What Do Top Talents Actually Want From Work?

If you want top talents, you’ve got to think like them. Here’s everything you need to know about attracting these millennial go-getters.

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What do high-potential millennial talents actually want from work?

Employees across all generations want to feel appreciated, given credit for their work, and empowered. But with the changing labor demographics, there are few generations that have received as much scrutiny as millennials have. Let's sift through the noise and look at what actually matters to this generational pool of high potential talents.

Born between the years of 1981 and 1996, millennials have become the largest demographic segment in the workplace. One distinguishing factor that sets them apart from baby boomers: This is the generation that changes jobs with the highest frequency.

For this very reason, it's important to know how to attract and retain millennial talent over the long term to ensure that the skills and innovation they possess help your organization move into the future. After thoroughly examining how millennials behave and act in the work environment, we've identified and debunked five stereotypes to help you get a holistic understanding of what the top millennial talent is actually looking for from their employer.

1. Millennials don't just work for a paycheck – they want purpose

While compensation is important for millennials, it is not the main driver for their professional development and career decisions: instead, the mission and purpose of their dream company are.

According to a study conducted by Deloitte, 76% of millennials view business as a powerful and positive source for social impact. In other words, these candidates want to join an organization that doesn't seek to simply generate profits but has a higher purpose.

2. Millennials don't just want a promotion – they are looking for career development

Millennials are actively looking for a workplace with opportunities for personal and professional growth. This means that development has become an important criterion in their job search.

It's, therefore, no surprise that millennials have high expectations about how they can develop and grow on the job and what companies do to support them in their endeavor. To be more specific, 40% of millennials expect sufficient training, 31% require that goals and expectations are clearly established, and 23% want leaders who invest in their success.

3. Millennials don't want 9-5 jobs - they want to connect their jobs and personal life

Top millennial talents are neither lazy nor want to work less. Despite how often old school news agencies want to perpetuate this prejudice. This is a generation that wants to complement their purpose at work with satisfaction in their personal lives.

Although sacrificing personal life and compensating for it with high salaries and bonuses might have done the deal for previous generations, millennials are different. They are looking to work hard and smart - striking the right balance in both spheres of their lives so that their job is not negatively impacting their personal life, relationships, and happiness.

4. Millennials don't want micromanagement – they want trust and flexibility

This new generational workforce of WhatsApp, Slack, and Skype. Growing up with these technologies at their fingertips, they don't see the point of having to be physically present at the office every day. The internet and its innovative online applications enable them to be just as productive from remote places (sometimes even more productive than at the office).

Furthermore, high-potential millennial talents are used to being constantly "on"; they will often do additional work outside of the office. In the eyes of millennials, it's silly that they can't work a day from home when, at the same time, they are expected to answer emails on weekends and in the evenings. More flexibility in their work and schedules are benefits that could help increase millennial employee retention.

5. For millennials, work is not just a place to earn a paycheck – the company culture matters

Their job is not just the thing that fills their fridge and pays their rent. They seek purpose in their work, looking for an employer with established values that are embodied in the company culture and core values.

According to a study by Fidelity, millennials are even willing to take a $7,600 reduction in pay in exchange for moving to a company with a better workplace culture that values collaboration, innovation, and an investment in professional development.

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