This exploratory IRI Research study set out to identify the attributes of workplace environments and cultures that are attractive to early-career technical talent. The work began with a review of the literature on key characteristics of millennial workers and on the effect those characteristics have on recruitment and retention of these young workers, then proceeded to a survey of early-career professionals and case studies of organizations that have succeeded in attracting these young technical workers. The findings suggest that the differences between millennials and earlier generations, at least in terms of workplace preferences, have perhaps been exaggerated—both early- and later-career professionals mostly want similar workplace attributes and professional development opportunities: competitive salaries, healthcare benefits, 401K matching, a multifaceted professional development plan, flexible hours, and the ability to work remotely. Quality leadership and management are also important to all age groups, as is a transparent organization that fully engages employees in its goals. Early-career professionals are more interested than later-career workers in quicker rotation through projects and roles, more continuous feedback, and more paid time off.
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