What Matters to Millennials

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Think you know what matters most to Millennial generation employees?

You might need to think again after recent research.

Recently Futurestep, the Recruitment Process Outsourcing arm of Korn Ferry, released a study outlining the current attitudes of Millennials. For the purposes of their study, the company defined Millennials as everyone born after 1980, which includes the as-yet-officially-unnamed next generation into their category.

Below are the highlights of their report. Note that these were the executive’s responses about the Millennials they hired and work with – the Millennials themselves were not interviewed.

What Matters Most to Millennials?

The study sought to nail down the top considerations for attracting and retaining Millennial employees. When asked what matters most to employees born after 1980 the greatest number of respondents said, “the ability to make an impact on the business” (23%) followed closely by “a clear path for advancement” (20%), and “development and ongoing feedback” (16%).

Income came in fourth place at only 13%.

What Influences their Employment Decisions?

When executives were asked what makes Millennials choose one job over another, 38% said, “visibility and buy-in to the vision of the organization,” while 28% said, “a clear path for advancement.”

Job title and pay came in third place at 18%.

How to Recruit Millennials?

The survey revealed that 42% of respondents believe social media is the best tactic for reaching and recruiting Millennials, followed by “word-of-mouth and networking” (28%) and online talent communities (19%).

What do these Results Mean for Employers?

Trish Healy, Futurestep vice president of RPO Operations in North America said, “This research demonstrates the changing priorities of today’s young workforce.”

While previous research determined Millennials value pay over other aspects of employment, this research suggests now Millennials are “placing greater value on understanding what a company stands for and how, as employees, they can play a role in growing the organization into a better, stronger brand.”

Taking this research to heart, ensure you are recruiting on social and mobile platforms. Ensure you are communicating clearly your company’s vision and value. And ensure you are communicating any opportunities available for development and advancement.

With Millennials’ increasingly important contributions to today’s companies, it is worth the effort to keep your finger on the pulse of what is motivating them.


The Forté Institute’s Rachel Olsen is on faculty at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is a communication specialist, and a trained and certified coach. Reach us at the Forte Institute 910-452-5152.