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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

May 27, 2015 / admin

Millennials want to love their city as much as their job

Guest post by Jonathan Deesing,​ Relocation Expert at iMove.

CC Image by Millennials Jam Workshop, Flickr

It’s no secret that Millennials (the generation spanning from 20 to the early 30’s) are about to take over the world. Or at least the American workforce. According to Jamie Gutfreund, of the Intelligence Group, there will be around 86 million Millennials in the workplace by 2020. With those kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder companies are spending so much time trying to figure out the secret to attracting – and keeping – this most pervasive of generations.

Location is the hidden benefit no one talks about

We’ve heard (ad nauseam) that this generation wants to make a difference in the world and that they’re lusting after the elusive work-life balance. But what we don’t seem to hear enough of is how where they live is just as important as what they do. Even with reports of talented workers from the Millennial generation threatening to leave jobs they love because they hate where they live, no one seems to really get it.

The bottom line is that Millennials expect a lot from their employers, and part of that is location. One of the reasons 74 percent of Millennials want the freedom of a flexible work schedule is because they want to do more in a day than punch in and punch out. They want their work to serve their life, rather than living to serve their work.

Part of that means being able to break up your day with a peaceful hike in the mountains, an early-morning surf, or a much-needed afternoon catnap. What Millennials know is that having control over their time and output makes them better, smarter workers. What companies fear is that nothing will get done unless people are chained to their desks. And maybe if you live in a place where there really is nothing better to do than go to work, it doesn’t matter. But Millennials disagree.

Location is becoming a huge piece of overall life satisfaction and if companies want to remain competitive, as the Millennial workplace invasion continues, they need to start capitalizing on that. Benefits, flexibility, a fully-stocked break room fridge, and perks like pet insurance or weekly massages are still attractive – but if you’re offering them in a city with a terrible housing market or exorbitant rent prices, top candidates might not want to stick around.

Recruiters need to start taking more into account than their standard benefit package. To lure the best talent from the Millennial generation, companies must tout the value of their location and highlight why living there will be awesome.

How to make location part of your recruiting package

A great place to start is by partnering with the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau. If you don’t even know why your city is great, how can you be expected to sell it to someone else? Find out everything you can about business trends, cost of living, local attractions, quality of schools, and the abundance of green space. Even if you’re not a weekend warrior, learn about the outdoor recreation that’s nearby so you can let that avid rock climber know that they’ll have ample opportunity to indulge their passion.

Learn about the best neighborhoods for people at different stages of life. Many Millennials are single or married without kids – find out the best places for singletons to call home as well as the safest family-friendly neighborhoods. Research which areas of town are up-and-coming, as many Millennials are attracted to an area with history that’s making a comeback. The more you can help your candidate envision their life in your town, the better chance you’ll have of snagging them before someone else does.

But location isn’t just about the regional landscape and local amenities. Even if your town doesn’t seem glamorous, it might have a great housing market or a huge sense of civic pride. Look into opportunities for your company to partner with local non-profits or community organizations. With 64 percent of Millennials wanting to make the world a better place, the mere fact that your company offers a way to do that can be a big plus.

Millennials want to love the work they do, the people they work with, and the place they call home. It’s a tall order, but smart companies that want the best workers competing for a spot at their table, need to start paying attention. Lauding the praises of your location may be the new ace in the hole for savvy recruiters.

Jonathan Deesing is a relocation expert who writes for imove.com. When he’s not popping bubblewrap you can find him playing with puppies or baking cinnamon raisin bread.