As a millennial, you’ve been studied, stereotyped and altogether scrutinized when it comes to your workplace mindset. The conclusions are wide ranging, from money is all that matters, to passion and purpose trump salary. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, we think there is a broader issue at play when it comes to millennials and their job satisfaction. A recent survey by the Federal Reserve shows that young adults prefer jobs that are “permanent and steady” and “prefer steady employment to higher pay,” while it has been well documented that millennials are most likely to job hop. So why are millennials switching jobs so frequently, despite their desire for a steady job? We think it points to a disconnect between what millennials are looking for in a job and what they are actually getting when they step through the door. To help millennials find the job nirvana they are seeking, Randstad Professionals suggests three criteria to use when evaluating a potential job and employer.
1. Look for a world-class onboarding process.
For most millennials, the first few weeks of a new job can determine whether you start looking at greener pastures or are highly engaged and excited about your new position. In fact, according to a recent survey by Qualtrics, being sufficiently trained rather than being given autonomy is the primary way millennials evaluate whether they made the right choice to join a company. Specifically, the survey found the top three things millennials want when they start a new job is to be sufficiently trained (40 percent), expectations and goals are clearly set (31 percent), and they are provided all the information needed to do their jobs (30 percent).
When evaluating a potential employer, turn to sites such as Kununu, Glassdoor, CareerBliss and Indeed, where you can gain insight into the onboarding process at the company. Look for these three qualities:
- Do they start the onboarding process before the first day? Millennials grew up having instant access to lots of information, so receiving information about what to expect on the first day, where to park, or even a welcome video message ahead of time is critical.
- Will you be stuck in a room all day reading booklets about the company or paired with a peer to be shown the ropes? The quickest way to bore a millennial is to stick them in a classroom for hours to be oriented. You may, in fact, use that time to start looking for their next job. Millennials enjoy working in teams and a collaborative environment. Look for an onboarding process that mirrors your expectations.
- Does the company’s orientation convey its mission, culture and values? Many millennials want to give back and have a greater sense of purpose in their role. Look for companies that clearly communicate the ways in which they contribute to the community and world at large, key philanthropic initiatives and opportunities for you to get involved.
2. Only consider employers that are hyper-focused on employee growth.
Research has consistently identified growth opportunities and taking on leadership roles as top factors in millennial job satisfaction. In fact, a recent LinkedIn study found “a lack of career advancement” is the principal reason why millennials leave a job. Pay attention to how much emphasis is placed on opportunities to advance, and training/development programs, throughout your hiring process. This will give you a great indication as to whether the company is invested in furthering your career.
For example, does the organization offer a formal mentorship program? According to the Qualtrics survey, 67 percent of millennials said they would be willing to take a pay cut to work at a company that offers good mentorship opportunities.
3. Seek out companies that are supportive of employees’ work/life balance.
Flexibility and work/life balance are highly important to most millennials. Nearly half (45 percent) of millennials would choose a job paid less if it offered more flexibility. Many companies are taking hints from millennials and creating job schedules and arrangements that accommodate a flexible lifestyle. During your job search, be sure to research if the potential employer outwardly promotes its work/life balance programs. If not, and flexibility is vital to you, you can inquire about the work/life balance options during the hiring process.
Bottom line, if the job requires a rigid schedule and a daily commute to the office, you may want to pass on it.
While millennials are characterized in a vast number of ways, the truth is you represent a much-needed talent supply and bring an innovative and new way of looking at the world and the workplace. You are valuable, and you should narrow down your career options to those employers who recognize that value and provide a supportive environment. Our recruiters can help you navigate the job selection process as well; just check our job opportunities or contact a local recruiter.