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.

Learning Opportunities and Mentorships

At Scouted, we work with a spectrum of young professions, some of whom are recent college grads entering the workforce for the first time and some of whom are a few years along their career paths. One priority these job seekers share is finding an employer who supports their professional and personal growth by offering opportunities for training and mentorship.

Eighty percent of millennials who participated in a 2017 study by Qualtrics cited being part of a workplace culture that emphasizes personal growth as a very important feature of employment. Plus, according to 2017 LinkedIn research, 56 percent of employees say that opportunities to challenge themselves or improve their skill sets are incentives to stay at a job once they’ve been hired. In our experience, engineers are particularly enthusiastic about professional development and continuing education, as many of them are engaged in rapidly evolving fields where it’s vital to stay current. In a 2014 survey of engineers, over 95 percent of respondents reported that having the ability to learn in a workplace is important to their overall job satisfaction.

Professional learning opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, from certification courses, to continuing education, to participation in professional conferences, to personal sabbaticals. Today’s young job candidates are not only looking for pathways to advance their careers through training and certifications—although those elements are important to them—they also value having access to learning opportunities that broaden their knowledge base in order to expand or even refocus their job scopes over time. Millennials want their employers to see their potential and to support them as they drill down or broaden their areas of expertise. For example, although engineers may focus on tech, they understand the benefits of investigating complementary subjects such as communication and project management. Having a job that evolves with them, either with an upward trajectory or through chances for creative expansion, keeps employees happy and makes them even more valuable to their employers.

Mentorship or coaching programs are another way employers can attract and support young talent, as these programs provide an effective structure for developing skills, learning the business, and adapting to company culture. Mentors not only serve as resources for information about specific job responsibilities, but also as sources of advice about career advancement. According to the above-cited Qualtrics survey, 67 percent of millennials would take a pay cut in order to land a position with an employer who provides mentorship opportunities. And a 2015 Ernst & Young survey found that “limited access to mentors and sponsors” was one of the top 10 reasons millennials left full-time positions. If a formal mentorship program isn’t in the cards, informal or coaching relationships work as well and can alleviate the pressure and obligations of regularly scheduled meetings.

Bottom line? Today’s job seekers want to join a workplace culture that supports their development as people and as employees. As we break it down in our ebook, Where Do Young Professionals Actually Want to Work, Scouted’s data suggests that engineering candidates in particular often prefer roles with more horizontal community and collaboration, and candidates with backgrounds in business prefer positions with clear vertical paths and chances for advancement. Learning opportunities and mentor programs are great ways to harmonize all of these ideals.