As baby boomers retire and millennials replace them, an understanding of what the millennial generation wants in an accounting job is integral to attracting, landing and keeping quality talent. And here’s the thing, if two firms are offering essentially the same financial compensation and benefits, a millennial accountant’s decision-making process about taking a job or staying with a firm can take a sharp left turn from those employees who came before him/her.
While millennials do expect to be promoted quickly – most don’t feel that workers should spend more than two years in an entry level role – they are willing to pay their dues in other ways, namely through education.
Tip: Since millennials value a chance to progress and be leaders, outlining how your firm promotes from within is critical to attracting and retaining your millennial talent. Having a structured professional development program and a willingness to help pay for employees to further their education would also be attractive to a millennial worker.
It’s not that millennials can’t take direction or constructive feedback (as one myth espouses). Instead, they want a manager who can give them a task, let them figure out how to achieve it, but be available for support if needed. They also value ongoing mentoring. And since millennials are loyal to a manager, not a firm, this is a critical piece of insight for retaining a millennial workforce.
Tip: Create a structured mentoring program and keep the lines of communication open between the management team and its employees.
In a study conducted in 2016 by Deloitte into what millennials want in a job, work/life balance at 16.8% was the single most important factor after financial compensation was accounted for. In second place – an opportunity to progress at 13.4%. According to Deloitte, “An employer that can offer these is likely to be more successful than its rivals in securing the talent of the millennial generation.”
The study went on to say, “They will find it hard to become an employer of choice if they attempt to differentiate primarily by means of their growth records, market leadership, use of technology, or least influential of all, the reputation of their senior executives.
Tip: Think about your company’s culture. How are you presenting it in your recruiting process? What benefits do you talk about in your job postings? Do you offer any benefits that speak directly to work/life balance?
Read this resource to learn how to write great job descriptions that attract top millennial talent.
Below is an outline from the Deloitte survey on the top 5 factors that would encourage a millennial worker to join a firm and stay (if financial compensation was relatively the same).
- Good work life balance – 16.8%
- Opportunities to progress or be leaders – 13.4%
- Flexibility i.e. remote working, flexible hours – 11.0%
- Sense of meaning from my work – 9.3%
- Professional development opportunities – 8.3%
Millennials want a role that offers them work/life balance and ongoing feedback from their manager. They’ll work hard, particularly when it comes to getting additional education, but they want to understand the path to progression. They’re not impressed by technology as a differentiator, or the reputation of a firm’s senior leadership. If you want to attract, land and retain top millennial talent, craft a recruiting strategy that speaks to them and a company culture that respects them. If you do, you’ll have your organization’s future leaders.
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