Milennials are changing the workforce, and employers need to change, too, if they want to attract new, young employees. The latter is something employers have to do more often, as millennials tend to switch jobs more frequently than previous generations.

That means the market is seeing a higher “churn” of employees, and employers are hiring and rehiring from that same pool, says Aaron Cook, chief sales officer of WageSecure, LLC, located outside of Philadelphia. “The churn is definitely picking up and I don’t see it slowing down,” he says. Employers need to be flexible to recruit milennials, who might work for 10 to 15 different companies in their career, Cook says.  

Promoting financial wellness is also important — three-fourths of employees don’t have enough savings to cover six months of expenses, according to a Bankrate.com survey. “People just don’t have it,” Cook says.

The industry has responded with voluntary products — including low-interest loans, student loan contribution and supplemental unemployment insurance — to help with a variety of cash flow issues.

A lot of people don’t realize how low some state unemployment benefits are capped, Cook says, and defaulting on a mortgage or being unable to afford COBRA coverage are real possibilities. “There’s all kinds of nasty consequences,” he says. WageSecure offers supplemental insurance to bring a person’s unemployment benefit to 50% of their previous salary. Filling the gap between state unemployment and half of the lost income enables people to pay daily bills without emptying their savings, Cook says.

Low-interest loans also help bridge short-term financial needs, which New York City-based lender Kashable provides online. Such loans are a “much more financially intelligent alternative to borrowing from a 401(k) or other long-term investments, and is a significantly better alternative to borrowing from credit cards and other instant cash options,” says Kashable co-founder Einat Steklov.

Brokers like this solution because it gives them an opportunity to reach out to clients outside of the hectic months when employers are re-enrolling in health care plans, Steklov says. “Since there is no open enrollment period, Kashable doesn’t require time-consuming, deadline-driven and costly enrollment for employees. It also gives the broker an opportunity to offer a unique voluntary benefit that doesn’t cost the employer anything, is highly appreciated by employees and can be implemented in a very short period of time.”

Another trend among millennials

Along with changing jobs frequently, another trend among younger workers is a lack of savings. Of the people ages 18 to 29 that Bankrate.com recently surveyed, 37% said they save 5% or less. Nearly one in five, 18%, don’t save anything, according to the survey, which polled 1,000 adults in the continental U.S.

“Young people neither willingly adopt nor care about 401(k) products,” says Brendon McQueen, CEO of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Tuition.io. “The question is not whether 401(k)s are beneficial — of course they are — but rather what benefits employers can offer that are most relevant and attractive to young, talented employees.”

A lot of those employees enter the workforce with substantial debt due to student loans. Tuition.io recently launched a product, Flex395.com, to allow employers to contribute directly to their employees’ student loans.

This not only helps attract and retain milennials, but employees of all ages, says ChowNow CEO Chris Webb. “A large percentage of our team members carry some level of student debt,” he says. “Helping them pay back their loans is something we are thrilled to do and we believe will have an immediate, positive impact on their lives.” 

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