What millennials want from a job

millennials on tablet

Our Employee Insights Survey asked Millennial professionals (those born between 1980 and 1994)
what matters most to them in their professional lives.

“As millennials make up a growing part of the workforce, understanding what excites and motivates them at work is increasingly important,” said Simon Bromwell, Managing Director of Robert Walters California.

The two biggest factors that lead to job satisfaction, according to our survey results, are the chance to tackle challenges and a good work/life balance.

The factor most likely to make a millennial leave a job is lack of career progression.

Millennials have been raised to believe they can achieve anything, and they’re motivated by possibility and professional confidence. At the same time, they recognize the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle and balancing personal and social priorities with professional ones.

So when it comes to recruiting millennial professionals, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. More than any generation before them, millennials are motivated by concrete rewards. They’re ambitious and they want to see the results of their hard work, whether it be the success of a project or a personal promotion.

    "Working simply for the sake of work is no longer an option for a generation reared to seek instant gratification,” said Simon. .“For this reason, millennials tend to thrive in positions where there are clear goals and milestones tied to relevant payoffs."

  2. Millennials need their jobs to mean something. Unlike the prototypical clock-punchers of the last century, who were satisfied by merely putting in their time from 9 to 5, the millennial workforce looks for a higher purpose in their work. They’re driven by opportunities to provide community service, help people in need, invent new things and generally make their mark on the world. Providing them with meaningful projects inspires them to work hard.

  3. They expect freedom. And unlike their parents’ generation, millennials don’t necessarily expect to be held accountable for their every move during set-in-stone work hours. They like flexibility and freedom, the option to work from home at least some of the time and the expectation that getting the job done is more important than being “clocked in.” In other words, they want trust and respect.

  4. Millennials are social. More specifically, they are on various social media platforms and spend a considerable amount of time online each day. For this reason, it is imperative to make sure you have a solid online presence. Just as a company should accurately represent its brand in all elements of their online and social media campaigns, a savvy millennial will appropriately manage his or her personal brand. 

  5. Millennials like praise. While they respond well to tangible rewards like promotions, raises and perks, they also shine when given verbal acknowledgement and public recognition. They want to be recognized for their hard work.

As millennials takes over the workforce, the dynamic between employeer and employee is transforming.

Start your sales and marketing job search today.

For more information, please contact:
Nick Louca, Vice President - Commerce (New York)
+1 212 704 9900

Simon Bromwell, Managing Director (San Francisco)
+1 415 549 2000

Robert Walters Salary Survey:
Request a free copy, download the US version, or download the new app for Apple or Android devices.