Korn Ferry survey finds compensation one of the least important factors for recruiting Millennial talent


Young Professionals more motivated by ability to make an impact, career progression opportunities and the alignment of company values

Los Angeles, March 5, 2015Korn Ferry, a Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) company specializing in high-impact recruitment solutions, today announced results of an executive study that shows the top considerations for attracting and retaining Millennial employees and recruits.

When asked what matters most to employees who are part of the Millennial generation – generally defined as those born after 1980 – the greatest number of respondents (23 percent) said it was “the ability to make an impact on the business,” followed by “a clear path for advancement” (20 percent) and “development and ongoing feedback” (16 percent). Income came in at fourth place at 13 percent.

When questioning what makes Millennials choose one job over another, more than a third (38 percent) said “visibility and buy-in to the vision of the organization” while 28 percent said “a clear path for advancement.” “Job title and pay” came in third place at 18 percent.

“This research demonstrates the changing priorities of today’s young workforce. Where traditionally we might have expected salary to be the number one differentiator for talent choosing their next employer, Millennials are now placing greater value on understanding what a company stands for and how, as employees, they can play a role in growing the organization into a better, stronger brand,” said Trish Healy, Korn Ferry vice president of RPO Operations in North America. “As part of the recruiting and onboarding process, organizations need to clearly communicate the paths for advancement and create ongoing dialogue about development opportunities.”

The survey also revealed that nearly half (42 percent) of survey respondents believe social media is the best tactic for recruitment, followed by “word-of-mouth/networking” (28 percent) and online talent communities (19 percent).

“Businesses need to meet these young professionals where they live, which is on social and mobile platforms,” said Healy. “These channels are clearly a way of life for this generation, making it imperative that when companies look to hire the best and the brightest, they are creating digital-first recruitment strategies. Mobile optimized career sites as well as online professional and social communities that communicate the culture, values and personality of the company with real-time interaction from the brand, will enable members of this generation to truly connect and engage with the company.”

Healy added that a multi-channel approach is essential to attracting, engaging and retaining the talent with the right skills, experiences, traits and drivers to achieve the company’s strategic objectives. “Doing so will allow the company to stand out from competitors in the war for top young talent,” she said.

Additional findings from the survey revealed that once employees are hired there are key benefits to in-depth onboarding practices. While 81 percent of respondents said they currently develop millennial employees differently than other employees, more than half of respondents (54 percent) said onboarding programs help improve performance and accelerate time to full productivity. Nearly one quarter (23 percent) claimed it provided company leaders with more insight into future stars within the organization.

About the survey
Korn Ferry fielded the survey during the second and third weeks of February 2015. There were nearly 800 responses. Survey Results:

What matters most to your millennial employees?

Development/ ongoing feedback16%
Clear Path for advancement20%
Values of your organization11%
Social responsibility5%
Ability to make an impact on the business23%
Fun, friendly workplace12%

What is the best way to recruit millennials?

Online talent communities19%
Job fairs2%
Job boards5%
Networking/ word of mouth28%
Mobile apps4%
Social media42%

What makes a millennial choose one job over another?

Visibility and buy-in into the mission/vision of the organization38%
Clear path for advancement28%
Reputation of the company9%
Title and pay18%

Do you develop your millennial employees (those born after 1980) differently than older employees?


What is the number 1 benefit of an in-depth onboarding program for millennials? (those born after 1980)

Help attract millennial employees3%
Help retain millennial employees19%
Help improve their performance and accelerate time to full productivity54%
Give the company leaders more insight into future stars in the organization23%

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the global industry leader in high-impact recruitment solutions; offering fully customized, flexible services to help organizations meet their talent and recruitment needs. Our clients turn to us for proven expertise, a global process and infrastructure, proprietary competency models, innovative sourcing and attraction strategies, and a unique approach to measure and optimize business impact.

As a Korn Ferry Company, Korn Ferry can meet a variety of workforce requirements; from RPO and project recruitment, to search and consulting, our solutions apply a truly world-class capability to deliver talent with impact, providing the experience and global reach to identify, attract and retain the people who drive business success. To learn more, visit www.Korn Ferry.com.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent authority on leadership and talent. For decades, clients have trusted us to recruit leaders throughout the world. Today we are their partner in designing strategies to accelerate business outcomes through talent.

Sign up for Korn Ferry updates


Dan Gugler
+1 310 552-1834

Asia Pacific:
Malte Weyhe
+61 2 9667 2604

Michele Lally
+44 7387 092650