The New Millennial Mindset: Career Motivators

It was recently reported in the news that the final ever video recorder will be produced in Japan this month. Not that long ago, these were the most innovative, must-have items in the home. People thought they’d be around forever. Soon, they’ll be consigned to the history books.

It’s a rapidly changing world that we live in. So it comes as no surprise that the attitudes of its newest additions – the Millennial generation – have evolved too.

Millennials have longer careers ahead of them than any generation before them. They’re in it for the long-haul. They know that they’re going to spend the bulk of their lives at work. So they want to know what’s in it for them.

A new Millennial mindset is emerging. They’re asking ‘what can I gain out of this?’, and making career decisions accordingly.

Millennial career motivators

For employers, the challenge is on. They need to stay on top of these changing attitudes and get under the skin of what motivates the next generation. Most importantly, they need to evolve their attraction and retention strategies, if they want to attract and retain talent in the long-term.

We decided to see just how well senior HR professionals understand the preferences of Millennials. We started by asking Millennials what they look for when choosing where and how they work. The answer? Money, security, and time off. Millennials want to be rewarded, feel secure in their employment, and have the freedom to stop and refuel along the way. Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t their top priority. Quality of life is becoming more important than ever.

We asked the same question to 250 senior HR professionals from across the UK. As our recent report Millennial Mismatch – Why It Matters showed, they knew job security was important. But interestingly, they rated CSR practices, benefits, and the location of the job as being much more important for Millennials than they really are.

There’s clearly a mismatch between what Millennials are looking for, and what employers think they’re looking for. And that’s a divide that must be bridged – quickly.


It’s time for Human Resource professionals to dig below the surface of this new Millennial mindset and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to talent, recruitment, and retention. We must be careful not to make generalisations. But, on closer inspection, we may find that the values, drivers, and needs of Millennials are not all that different from other generations in the workforce.

Organisations should embrace the opportunity to truly understand, develop and engage with this new Millennial mindset. Businesses that do will be the ones who remain competitive and innovative. And, most of all, they will truly benefit from the passion, creativity and unique capabilities that Millennials hold.

For a more detailed look at the motivators and preferences of Millennials around the world, take a look at our recent report Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision.