millennials want workLast week, I was leading a workshop on Millennials with managers and supervisors of a large senior care company based in Virginia. At the end of the session, Mary (a Baby Boomer) approached me and declared “I think you are a millennial at heart.” Although I am a member of the Generation X, I took this as a compliment.


In fact, Mary’s comment was very perceptive. As an HR professional, I have come to appreciate Millennials’ expectations from the workplace because they benefit the entire workforce. Understanding what millennials value and adapting the workplace accordingly doesn’t mean caving to the demands of a spoiled generation. What millennials demand more forcefully than previous generations amounts to good employment practices.

The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey identifies the top 10 things millennials want from work. There are overlaps between what they want from work and what home care offers.

Agencies are likely to be successful in attracting millennial caregivers if they:

  • Talk (and walk the talk) on their mission
  • Demonstrate the quality of their services
  • Emphasize the dynamic growth of the senior care  industry
  • Showcase opportunities for career progression and promotion from within,

Let’s examine a couple things millennials want from work in more details.

Flexible hours.

Forty percent of millennials prefer a more flexible work schedule over a salary increase. Home care does provide non-standard work hours with live-in options, day shifts, night shifts, spilt shifts. Anyone looking for flexible work hours can look to home care for income.

Interestingly, other generations also want flexible work hours. Family caregivers of aging parents, those with childcare responsibilities need the flexibility to attend to the many demands put on their time. They want to contribute meaningfully at work AND be there for their family.

However, some confuse flexibility and reliability. Flexible work hours doesn’t mean showing up for work whenever. Employers need to make this point clear especially to those new to the profession. It is noteworthy that 20 percent of millennials pursue their education while working. So even for millennials, flexible hours doesn’t necessarily mean more time for leisure.

Have an impact on the community.

Home care workers make a significant difference in the lives of those they serve and their families. Showcasing this impact and sharing through social media is a great way to appeal to those millennials who attracted to caregiving professions. It will also open the eyes of many millennials who may have never considering home care as an employment option. Home care is not just for grandma. It’s one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.

Either by choice or necessity, millennials have grown up doing volunteer work. They volunteered to satisfy high school graduation requirements. During the Great Recession, they saw volunteer opportunities as a way to gain work skills and wedge their way into the workplace when paid employment wasn’t available.

Consider offering employees a chance to influence your community involvement. Giving time to employees to volunteer their skills and talents to do good in the world is also considered in plus in the eyes of millennials looking for their next job.

Home care has mission, values, and work that appeals to millennials. By showcasing those elements in recruitment and in daily employment practices, agencies can attract millennial employees and tame the caregiver crisis.

Are you baffled by Millennials in your workplace? If so, contact me to learn more about the research study we are launching this month. Agencies who participate will receive a free report with our findings.