"Within the next two years, 50% of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of Millennials".
Trends show that by 2021, half of the talent pipeline in the United States will be composed of millennials. This massive influx of talent flooding the market has employers scrambling to the offensive. They are overhauling their talent management strategies by offering progressive and innovative workplaces to attract, attain and retain top millennial candidates moving forward into the future.
Benefits brokers can help companies gain a competitive advantage by attracting top millennial talent with enticing, premier benefits package offerings.
Unlike older generations who have traditionally aimed to find a high paying company and remain loyal for many years, millennials have adjusted their career goals and strategy. As pay is still important in the decision-making process, the traditional and voluntary benefits that employers offer will be just as or more scrutinized as they decide to take a position or not. Unlike past generations, they crave more than a cold check at the end of the pay period.
All-in-all, millennials are in search of positions that will help them achieve a good work-life balance and improve their quality of life, both inside and outside of the office.
Attract Millennials with These Modern Benefits
To stand out against their adversaries, employers need to appeal to younger talent generations by offering creative and unique benefit packages to appeal to their wants and needs. Brokers can help companies build their employer brand and create demand for their open positions by helping them to choose the benefits options most beseeched by millennial talent today.
“This age group is the least likely age group to settle with just one company,” according to a recent Gallup data study. Most millennial aged employees switch jobs at least four times before they turn 30. Notorious for “job-hopping”, millennial-aged applicants are constantly aspiring to reach new heights within their careers and will not hesitate to leave for a more desirable position. This generation is difficult to please and retain in the workplace, largely due to a rise in the “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome.
Today’s top candidates are always in search of the next best opportunity. This is made all too easy with access to an array of social networks, applications and job boards that make finding the newest open positions a breeze. Employers who offer desirable workplace benefits are highly successful in attaining and retaining top millennial talent. Companies who do not have the bandwidth to really focus on their offerings, can hire brokers to assist in selecting the top benefits options currently in demand by this generation.
Health, dental, vision and family benefits
Before accepting a job, applicants insist on knowing the details of their medical benefits first. Many companies have strategize how to best supplement medical coverage due to skyrocketing costs hurting both employees and the employer today. Those who have offered more all-encompassing medical coverage, implementing a total mind and body well-being approach, have been very successful.
This type of benefits strategy implemented shows potential and current employees that their employer cares about their prosperity, and that they are more than just a number in a cubicle.
The healthcare options an employer offers are a huge motivator during the job selection process, as these benefits make a huge difference in the quality of life for individuals and their families. As healthcare continues to rise, a supportive medical benefits plan will undoubtedly offset major costs that can accrue for an employee and/or their loved ones. Having an employer who will not only assist in covering medical costs but offer voluntary options as well can lighten the financial burden that would have otherwise seemed monumental.
Top medical benefits perks sought by millennial employees today include:
• Child care and daycare support
• Maternity and paternity leave for new parents
• Fertility and adoption assistance
• Disability insurance
• Critical illness insurance
• Hospital indemnity insurance
• Dental care
• On site medical staff
• Grieving periods after loss of a loved one
In acceptance of the unpredictability of life circumstances, people want the reassurance that their employer can offer them various types of coverage to protect them and their families. A medical crisis could happen at any time, and most millennials are at the age where they want to plan for their future and possibility have a family. Without the right benefits, these goals are unfeasible.
In addition to traditional benefits, millennials value perks that help to support their lifestyles. This generation is very focused on chasing their dreams, passions and feeling their absolute best. A big part of this involves being health conscious. Millennials are more embracing of a health-conscious lifestyle, and brokers can assist employers in selecting benefit offerings programs that can support this. For example, many employers are now offering employee wellness programs. Employers can help with gym memberships and allow time for employees to visit a spin class or hot yoga studio during their work day. Some companies have taken this to a whole new level by constructing wellness rooms geared towards specific niches. Company gyms, yoga studios, libraries, relaxation rooms and game rooms are becoming the new norm in today’s workspaces.
Other perks include:
• Various medical support groups
• Stress management
• Nap pods
• Weight loss challenges
• Walking lunches
• Company sports teams
• Smoking cessation
• Personal development programs such as:
• Book clubs
Physical and mental health within an individual boosts positivity and productivity in the community as a whole, and employers can only benefit by implementing these mindful programs to make sure their employees are as happy and stress-free as possible. In addition, employees now look for employers who will increase the quality of their work life through technology amenities. They desire top of the line products to support their work efforts that may include multi-monitors, sound cancelling headphones, standing desks, and various discounts on other technology offerings.
Being able to embrace a less structured lifestyle is alluring to millennials. Today’s talent pool is over the 9 to 5 office workday. Instead, they long for flexibility. According to Forbes, almost half of the U.S. workforce now works remotely. This option allows employees to balance their work life with their real life, while allowing them more time to pursue outside hobbies as well. Employees are more likely to have a positive attitude towards their employer and will come back to work refreshed and recharged if they are given more leeway with flexible scheduling.
Travel to-and-from the office can be expensive to many employees too. A creative incentive that has appeared on the radar is the concept of offering transportation compensation. For millennials who cannot afford vehicles right after graduating college and entering the workforce, relying on public transportation can be daunting. For commuters who use public transportation and rely on the bus or subway, the offer of a position by a company willing to help with commuter passes is quite desirable.
Legal assistance can reassure employees that they will have the support they need in the face of life’s unexpected litigation challenges. Though we may not know exactly when, it can be certain that at some point, everyone needs legal help. One of the most common questions applicants now ask potential employers is if they offer a service that provides aids in finding and affording an attorney. From small traffic violations to major life events like divorce, employees want to know they can afford the legal assistance they will inevitably require at some point.
Student loan assistance
Recent college graduates often find themselves in a predicament; financially unstable, searching for opportunity and a looming student loan debt to pay off. While a college education undoubtedly opens new doors and unlocks new career paths, affording a degree also means acquiring student loans. Millennials today will not hesitate to tell you that repaying student loan debt and affording a decent quality of life is no easy feat, and most experience severe financial duress within the first year after college.
The Federal Reserve estimates the total student loan debt in the United States to be a whopping $1.5 trillion. Unlike older generations, millennials are holding off on big purchases like buying houses and having children due to having to pay off their looming debt. College graduates are turning to their employers for help in settling their loan debts, and in turn, some are willing to help pay some student loan costs to attract top candidates from the millennial talent pool.
Brokers should encourage companies to offer retirement benefits including the various 401K, 403(b), Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Simple IRA options available to attract millennial talent. While retirement may be a long way for them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it. Most professionals want to start planning for their future today and that begins with a solid retirement plan. It helps to bring them peace of mind and a reason to stay at one organization.
Creating an inventive balance between work and play with unusual perks is a superb way to reward hard work with a little fun. Employers can use these unique benefits to constantly engage employees. Some initiatives employers can create that are wanted and unique can include:
• Festive events, activities and social clubs
• Themed parties, catered lunches and book clubs
• Game nights and team outings
Another simple event that keeps employees happy and boosts morale is a simple, scheduled office happy hour to reward everyone for all that time spent and hard work put into the week. Wrapping up the week together with good food, spirits, and camaraderie sends employees off into the weekend feeling carefree and merry.
Ensuring employees are comfortable and given certain amenities has also become a new, often expected standard among millennials. Many companies are equipping their offices with fully stocked kitchens, spaces to unwind and technological amenities to support work and play. To boost productivity, employers are making sure their employees are happy and content.
Another trending topic within benefits is pet insurance. Many millennials are holding off on having children and instead are opting to adopt pets. Employers are taking into consideration now that employees consider their pets as family. Pet parents who consider their dogs and cats to be their “fur-children” will be pleased to note that many offices have adopted pet-friendly policies for the workplace.
The days of hiring pet sitters and dog walkers are coming to an end. Bringing pets to work is becoming quite the colloquial affair, as many businesses now allow their employees to bring their companions to the office with them. Many also have dog walkers and pet emergency medical teams on staff. Pet insurance is also becoming widely available now, a trending benefit which animal lovers are actively looking for as they apply for jobs. Some companies are even offering a grieving period when employees lose a pet.
Helping employers choose a strong benefits program is a surefire way to attract and retain top millennial talent. With the right benefits, an employer can truly improve an individual’s entire life, creating a positive and enjoyable work- life balance. Bearing in mind the job-hopping mentality of millennials, making the decision to offer employees unique benefits promises a lower risk of losing employees to other companies and a higher applicant rate. Offering the right workplace benefits and creating a space that is innovative, rewarding, and enjoyable will only benefit an enterprise in the long run as they open the door to today’s top millennial talent.
This article was submitted to Insightlink by Bryan May at BirdDogHR.
Insightlink Communications is a leader in full service employee surveys and offers a range of employee survey products and services to fit their client's needs. With over 18 years of experience, Insightlink's reputation has been built on giving organizations the knowledge they need to create effective change using their acclaimed employee research, analytics, benchmarking and survey methodologies. Insightlink's expertise in data collection reporting and analytics takes the pressure off organizations that find data overwhelming and daunting creating reports that are digestible and understandable, simple and easy to understand for organizations of any size and experience level.
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About Bryan May:
Bryan May joined BirdDogHR in 1999. Prior to becoming the VP of Business Development, he held numerous positions in account management and sales. Bryan has been instrumental in BirdDogHR’s product evolution from job boards to cloud-based integrated talent management software. He also pioneered the building and launching of the AGC of Iowa Career Center, a talent acquisition system that helps public employers document their "good faith" efforts for recruitment and recruitment advertising. He is the BirdDogHR expert on everything pertaining to talent management, diversity outreach, applicant collection, tracking and affirmative action compliance reporting.
A frequent speaker and talent management evangelist, Bryan has presented a numerous conferences and events with national and local audiences featuring presentation topics for C-level audiences and HR leaders.
Bryan is a native of Chicago, Illinois and a graduate of the University of Iowa.