by Niamh Lynch
Published on 23 April 2015
According to Businesss Insider, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that millennials will make up approximately 75% of the workforce by 2030.
If you work in HR and you're looking to the future - and why wouldn't you? - it can't have escaped you that millennials will make up the vast majority of your employees - three quarters of the whole workforce by 2030. Sounds futuristic, but depressingly, 2030 isn't that far away!
One of recruiters and HR professionals' major weapons in the search for bright new talent is in your company's benefits. As HR solution Zenefits says in a recent - and excellent - white paper on the subject
"Millennials are clearly listening for your benefits pitch. So what are you saying? And what are you doing to make your benefits stand out?".
Any employee can be tempted by excellent benefits, but millennials are often believed to be among the most demanding benefits "customers". There's a lot of conflicting information, mainly spurred by out-of-date thinking that leads people to believe that millennials are single college kids who live in their parents' basements, motivated mainly by on-site goldfish tanks and free Xboxes. Back when the concept of millennials came about, that might have been true. But that was 10 years ago - and we've grown up!
So what can a company do today to attract dynamic, engaged and loyal talent through excellent benefits? Well, Xboxes aside, I've got a few ideas for you.
People today are less likely to fall into generalized, homogeneous peer groups, marrying and having kids later - or if at all. One-size health insurance, life insurance and other benefits, like employee parking, gym memberships, or retirement plans are less likely to be the right thing for the majority of your employees. Try to find solutions that are flexible and, better still, offer guidance about helping new recruits genuinely choose the best option for them. If flexibility hasn't traditionally been your company's strong point, take a look at this impressive list from the people over at Career Attraction. I'll admit, at first glance, I thought it was ridiculous but, sure enough, I've come across most of these perks at various companies. If these suggestions don't give you ideas as to how your company can be flexible, there's no helping you!
So how does that translate to your company benefits? We'll, as mentioned before, there is nothing that exasperates professionals more than having to waste time on complex, multi-layered, multi-step HR processes like benefits processing and onboarding. As they mention over at HREOnline,
"The challenge is that Gen Y-ers want a lot…stereotyping a bit here, but generally they want as much information as possible, they want that information customized to their unique needs and they want that information available to them 24/7/365, e.g., through texting, online chat, phone or social media, depending on how they are seeking the information at that moment."
That may be an extreme view, but Kecia has a point. Making employees trudge through drawn-out processes on multiple tools is as annoying for them as it is exhausting for you, which is why you should seriously think about automating your HR system, so employees can "self-serve" whenever and whatever they need.
If you put all this effort into offering great, customized benefits that are easy to access and perfectly incorporated into your HR solution - congratulations! Now you need to let prospective employees know about it. Make sure it's easy for them to see and appreciate at the first step of the recruitment process, and as recruitment progresses, consider making it even more explicit. Zenefits has a great idea regarding this - the company suggests outlining the "cash value" of your all your benefits. This will help possible employees see the long-term value of the job offer, encouraging candidates who are really looking to make a mark on your business.
Despite lots of rumors to the contrary, I believe that most employees - millennials included - look for more in a job than a cushy benefits package - but hey, a cushy, personalized, easy-to-access benefits package will never hurt. If you do it right, not only will you attract the brightest and best employees for your business culture, but you'll also create a positive brand image from a HR point of view, which is an invaluable - and somewhat intangible - asset for any company.
It's an area that's well worth putting effort into. Start by freeing up your time and processes with an automated HR system, and then sit down and decide what would really matter (or what does really matter) to your ideal employees. Get it right, and you'll have them queuing up at the door.
This post is brought to you by Zenefits. Learn more about the software and its benefits here.