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Eva Katalin Kondoros_istock_millennialfun

4 Ways to Create a Competitive Compensation Package for Millennials

Sep 28th 2016
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The rise of the millennial workforce has seen a proliferation in perks and a shift in expectations of workplace culture, some of which have never been seen before, and must be integrated into the modern remuneration set at your firm.

Moreover, in order to attract the right kind of talent and retain it, accounting firms must keep up. This article offers some things to consider when creating a competitive compensation package for millennials.

1. Salary

Although selecting a prospective employer is about more than just a number, salary is still a major deciding factor for millennials. When arriving at a figure, you must know the market value salary of the position. Resources like Glassdoor mean candidates can research what they should be paid based on location and experience, so it’s best to be educated. Robert Half releases an annual salary guide for the accounting and finance industry that shows salary ranges for given positions.

In my experience, I found success offering a salary combined with a commission-based incentive. In my business, employees were assigned a group of clients and, subsequently, the responsibility of billing collection. Every six months their share of the profits would be calculated, minus any write-offs, and they would be paid the month after. I found this method helped with retention, encouraged quality work, and allowed employees to feel the benefit of a productive season.

2. Perks and Culture

We often hear about all the outrageous perks offered by tech companies in Silicon Valley, ranging from on-site oil changes to haircuts and more. While some of these may be a little over-the-top for your average accounting firm, you can certainly take a leaf out of these organizations’ books in order to create a fun, collaborative working environment for millennials.

For example, who would’ve thought basketball and bookkeeping would go hand-in-hand? Bookkeeping firm, Bookkeeping Express, has a basketball hoop in their office. In fact, the Maryland Association of CPAs brought down their walls, literally, and stocks their kitchen with plenty of snacks and coffee, making it a great place to work.

It’s also important that firms offer flexible work, and cloud accounting and related software in general are creating a wealth of remote work opportunities. HPC is one of a growing number of fully virtual firms that leverages the cloud model while still keeping their office culture alive and well. They have virtual happy hours and all-hands meetings! Developing a warm and friendly workplace is the key to longevity and retaining talent.

3. Benefits

Traditional benefits are a given in competitive salary packages; it’s a necessity to have robust 401(k) and health insurance options to choose from. That being said, millennials are also looking for untraditional benefits when considering an employer.

Wellness programs are a huge retention incentivizer. Education firm, Nelnet, asks exiting employees what they are going to miss most about working there, and the overwhelming answer is the wellness program. Simple additions like discounted gym memberships, bike commuter subsidies, and in-office yoga can make working for an organization all the more attractive.

Generous PTO policies are increasingly sought after by millennials, as they highly value flexibility. Companies like LinkedIn and Netflix offer unlimited time off to their employees. HPC has done the same. It’s all about giving millennials the tools to work toward work-life integration.

Lawhorn CPA Group has implemented a firm-wide sabbatical program, where after a five-year tenure, employees can take five weeks of paid time off to do whatever they wish. A job position’s value can all come down to the freedom it offers, and keeping these modern benefits in mind is crucial.

4. Career Growth and Belief in the Work

As mentioned earlier, fair and competitive monetary compensation is always a motivating factor for those deciding whether to apply for or accept a job. The opportunity for career growth is almost as important a motivator. This should include offering business development training and teaching consulting and client relationship skills.

By bringing millennials in on the business decision-making processes and teaching them why certain decisions are made, you show that you value their involvement. Millennials value feedback, which is why it might be worthwhile offering a mentorship program, utilizing staff members who are experienced teaching in this area.

Most millennials put a heavy emphasis on the value of the work a potential employer is doing. Make your firm’s purpose known to prospective employees and ensure they have a belief and connection with it. Millennials want to do something where they make a positive impact on your firm; this desire extends beyond the workplace.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to hire strong millennial talent in order to future-proof your practice. By offering a compensation package that aligns with their desires and beliefs, you will be sure to attract and retain this essential talent.

So, what are you doing at your firm to attract and retain millennial talent?

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