Millennial employees – that highly sought-after demographic among today's businesses--often aren't always thinking about "retirement" in the ways of preceding generations of employees. They understand the volatility of the job market and are keenly aware of the changes that digital technology has brought to virtually every industry. Unlike older generations, millennials often don't expect to have a "job for life" at any particular company.
As a result, they are more concerned about obtaining employee benefits that improve the quality of their lives right now. Employers who craft a benefits package with nontraditional benefits may be more likely to get the attention of millennial job seekers, and may even retain them for a longer period of time.
Read through this quick look at a variety of benefits you might consider incorporating into your current package:
Help with student loan payments. The crisis in student debt came up frequently during the recent election cycle, and it's certainly a top-of-mind issue among many millennials. As many as 70 percent of millennial graduates face some type of long-term debt. Many would welcome efforts like those of the American Bankers Association (ABA), which recently announced it would provide assistance to employees with these debts. According to Time, "The ABA will pay up to $1,200 per year per eligible employee toward student loans, above and beyond salary and any other benefits."
If your employment benefits package can assist with this critical issue, you might be more likely to draw millennial job seekers to check out your business.
Address concerns for a better quality of life. Millennials often explore businesses that provide benefits packages that emphasize a better quality of life. Among such benefits are the following:
- Employee discount programs
- Flexible spending accounts
- Child and elder care
- The ability to work remotely
- Financial counseling programs
- Employee assistance programs
These types of benefits can provide assistance and savings that millennials can leverage right now, rather than at some time in the distant future.
Offer more innovative benefits than your competitors. Forbes contributor Alan Cohen urges businesses to offer "a robust choice of benefits beyond the typical offerings of health, dental, and vision insurance." Among Cohen's suggestions:
- Telemedicine plans that enable workers to communicate with physicians about basic health diagnoses and prescriptions via phone, email, or video chat (while remaining in the workplace, as opposed to taking time off to visit a doctor).
- Legal plans that put employees in touch with an attorney network for assistance with all types of basic legal services, from buying a house and adopting a child to help with estate planning and wills.
- Identity theft protection plans that help to shield them (and, by extension, your own business technology) from dangerous cyber attacks and attempts to steal their identity.
Not every business has the interest or imagination to offer these types of nontraditional benefits. That's why if you can provide some or all of these benefits, you may have a competitive edge in drawing prospective millennial employees to your business. The key is to examine what's possible, implement the most appropriate benefit plans for your business, and then spread the word in every way you can that your business is an attractive option for prospective employees.