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The Surprising Reason Millennials Are Turning Down Jobs

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You stock the break room with fair trade coffee, bring a massage therapist on-site every week, and offer flex Fridays from Memorial to Labor Day, but the younger generations are still not attracted to your organization.

So what’s the problem?

You may be missing out on the most important perk that Millennials are demanding:

Benefits that ensure their financial securityThe Surprising Reason Millennials Are Turning Down Jobs

A recent Anthem survey revealed that 35% of Millennials have turned down a job offer either fully or partly because they were dissatisfied with the employer’s insurance offerings (vs. 27% of respondents overall). Generation Z, who are just now beginning to join the workforce, seem to be following in the sensible footsteps of their predecessors. According to a multi-generational survey conducted by Monster, 70% of the Generation Z respondents claim that health insurance is the perk they most want in their first job.

Wait, what?

Do some research and you’ll uncover article after article suggesting that in order to attract Millennials you must offer outrageous perks like a napping room, an office decoration stipend, the option to bring your dog to work, weekly ice cream socials, and most notable, a kegerator.

And while these extras are certainly a welcome treat, it turns out that Millennials’ number one concern is money and protecting their growing nest eggs. Anthem’s survey found that they are more likely than the previous generation (29% of 18-34 years olds vs. 19% of 35-54 year olds) to have engaged in long-term financial planning over the past year.

So what’s your best strategy to attract and retain younger talent?

A comprehensive, integrated health care plan

In order to remain competitive in attracting and retaining qualified young talent, it’s best to offer benefits that protect them against income losses—like disability coverage, retirement plans, and financial planning. These perks are increasingly more popular and more desirable than you might think.

College-debt repayment programs are also growing in popularity. Education debt has tripled since the early 1990s to an average of $35,000. For young workers, student loans have become a major financial burden. To help ease the pain, many companies are offering to pay a designated dollar amount yearly to help them pay off. It’s attractive to employers as well as employees since it’s not as permanent as a salary increase.

What about the meditation room and free fro-yo Fridays?

Don’t abandon perks like these altogether. Concern over student debt and financial security is a great source of anxiety for Millennials and Generation Zers. Wellness programs and other perks that alleviate stress are unquestionably beneficial. Just don’t overlook the value of offering a comprehensive benefits package. And be wary of costly benefits with little return on your investment. As Anthem points out “for less than the price of one yoga class, workers of all ages can buy disability insurance benefits that can protect against loss of income.*”

*As compared with average monthly disability premiums.

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