Employers looking to hire millennials are frequently told to highlight their company culture in their recruiting efforts. Generation Y, which will soon become the largest generational group in the workforce, has been said to value a fun, casual work environment, and many companies try to use this as a selling point for talented 20-somethings.
But the tide may be turning as millennials grow up. A new survey from Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones PR found that a "fun culture" was actually at the bottom of this generation's priority list — they'd much rather have tangible benefits and perks than an office game room.
According to the survey, Gen Y places the following 12 factors ahead of company culture when choosing an employer. [3 Millennial Myths Employers Still Believe]
- Work-life balance
- Company stability
- Path to promotion
- Tuition reimbursement
- Competitive salary
- Professional development
- Healthcare benefits and 401(k)
- Quality of company's product or service
- Social media transparency
- Company innovation
- Employee diversity
- Health and wellness assets
Other perks millennials look for include leadership learning opportunities, management training and the ability to attend professional events like conferences and seminars. They also want employers to invest in their professional development.
Unsurprisingly, work-life balance was the most coveted benefit. The vast majority (88 percent) of survey respondents said they seek a consistent balance between their job and home life. Work-life balance is even more important than pay: Nearly half of the respondents said they'd sacrifice a higher salary if it meant they could work less. And if they don't find it? They'll work for someone else — 57 percent of millennials would leave a job that doesn't offer the work-life balance they want.
Gen Y's "give me what I want or I'm gone" attitude carries over into other aspects of this generational group's careers as well. More than 40 percent of its members don't seek out unpaid internships because they don't believe these opportunities will lead to full-time employment, and 83 percent won't stay at a job for more than two years unless they're promoted.
While this may enforce the stereotype of the "entitled" millennial, it's not completely unwarranted: This generation has the skills and experience companies want, such as social media savvy and foreign-language skills — and they know it.
"This demographic is intensely aware of their value to employers based on their age, experience and skill sets," Jennifer Jones-Mitchell, chief insights officer for Pinpoint Market Research and head of global marketing for Anderson Jones PR, said in a statement. "They know what they want from their jobs and they aren't afraid to hold out until they get it. HR leaders need to consider structuring office environments around work-life balance and professional development if they want to attract the top-tier talent."
This survey was based on responses from 1,650 U.S. consumers aged 20 to 29 with varying levels of income and education.