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Millennials' priorities align with other generations'

Pay, job location, and flexible working options are all important to Gen Z, with CSR and employer reputation less so, according to research by Office Angels

Office Angels' Solving The Millennial Mystery Report, which surveyed more than 1,000 Millennial employees about their attitudes to work, found that (contrary to stereotypes) what this generation of workers wants is broadly in line with the desires of other generations.

Contrary to assumptions, a company’s reputation and its corporate social responsibility activities are not considered as important by Millennial jobseekers; with only 8% and 10% of respondents respectively citing these factors.

The research found that like other workers Millennials prioritise pay (63%) and location (55%) over anything else when looking for a job. Flexible and mobile working options (35%) are also valued highly by Generation Z, with close to one in 10 (9%) wanting to work from home five days a week.

However, 27% of young workers feel that Millennial stereotypes are negatively affecting them at work.

“Offering good pay and facilitating a working from home culture are steps that will not just help boost a firm’s attractiveness to Millennials but many jobseekers in general. As the number of generations in the workforce rises, businesses must steer away from any stereotypical views of generations and instead provide benefits and working practices that are tailored to individual needs,” said Alex Fleming, president of general staffing at The Adecco Group.

Tina Schneidermann, chief operating officer at the Hot Spots Movement (a research consultancy founded by Lynda Gratton, London Business School professor and author of The 100-Year Life), said that HR should approach research that suggests a generational divide in the workplace with caution.

“We’ve found that the way people work generally is changing. Career paths are far less linear, and people want to work in a way that will suit them as individuals,” she told HR magazine. “But this is not down to younger generations wanting different things; it’s applicable to all generations. For this reason, a lot of the differences portrayed between Millennials and older workers are relatively superficial.”

Emma Birchall, head of insight and forecasting at Hot Spots Movement, added: “It’s important that employers and HR have trust in workers to work in a way that’s right for them, particularly with regards to flexible options. Often HR might think that more rules and regulations are the answer, when actually it’s about being confident in your workforce whatever their age.”

Office Angels surveyed 1,001 Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000. The research was carried out for Office Angels, part of The Adecco Group, by Opinion Matters.