News for HR Professionals


A Fresh Crop of Graduates

April showers bring more than May flowers—they also herald a flood of new graduates looking for their first post-college jobs. This year, that group includes approximately 3.7 million millennials (ages 18–34) who are finishing two-year, four-year and advanced degree programs¹. They’ll join a workforce where more than one in three people are also part of the millennial generation², a number that Stifel Equity Research expects to swell to almost one in two by 2020.

See How They’ve Grown

For companies eager to attract and keep millennial workers, it’s critical to understand what drives them. One of the best ways to do that is by examining where they’ve come from. The Council of Economic Advisers’ report “15 Economic Facts About Millennials” reveals that because the oldest millennial workers were young adults during the recession of 2007–2008, they tend to be financially cautious and frugal. At the same time, many members of this generation are struggling under a heavy load of student loan debt—an average of $35,000 per graduate in 2015³—that leaves them reluctant to make major commitments, such as purchasing a home.

Help Them Put Down Roots

While money worries and a desire for stability might seem like reasons to avoid changing employers, millennials are also the generation most likely to plan on looking for a new job in the next 12 months⁴. That’s a statistic calculated to strike dread into the hearts of HR professionals, whose task it is to retain them.

But there’s good news too: 64 percent of millennials also say their overall benefits package is “extremely” or “very” important to employer loyalty, and 39 percent reveal that employers can keep them in their jobs by improving their benefits packages⁴. And what are the perks they want most? According to a report by PayScale and Millennial Branding, pet healthcare plans and the ability to bring pets to work are near the very top of the list.

Treat Their Pets Like Family

In fact, as a group, millennials are more pet-focused and interested in pet-friendly job amenities than any previous generation. About 35 percent of them already own pets⁵, and the number is increasing: by 2020, they’re expected to move ahead of baby boomers as the largest pet-owning generation⁶. Because many have delayed other life commitments, they tend to have more time and money to spend on their pets—U.S. $10.6 billion in 2014, according to Packaged Facts—as well as to regard their pets as full, if four-legged, members of their families. As such, they want to work for employers who view their pets with equal respect, and who offer benefits such as health coverage to prove it.

Provide Financial Security With Pet Insurance

In addition to supporting millennials’ desire to give their furry friends the best care, pet insurance from Nationwide® hits all their financial hot buttons. Having grown up under the shadow of a recession, they know the value of establishing security and preparing for the unexpected, and having a pet healthcare plan is a step toward achieving both those goals. Whether it’s a midnight trip to the emergency clinic because Buddy ate something he shouldn’t, or a routine checkup for Fluffy that reveals an ongoing issue, a Nationwide® plan lets pet owners make decisions based on what’s best for their pets, not their financial resources—an especially attractive benefit when you consider that 66 percent of millennials have less than $1,000 on hand to pay for unexpected out-of-pocket expenses⁷.

Pet insurance plans also appeal to millennials’ sense of frugality, allowing them to pay a small monthly premium for assistance with large bills in the future. And because coverage is for life, there’s no need to worry about aging pets or pets with chronic conditions being dropped. It all adds up to peace of mind that can not only help attract new graduates to your company, but keep them satisfied and loyal for years to come.