Business services: do millennial’s want a job or an experience?

Business services: do millennial's want a job or an experience?
(Adventureland, Miramax)

Working in recruitment you hear the word ‘experience’ a lot…Usually, in business services positions, it is within the context of what a candidate can bring to a position, or specific experience a client requires: what previous experience do they have, how much experience is required for a role, that kind of thing.


But, as more and more millennials enter the workforce, I’ve noticed that this word is now being used more commonly to describe what a company can offer you…There are a still lot of lazy stereotypes regarding a millennial workforce, but if you want them to want to work for your business services company (or any other company!), you may want to take some notes – starting with the end of these tired stereotypes.


Millennials are the first digital natives to enter the working world and this hasn’t been lost on us recruiters. The differences between this generation and their predecessors, however subtle, can have a huge impact on what someone expects from a job.


Whilst millennials want essentially the same as everybody else; enough money to live comfortably, career progression, a friendly team and a good work/life balance. How these areas are prioritised is slightly different…


Increasingly, a higher value is being given to a positive work culture over what a starting salary may be. Millennial workers are frequently less engaged by the prestige of a company, as they are more inclined to work somewhere where they believe their work is meaningful and the company that they work for has a strong social purpose. Just because a company is a reputable brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a desired workplace.


In a current candidate-driven market, millennials are being more and more selective over their future potential employer.


You may have noticed recently that a lot of business services companies are now online so that they can showcase who they are and what they are about directly to a young, digitally engaged audience. Technology has changed, and it now allows millennials more access to research companies, check reviews and identify other employees via platforms such as LinkedIn.


Whilst each millennial worker is different, generally, they all want purpose over a paycheck (with a dash of success thrown in there!). They are likely to search for opportunities that will enable them to learn, grow and develop, and if companies want to get the best of the next generation to work with them, they will need to adapt in order to survive…


In such a competitive market, recruitment is a two-way process and companies need to sell their opportunity as much as the candidate sells themselves.


But what do you think? Do you work in business services or are you a millennial? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.