19 Apr 2013 04:22pm

High pay no longer key to successful recruitment

Employers urgently need to rethink their recruitment and retention policies if they are to continue to attract the best people into the workplace

New research from PwC, the London Business School and the University of Southern California reveals that what may have attracted potential employees in the past – high pay, bonus schemes and rapid promotion – is not what the millennial generation sees as key priorities.

Instead, those born between 1980 and 1995 who are either just coming on to the jobs market or are in the early stages of their career want their jobs to offer workplace flexibility, work/life balance and travel opportunities rather than financial rewards.

The Nexgen survey, a study of more than 44,000 workers in 18 countries, shows that millennials are more likely to stay in a job if they are made to feel supported and appreciated. They also need to feel part of a cohesive team yet want to be able to choose where and how much they work.

Millennials also don’t see working long hours in the hope of future promotion as worth sacrificing their work/life balance. Rather, they see flexibility as a key priority. The survey found that 21% of women and 15% of men would agree to give up pay and delay a promotion in exchange for more workplace flexibility.

“Millennials view work as a thing, rather than a place,” said Gaenor Bagley, head of people at PwC. “So companies will need to free themselves from the traditional nine to five mentality if they want to attract and retain this generation of workers.

“The Millennial generation will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020 so it is vital employers understand what motivates them. Many companies will have to completely re-think how they attract and reward their workers, or risking losing the best talent to companies which adapt to meet their needs.”

Julia Irvine


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