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Millennials in the workforce

In 2017, Millennials were the highest demographic in the workforce at a staggering 35%. It is estimated that Millennials will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025. In recent posts, we have discussed how to recruit and retain your employees. But what about these Millennials? The Millennial generation, also know as Generation Y, are between the ages of 22 to 37 in 2018. In researching this article, we talked to Millennials in various industries to discover what they look for when choosing an employer. Heads up, it isn't just about money.


Gone are the days when a base wage and a standard medical benefit package kept employees around until retirement. When asked what was most important when looking for a job, some Millennials gave the answers you'd expect; pay, benefits, time off, etc. But we're no longer just talking about health care. A 401k plan with an employer match is at the top of many Millennials wish lists but saving for retirement can be a challenge when you are still paying for college. The class of 2016 graduated with an average student loan debt of just over $37,000, and many of those graduates were Millennials.

Life is busy. A paid time off policy allows employees to have freedom in how they spend their time out of the office. Being flexible with time off, including allowing unpaid time off, is also important to Millennials.

Perks around the office

An assortment of office amenities including Bluetooth headsets and ergonomic work spaces were at the top of the list. Popular options also included free or subsidized food choices, company cell phones, updated work spaces and company branded swag. These options do not need to break the bank. Providing healthy snacks in the employee area once a month can go a long way with your employees. Full size standing desks can be a pricey investment but installing an adjustable top on a desk can be a more cost-effective strategy. Personal services were also popular including dry cleaning pick up/drop offs, gym memberships as well as lunch and learns on topics relevant to the employee population.

Other perks

Millennials are looking for a positive environment. They want to be happy at work, feel motivated in meetings and above all, they want to know when they have done a good job. This does not need to be a grand gesture; a simple "good job," a shout out at a team meeting or a high five passing in the hallway can go a long way. This can help create an air of positivity and comradery in the office as well.

Being one of the more social generations, the ability to work together on projects is important. By facilitating group brainstorm sessions and encouraging employees to work as a team, you are allowing them to think outside of the box and become more innovative in what they do. This creates a sense of empowerment and deepens the overall level of engagement and job satisfaction. And who doesn't like celebrating the end of a big project with a team happy hour or other special celebration?

At the end of the day...

Despite many responses that included tangible benefits or more time off, the most consistent response was finding an employer who is dedicated to professional development. Contrary to popular belief, Millennials want to learn new things and be pushed out of their comfort zone. Being challenged and mentored by someone who is genuinely interested in their success doesn't have to be worked into the annual budget and can help retain Millennial employees long term.

To sum it all up

Despite this entire article referring to Millennials, these ideas are helpful in recruiting and retaining employees in every generation. Generation X wants to hear when they have done something right. Baby Boomers can benefit from standing desks. It's time to get rid of negative stereotypes that Millennials are sometimes labeled with.

Looking for ways to create a more Millennial friendly work environment? Talk to the experts— the Millennial population of the Done Right team is 45%. We're here to help!