Employer Value Proposition for Millennials

Jiaxin Liu
13 December 2019

Did you know that come the year 2020, over 50% of your workforce will be comprised of millennials? Currently, millennials (aged between 18-34 years) make up the largest generation (80 million) in the United States. There is, therefore, a need for HR managers to rethink their employer value propositions in terms of strategies, practices, and programs especially when it comes to aligning themselves with the reality of working with millennials in the not so far future.

Of even more critical focus is how an organization will attract the right talent from millennials when the demand for talent is very strong across the globe? As baby boomers retire, HR managers will face increased pressure on how to recruit top talent from the Millennial generation; attracting top talent will definitely determine the future of each company. You can be sure millennials will attract some of the most creative of packages ever seen in the workplace; they may influence where they work, and how they work. Lastly, this demographic may also pause the biggest challenge that some organizations will ever handle.  

The 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey by The Hartford revealed that millennials are largely being attracted to the technology industry (38%), education (36%) and media. But such industries like insurance (4%), construction and manufacturing have not been desirable choices for this workforce demographic. It is important at this point to take note of the fact that the later are the key drivers of the economy. So what employer value propositions attracts millennials as a workforce?

Understanding millennials

If any employer will benefit from the huge economic potential inherent in the millennial workforce, they must first seek to understand the millennials.

  1. Perhaps the most definite distinction between millennials and other generations is that of their relationship with technology. As a matter of fact, internet, instant messaging, video-on-demand, and social media were born in the millennial age bracket. As such, millennials are digital natives. This has practically influenced their way of life and will influence their way of work.

  2. They are not comfortable with rigid organizational structures and would easily be turned off if information silos are presented to them. For instance, millennials won’t just read your employee handbook. They would rather come to a meeting where you explain it to them or have a counselling session over it.

  3. Studies show the millennials value flexibility and a work-life balance; they want regular feedback and encouragement; a shift from the annual performance rating.

  4. Millennials value rapid job growth and progression (52%). They are not about to stay in one job forever; they want varied and interesting career choices.

  5. They also value recognition and self-worth. This means that companies who have a reward program within their Employer Brand are at a big advantage.

  6. The economic hardships in which the millennial generation has grown helps them have a clearer and personalized understanding of financial risk; they are more risk averse.

Bottom line, there are not so many things that set them apart. In addition to the normal HR programs like recognition and performance management, being digital natives, they process things very rapid, express their opinions clearly and widely, and if the organization does not respond in line with their expectations, they are willing to move on.

1. Employer Value propositions for millennials 

A study conducted by PwC titled “Managing tomorrow’s people” highlighted the following:

  1. Opportunities for career growth took top position in value propositions millennials want in an organization; clearly, money isn’t a priority for them, it comes in second.

  2. They are willing to negotiate; so long as they enjoy working at whatever it is, and the environment together with friends is preferable; they are ready to compromise. The only challenge will be when economic times look up, and more favourable opportunities open up elsewhere, millennials will move on. 72% of millennials said that they had made some compromises before getting to their current jobs, for instance, regarding factors such as the desired salary scale, where they work, their expectations of working life, etc.

  3. Reward. Non-financial and customized rewards would be ideal for millennials. It is important to know that millennials would only appreciate non-financial rewards when they are assured of their basic pay. 

2. What employers can do to attract millennial talent

  1. Take time to understand the millennial generation. Look at studies talking about recruiting trends, which have been conducted in the respective industry.

  2. Seal the right ‘deal’, explain to them what the deal is all about. Allow room for customization of benefits especially the non-cash ones.

  3. Ensure the organization is helping millennials to grow; encourage more coaching. Job rotations, overseas job opportunities, and innovation could ensure growth.

  4. Engage them, ensure you get frequent feedback.

  5. Encourage flexibility in the workplace; set them free.

  6. All for rapid advancement; promotions should be based on the value of results rather than length of stay or experience.

  7. Last but not least, you should just be prepared; one day they will go.


Top companies are adapting their employer value propositions in an attempt to respond to the demands and needs of the millennials which mostly revolve around flexibility in the workplace, diversification of the workforce and greater mobility among others.

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