Millennials are Redefining Benefits to be More Inclusive

For our August Woke Wednesday, we discussed how benefits programs are evolving to be more inclusive - a fun, spirited discussion! 

Here’s a fun activity: type “millennials are killing” into Google and check out the autofill suggestions. You’ll find that this generation of avocado toast addicts are killing things like the doorbell industry, beer, Hooters and for some reason, 2019.

Don’t panic. Millennials aren’t killing everything - they’re only reshaping them, and mostly for the better. The doorbell industry got 100x smarter in the past 10 years. There are more beer choices than ever. Lots of people are having a great 2019 (according to my Instagram feed). And still hooting. 

It’s the same with company benefits. The concept of employers offering their workers more than just wages has been around for over a century, but millennials are driving major change in what “benefits” actually mean. They’re speaking up for things like longer maternity leave, better health and wellness incentives, commuter stipends and education reimbursement. 

In a society that’s rapidly changing and diversifying, it’s crucial for companies (especially in tech) to have benefits that are inclusive. 

The core principles haven’t changed: good benefits help recruit and retain great employees.


But the actual benefits are changing.  

Previously, it was about casting a wide net and covering as many employees as possible with basic human welfare offerings: hello, medical insurance and retirement plans! 

Nowadays, those things are just the tablesetters: companies want to connect people with benefits that they truly care about.

While benefits are generally positive, there can be downsides as well. Companies need to be aware of the negative impact a seemingly awesome benefit can have. A few of the topics of discussion:

  • Unlimited PTO might lead to employees taking fewer vacation days 

  • Pet-friendly offices might affect people with allergies or lead to distractions

  • Company happy hours can affect work/life balance, or make others feel forced into social interactions for career advancement

  • Free meals from on-site chefs can affect local food economies

As recruiters, one of the most fun parts of our job is telling a candidate about a great benefits package a company is offering. That’s a conversation that’ll keep growing - much thanks to the millennials and everyone else driving it!

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