What Do Millennial Workers Value Most at Work? (It’s Not Money)

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Supply chain and procurement organizations: Want to attract millennials to your team? Worry not so much about salaries and benefits. It’s flexible hours, a solid work-life balance and a job that allows them to advance their career that young professionals most desire.

That’s according to a recent survey of 13,000 people aged 15 to 32, conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars. Those surveyed are high school students, college students or young professionals who provide insight on what they look for most in a job — insight businesses can use as they look to fill talent gaps and the increasing number of open positions left by retiring baby boomers. It’s especially important for the supply chain and procurement industry currently experiencing growing demand for millennials.

The top characteristics this age group looks for in potential employers is that they treat employees fairly (identified by 73.1% of survey participants), that the business offers flexible work hours or a flexible work schedule (70%) and provides a good work-life balance (69.2%).

These factors proved more important than base salary, benefits and bonuses. Sixty-percent identified benefits as a top factor when choosing an employer, while roughly 46% said they considered a base salary as the most important factor of a potential job. Just 19% identified performance bonuses as most important.

Other factors that ranked high were the potential to gain skills and advance one’s career — identified by 90% of survey participants. They also want employers to welcome people of all background (identified by 55.3% of participants). Having friendly colleagues was also important for 57.3% of participants, again outranking salary and benefits.

More Than a Trend?

This year’s survey findings are consistent with previous career surveys conducted by the NSHSS, showing perhaps the demands of the younger generation of workers are here to stay.

For the last three years, millennials have identified work-life balance, flexible hours, fair employee treatment and personal advancement as top factors when choosing an employer. Gaining skills on the job to advance one’s career has remained a top factor of nearly 90% of survey participants for at least the last three years. NSHSS’ 2013 survey showed 90.2% of participants saw this as a top factor. Sixty-nine percent of participants also identified work-life balance in 2013, consistent with surveys in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Base salary has become slightly more important over the years. In 2013, 38.8% of participants identified it as a factor when considering a new job, compared with the 45.9% in the 2016 survey.

It’s estimated the supply chain industry will need 1.4 million workers by 2018. As organizations look to close the talent gap, understanding the growing demands of young professionals will be key. What changes has your business made already to respond to attract a millennial workforce? We would love to hear about it!

First Voice

  1. Kathy:

    As a millennial, I would like to say that this artical was spot on.

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