Recruiting Perks to Attract Younger Workers


Tips to tap into a hidden labor pool.

Business owners don’t have enough workers to keep their doors open. There are 10 million job openings but only 8 million workers to fill them, according to the Department of Labor.

If you have been listening to the news, you’ve heard about a labor shortage—more jobs than job seekers, more openings than candidates. And while there is an ongoing debate as to the causes contributing to this labor shortage, many recruiters are beginning to look more closely at the next generation of workers and what companies can do to recruit them.

The Good Old Days—A Ping-Pong Table in the Break room

In Pre-Covid times, many companies spent time, money, and effort to provide fun workplace perks to attract younger workers—often symbolized in the media by a photo of a ping-pong table in the break room.

However, a recent study by the University of Missouri’s Novak Leadership Institute found that those fun perks are now relegated to the past. Younger workers—defined as 35 years and younger—now value companies committed to fostering their career success rather than offering fun perks like a company happy hour. 

Workers Younger than 35— Workplace Happiness Rules

The survey asked participants to rank the importance and types of perks employers used to retain workers and the importance of managerial support and staff engagement. Here are the top-ranking career priorities:

  • Workplace happiness was defined as providing younger employees with a clear, well-defined career track.
  • The highest priority—that companies should invest more in training managers to communicate respectfully and nurture younger employees.
  • Participants wanted regular feedback sessions from managers and staff mentoring programs.

Most Coveted, High-Profile Perks

When it comes to recruiting younger workers, LinkedIn reveals the top three perks that get younger worker’s attention when listed in job postings:

  1. Offering programs that reduce a younger worker’s student loan debt, including an employer’s monetary contribution towards paying off that debt.
  2. Providing tuition reimbursement programs to complete educational degrees, obtain specialty training or certifications.
  3. Job openings listed with paid internships or pay-while-you-train programs that offer a promise for subsequent hiring.

Rewrite Your Job Postings

If these are the underlying career goals that motivate younger workers when looking for a job, employers will need to promote these new perks when posting job openings. Company profiles and job listings will also need to include additional language emphasizing a company’s commitment to mentoring and ongoing training.

Why it Matters

Offering these types of staff programs and perks sends a message to younger employees that they will have an opportunity to grow and develop while remaining at the same company. The generational shift towards these desired perks reveals a more productive and competent workforce and should be welcomed! However, by ignoring the priorities of younger workers, companies may lose out on a generation of job prospects or be unable to retain those younger workers—missing a chance to grow and remain competitive for the future.

Cardinal Can Help You Recruit for the Future

For advice on how you can help your company attract the next generation of employees, or if your company has any payroll or benefits needs, call the experts at Cardinal Services: 1.800.342.4742.