Finding great employees can be hard. Keeping great employees can be even harder, especially if you don't see the employer/employee relationship as a two-way street. Sure, your employees need to give you what you need... but you also need to give them what they need.

Since Millennials now make up a significant and growing percentage of the workforce, LinkedIn decided to research what Millennials look for from employers, surveying over 5,000 to ask why they switched jobs.

Here's what they found, fittingly written from the perspective of one of their own Millennial employees: Alexandra Rynne, a Millennial Marketer and Associate Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn.

Here's Alexandra:

If you're a Millennial like me, chances are you aren't the only one in your office. In fact, Millennials are taking the workplace by storm -- we're projected to make up half of the workforce by 2020, according to PwC. Since we're the largest generation since the Baby Boomers, there's no doubt that Millennials will have a huge impact on our economy.

And unlike Baby Boomers, who would often stay at a job for years, two-thirds of us want to switch jobs by 2020, according to Deloitte.

Companies that want to succeed at attracting and retaining Millennials have to know and demonstrate what we're looking for in a particular job or career. One of the biggest misconceptions about Millennials is that we care too much about shiny job perks like pajama days or free concerts; in reality, we have concrete goals and desires about what we want from our employers that we weigh more heavily.

Since losing a Millennial employee can cost upwards of $15,000-25,000, companies need to rethink how they attract and retain talent. So how can companies best compete for Millennial talent?

In search of the answer, LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 Millennials worldwide to learn why we switch jobs. Our priorities were clear: Millennials want:

  1. Advancement opportunities
  2. Competitive pay
  3. Challenging assignments

With that in mind, here's what your company can do to attract and retain Millennial talent.

Make an impression online.

We know the right job can make or break a career. That's why Millennials are studying up on prospective employers before considering a job.

Research is the second most common way we find new work behind networking, according to a Boston College study. We're checking out sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn in addition to your job postings and company landing page to learn as much as we can early on.

For companies this is a challenge and an opportunity. Your company's digital footprint -- especially its web and social properties -- will shape the impression of your company in Millennials' eyes before they've even made contact with your organization.

Companies like Unilever and Southwest Airlines understand the value of employee experience and post videos to demonstrate their commitment to building a strong corporate culture that resonates with younger folks. Nike launched a scripted series earlier this year to specifically reach Millennial women candidates.


When it comes to switching jobs, Millennials rarely make the jump without a pay increase. The importance of compensation has grown, with nearly 80% of Millennials reporting a salary bump when they most recently switched jobs, according to the survey.

Of those who switched jobs, 25% are seeing their salaries increase by up to 30%.

We aren't afraid to climb the ladder, which means negotiating on compensation when we want or need to. Companies should think about compensation holistically, with an eye on base salary and a benefits package to match.

Salesforce, for example, was recently named one of the most attractive places to work because of the company's above-market pay.

Don't believe the perception that Millennials are only looking for job perks -- we care about salary much more.

Customize your recruiting experience.

While some factors are relevant to every job search -- say, your hours -- companies should be mindful of creating custom recruiting experiences that cater to Millennials.

Our research revealed that we look for a personalized approach during the job hunt. Custom recruiting tactics can vary widely from building a mobile-responsive website for applicants on the go to tailoring a position around a particular candidate.

Millennials also think differently about qualifications. Some of us will look at a company's social media when forming a first impression or hunting for evidence of a healthy work environment and work-life balance. Others will try to gauge how challenging their work will be and whether the company they're considering is innovative.

These experiences aren't broadly applicable, though, so companies should be thinking of the individual experience first and foremost. Microsoft, for example, is known for its "individual adventure" approach to career development and encourages employees to forge their own path within the company.

You're being interviewed -- not the other way around.

Above all, Millennials want jobs that will advance our careers. We also want the right compensation -- competitive companies have to offer both to recruit top talent. 21% of Millennials leave their job to start in a new industry, which makes having a relevant brand all the more important.

Think about your website and social profiles differently because they might not just be how one of us discovers your company; it could be our introduction to an entire industry. When you're looking for the best talent, Millennials are interviewing you as much as you're interviewing them.

To score the best people, you have to understand how to market yourself to them -- and deliver.

Published on: Sep 9, 2016
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