What Do Millenials Really Want!?


This month for our Advice from Leaders Blog, we decided to take a different approach. Instead of interviewing one leader in business, we surveyed our followers to find out what job seekers are really looking for? We’ve read (and heard) a lot of crazy desires thought to be had by millennial job seekers; pinball machines, foosball tables, 30-hour work weeks, working from home, travel for work, private offices and glass they can write on - but is that what they really want?

We are always seeking the best talent for our clients and wanted to be able to provide feedback on how to attract and retain this talent – so we figured we’d ask them!

The Population

Our survey respondents comprised of a small population from the Edmonton, Alberta Region. Many respondents were students starting to look for employment, recent grads, and job seekers who have been working for a couple of years (most of them, not in their chosen field). We created the infographic below to illustrate what they had to say.


Attracting Talent

The majority of respondents were looking for, number one, a good base salary. Motivated by paying bills, just as generations passed. Secondary to this, they responded that they would like flexible working hours. Perhaps the ability to come in an hour later or leave an hour earlier. Maybe the ability to work from home for a few days when they get a new dog or when the family is visiting from out of town. Finally, our respondents indicated they are looking for a good working culture. A workplace where they are not being micro-managed and encouraged to be creative, solve problems, maybe make a few small mistakes that everyone can learn from and will inform future decisions. The ability to be human and be respected.

Retaining Talent

Once job seekers have found this role, as it turns out, they don’t want to leave! Contrary to what we’ve heard about this generation being ‘distracted’ and unable to settle down, all the respondents indicated they want a role where they can work for 5+ years if there is room to grow professionally and/or financially. These opportunities for growth could include financial raises to base salary, bonuses, pension, paid education, on-the-job learning opportunities, promotions, or increased job responsibilities. So basically, a bit of a raise and the ability to keep working hard is what the mysterious millennials are seeking to stay at a job (sound familiar?).

Happy Employees = Happy Managers

Our survey results indicated that our local respondents are not so different from their parents, or grandparents for that matter. When it comes down to it, all the respondents indicated they were looking for good compensation, and the ability to grow and contribute to their company – needs that many of us can empathize with. In the open-ended comments, respondents indicated a good manager who supported the ability to grow and challenged them was a big positive.

We also found in the open-ended questions that additional benefits or perks that could be sought varied greatly. Responses ranged from childcare to maternity leave, to mental health support to travel. No two answers were the same. While the base needs stood the same, companies could explore tailoring additional benefits to the needs of employees to some degree. As we move forward in our careers and lives, we’d expect that the basic needs of all employees will continue to look very similar to the way they always have. It’s what employers do to go above and beyond that will make them stand out and encourage employees to stand out to work for those companies in return.

What benefits would you like to see employers provide? What concerns you most about attracting or retaining employees? Tell us in the comments below!