Each year, Scouted helps thousands of candidates find their dream jobs. To ensure our candidates’ success and happiness, we match them with employers who share their values. We know what’s important to our clients in their job searches, and we find employers who meet our candidates’ expectations. So, what are those values and expectations? We dug deep and found out.
Long-Term Job Security and Compensation
Exact metrics on the relative importance of compensation and job security for today’s job seekers can be surprisingly tricky to tackle, in part because expectations vary among generations, individuals, and industries, but also because, in the last 30 years, the United States has seen a dramatic shift away from so-called “cradle-to-grave” jobs in which workers were incentivized with pensions to stick with employers for decades. That said, there are still some economic basics at play for most people seeking work in virtually any industry: job candidates want to know how much a job pays and whether the employer has a plan for the future.
Although much has been made of the value young professionals place on flexibility and workplace amenities, it’s an oversimplification to think that millennials are more interested in free snacks and foosball tables than they are in their base pay and long-term prospects with an employer. According to a 2017 CNBC report, “More than half of millennials (53 percent) say compensation is more important to a job offer than corporate mission (34 percent). And 91 percent of millennials say they are most attracted to a new job by salary and benefits.” In this way, millennials’ concerns are in line with those of working professionals across the board. 2017 LinkedIn research revealed compensation as the number-one reason workers leave jobs, and a 2015 Ernst & Young survey found that the two leading reasons full-time employees quit their jobs are “minimal wage growth” and “lack of opportunity to advance.”
Even though compensation is a highly important data point for young job seekers, millennials aren’t as prone to job hopping as the stereotype would have you think. In fact, the previously mentioned CNBC report notes that “65 percent of millennials said it would take a salary increase of 20 percent or greater for them to consider switching jobs.” Further, another CNBC report points out that nearly 90 percent of millennials say they’d stay in a job for the next decade if they were guaranteed annual raises and career advancement—an interesting metric, especially when considered in conjunction with the results of the Ernst & Young survey cited above.
Perhaps not surprisingly, CNBC also reported that “77 percent of millennials would be willing to take a salary cut of at least 3 percent in exchange for long-term job security” and a whopping “67 percent would be willing to take a pay cut of at least 3 percent to work at a company that offers good mentorship opportunities.” Clearly, the desire for long-term job security and mentorship are linked: with mentorship comes access to colleagues with expertise and experience, which can pave the way for advancement within a company and, arguably, an industry.
As we discuss in our ebook, Where Do Young Professionals Actually Want to Work, our research has shown that job candidates, especially those with business backgrounds, prefer positions with a clear vertical path and opportunities for advancement. Of the top 10 career preferences identified by business students, eight are self-inclined, including “secure employment,” “good reference for future career,” “leaders who will support my development,” “leadership opportunities,” and “clear path for advancement.”
For more detailed insights into what millennial job seekers want in terms of career goals and preferences, read our ebook.