exactly what they care about within the workplace and how you, as an employer can meet their needs.

Currently, millennials account for over a third of the workforce and according to Optical Network, this number will increase to ‘75% by 2025’ meaning you need to consider this generations’ expectations when you’re next employing. So, how can you prepare yourself…… and no, we are not telling you to buy millions of jelly beans and have bean bags in the meeting room!

The millennial carrot! (not stick)

Research conducted by Powwownow found that ‘out of 1,000 people surveyed, 75% of workers would favour a job that gives their employees the option to work flexibly – up from 70% in 2017’. When it comes to flexibility in the workplace, millennials have different interests to other generations, both in and outside of work.

Millennials see their paid time off as time that should be spent on rewarding activities such as holidays and social engagements, meaning doctors’ appointments and essential deliveries are not an attractive use of their free time. They value the ability to work from home to accommodate their lifestyle, the flexibility to finish a little earlier for personal commitments or the option to take a longer lunch break so they can visit the surgery.

As an employer it’s important to make changes to accommodate all generation groups, but with millennials accounting for the majority of the current workforce, their expectations need to be considered. If your company is set up is erring towards the outdated or traditional, one way to adjust your current/ future employees need for flexibility is to implement a ‘no work from home’ probation policy. Allowing you time to get to know your new recruit and for them to manage their expectations when it comes to flexible working.

Working to an alternative schedule to accommodate lifestyle, coupled with the ability to work from home some of the time makes for a more productive and positive millennial, which is a win-win for your company.

‘’With great power comes great responsibility’’

Another important factor is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). According to a survey carried out by Cone Communications, ‘75% of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company, compared with a 55% average across all ages; while almost two-thirds would not accept a job from a company without strong CSR practices’.

This generation values responsible companies as they’re eager to show how their work is positively impacting the wider environment.


There are several ways you can make your company more responsible, and therefore more appealing to this socially aware generation. We have noticed many of our clients raising money for charities by hosting mini bake offs, dress down days and monthly BBQs. Others have volunteering days for conservation projects or sponsor non-profits. This not only interests millennials, but it gives them the gratification to know they are working for a responsible company.  Some organisations even use CSR for team away days or team bonding exercises.

It’s no surprise that millennials love technology, sharing every aspect of their lives out there for the world to see. By increasing your efforts to be more responsible, your employees are likely to snap, video and stream your CSR efforts.  According to Cone ‘76% of millennials want to share photos, videos and information about their employer’s CSR efforts over their personal social media channels’. This not only increases your positive reputation, it will make you more attractive to future employees.

Loyalty is returned

Although company loyalty is most important to gen x, millennials value this trait more than they let on. The term ‘loyalty’ has a different meaning to millennials than it did 15 years ago, gone are the days of ‘employee of the month’ and longevity of employment. For millennials, loyalty begins with employer loyalty, they want to continuously better themselves and they expect employers to be loyal in return.

“Respect is earned, honesty is appreciated, love is gained, and loyalty is returned” – Quote Unknown

Millennials want to be closer aligned with their managers by spending more time with them. This individual focus and reassurance will aid them with their personal career and upskill their knowledge. With constant input from managers, millennials will take on feedback to ensure they’re as productive and efficient as possible.

But what does it mean?

Despite society labelling millennials as entitled, lazy underperformers, we know first-hand that they are today’s top talent. They want to develop their skills whilst learning new ones, always giving 110% in the right environment. They value businesses that encourage teamwork, professionalism, employee wellbeing, a close managerial relationship, and positive social impact.

At Solutions4Recruitment we know that when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent, millennials are not to be overlooked and all organisations should be looking to attract this great generation. From interviewing thousands of candidates over the past 20 years, we’ve had a lot of experience working with millennials both client and agency side and despite sharing a generation, no two have been the same. We ensure we perfectly match your company culture and values with the perfect candidate, taking your expectations as well as the candidates into account.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our consultants if you would like to know more about attracting and retaining millennials in your workplace.