5 Top Benefits Preferred by Millennials

By Andrew S. Zito, AIF® | Executive Vice President, Retirement Plan Services | 6.02.2017

Recruiting and retaining top talent has long been a goal of successful companies. The better your team, the better your bottom line.

Attracting millennials is one of the challenges faced by many businesses in recent years. According to Gallup, millennials are the demographic that are most likely to change jobs and millennial turnover costs the economy $30.5 billion annually.

One of the keys to convincing talented millennials to take a job with you (and then stick around) is offering a benefits package that is competitive within the industry. In some cases, the benefits you offer might even be just as important as the salary.

If you want to impress millennial workers with your company, here are five benefits to consider:

1. Health Insurance

It’s common to complain about the eccentric workplace demands of millennials. Some companies get a lot of press for the perks at their campuses, such as chef-made meals in the cafeteria and on-site gyms. However, many millennials aren’t actually looking for exotic perks.

According to a Fit Small Business survey, healthcare is the most important benefit for millennials. A good healthcare plan can go a long way toward attracting millennial talent. It’s even possible to earn bonus points with an on-site health clinic. With healthcare costs on the rise, an increasing number of employers offer on-site health clinics that offer basic preventive and primary care.

Debt-ridden millennials are worried about going to the doctor. An Ipsos and Amino survey found that 27% of millennials don’t go to the doctor because they want to avoid the costs, and 50% have received a medical bill that they had not budgeted for. Provide a good health plan and an on-site health clinic, and you can help solve a concern of millennial workers.

2. Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. More than one survey indicates that worry about student loan debt prompts millennials to put off major life milestones. As a result, it’s not surprising to learn that a large percentage of millennials want to see an employer benefit that puts money toward reducing student loan debt.

According to an IonTuition study, 87.7% of millennials would consider it an important benefit from employers. A growing number of employers offer student loan repayment assistance, but it’s still not widely available. If your company can jump in ahead of the curve and offer a student loan repayment benefit, you could gain an advantage in recruiting and retaining talented millennials. Student Loan Genius is one example of a great way for employers to help students with the overwhelming task of paying off student loan debt. Providing an employer sponsored student debt relief service is a great way to attract top talent and ease the stress of paying of those student debts.

3. Flexible Work Schedules

If you want to stand out to millennials in the benefits you offer, it’s not necessarily about pet insurance (although an increasing number of millennials like the idea of pet insurance for their fur babies) or a breakroom stocked with vegan-friendly snacks. One of the biggest benefits millennials want is flexibility in their work schedules.

Where possible, according to PriceWaterhouseCooper’s study of millennials in the workplace, millennials value flexibility. It’s not about working less. One of the key drivers to millennial satisfaction, says the study, is the ability to choose when to work. The ability to come in earlier or later, take a longer lunch, or even telecommute at least some of the time is important to millennials.

While other generations placed greater value on career development and pay, millennials are more interested in flexibility and work/life balance. A Fidelity study found that millennials are willing to take a $7,600 annual pay cut for a better quality of work life. That includes flexibility.

4. Retirement Funding

This is another area where millennials want to see more traditional benefits. Millennials want to see a retirement plan, preferably with a matching contribution from an employer.

Data indicates that millennials are starting to up their retirement contributions, and they want to see a little help from employers. Even though it seems basic, the old-fashioned 401(k) with match can be a good way to help convince a millennial to come work for you. While a match alone won’t insure an employee a comfortable retirement, providing a benefit in which the employee has to put their money in the “pot”, as well, can only help them increase their savings rates.

5. Sense of Purpose

Does your company have a mission? According to Deloitte, millennials want to work for businesses that have a purpose beyond making a profit. It’s more about company culture than a paycheck. Today’s millennial worker is likely to want to know that his or her employer shares the same values – and that going to work has wider meaning.

Review your company’s mission and values. Do you offer something your workers can believe in, beyond helping you achieve greater profits?

It might seem a little strange to consider your company’s mission a benefit you can offer potential employees. However, millennials are looking for more than just a paycheck. Craft a benefits package that addresses their individual challenges and interest in meaningful work, and you are more likely to attract millennials that have talent and are willing to remain loyal.

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If you still have questions or concerns regarding this topic, reach out to our retirement plan team experts—we would be happy to help.

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