Published 07 December, 2020

Job Perceptions & Preferences of Millennials (5 Mins Read)

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 24 to 39 in 2020) is considered to be a Millennial. People say that the millennials are the real job hoppers. They are the most likely to look for and change jobs. When the research was done on job hopping, a Gallup report on the millennial generation revealed that 21% of the millennials said they've changed their jobs within the past year, which is more than three times the number of non-millennials who report the same. However, it is not known exactly what these millennials did after leaving their previous jobs. For example, it’s quite possible that some of them might have decided to continue their education further. But, six out of 10 millennials also said they were open to different job opportunities, which is again the highest percentage among all other generations in the workplace. Another study revealed that an overwhelming majority of all the workers i.e. 93%  said they left their employers the last time as they had changed their role , which means only about 7% took up a new position in their company.

Why is it so? Well, we know that now workers aren’t particularly engaged at work as a whole and the millennials lead this pack as it was found that 71% are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work, making them the least engaged generation. Moreover, engagement is essential for retaining the employees. The analysis reveals that 47% of actively disengaged millennials strongly agree that they will switch their jobs, if the job market improves in the next 12 months, as compared with 17% of engaged millennials.

But, there is a flip side to this too. The millennials’ eagerness to switch jobs presents the organizations with a substantial opportunity to attract talented employees. Ultimately, millennials are the consumers for the companies. They shop around for the jobs which align best with their needs and life’s goals. More than ever, the employers need to know and act on the factors which make their companies look appealing to the candidates. They need to make it easy for the prospects to choose them over the stiff competitions from other companies.

What exactly do the millennials look for in their jobs?

Employees were asked which particular attributes were important for them when applying for new jobs. For all the employees, opportunities to learn, grow and the quality of their managers were on the priority list. These issues were often found more important for the millennials. Going through the current stage of their lives, millennials fundamentally think about their role as a stepping stone and a nice growth opportunity towards a great career and bright future. In addition to it, they also want to feel deeply committed to their roles and work for a manager who will invest in their careers and development. Research shows that having a great manager and being part of a great management culture are extremely important for all the employees. Especially, the millennials give more emphasis on the opportunities to learn and grow and the opportunities for advancement in their careers.

In contrast to the popular perception, millennials place little importance on a company encouraging creativity or being a fun, informal place to work. In fact, the baby boomers are more likely than the millennials and Gen Xers to say that creativity and fun are “extremely important” to them when they are applying for a job. But, the millennials do need to be convinced why and how an organization will help them learn, grow and develop, and propel their careers further.

Although, income is not among the millennials’ top five factors when applying for jobs, still it matters to them when looking for a job, as it does for all other employees. Millennials have high levels of student debt and are living in an era of weak wage growth. This might be why, half of the millennials say they would consider taking a job with another company for a raise of 20% or less. It is understandable that they would seek roles that make better use of their qualifications and increase their income. But, the companies should also know that Millennials sometimes value other job attributes, including learning, advancement, even more.

If your company wants to do a better job of retaining the millennials, it’s important to understand what motivates them and what doesn’t and the delicate balance between the two. And while they differ in some ways from a recruiting and retention standpoint, the millennials largely want the same things from their employers as most other generations. They look for the growth opportunities, good managers and the specific jobs which are well-suited for their talents and interests. When organizations provide these attributes, they would be able keep their millennial employees away from the continuous searching for and pursuing for the next best thing elsewhere.


Millennials want to move ahead in their careers rapidly. They look at their personal interests and constructive feedbacks. They dislike the managers who assign tasks and expect results without any interactions. The millennials want to be understood by their employers in the workplace and the opportunity to learn and grow. They want to be highly engaged and earnestly want to make a huge difference. When you invest in building a good relationship with them and help them develop their strengths, they feel more valued and are more willing to stay put and not move around.



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