Which generation has become the nation’s largest living generation by population? Baby boomers? Generation X? Nope. The millennials — aka Generation Y — are projected to number more than 75 million this year, according to Pew Research.
They’re the young professionals of today. In fact, more than one in three American workers in 2015 is a millennial, ranging in age from 18 to 34. That means millennials have the largest share in the country’s workforce, and as more finish college and enter the working world, the number will only increase.
That’s a big deal for employers — or it should be — and here’s why.
As with every generation through the ages, each has its own unique set of characteristics — and its own expectations. Millennials are no different, which is why it’s important for employers to know more about this group and, most importantly, how to recruit them.
Traditionally, a company’s employee benefits package serves as one key way to appeal to job candidates. Millennials, however, have a different range of criteria than other age groups. And they’re not necessarily swept off their feet by a typical employee benefits package.
Just under half of all millennials consider their overall benefits package to be very important for their job satisfaction, based on research by the Society for Human Resource Management. As a result, millennials simply aren’t enrolling in benefits with the same frequency as other groups.
Just a note about making generalizations — clearly not every person labeled as a millennial will feel exactly the same. Still, as a broker, there are some things you can do to help your clients create a millennial-approved benefits package.
Typically, if you ask a millennial what matters most when it comes to employee benefits, you’re likely to hear answers like this:
1. “I want choice and variety.”
Millennials are accustomed to having access to what they want when they want, especially when it comes to information. They want choices and are often offended by a one-size-fits-all approach. Overall, they look for a well-rounded array of benefits, which may mean that a mix of employer-paid products with supplemental and voluntary products will play an increasingly important role for many employers.
See also: 17 ways to better market to millennials
2. “I want customization and control.”
Personalization is highly important to millennials. When they’re offered benefits, they expect those benefits to be tailored to their needs. And, they want control over how they spend their money. While giving them plenty of options puts them in the driver’s seat, too many options may paralyze them. Try to strike a healthy balance by considering a choice of plan designs within a product category, or perhaps core/buy-up options.