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6 traits millennials should look for in a new employer

If you're ready to trade in your job for a stable career, these are the employer qualities you want to keep an eye out for.

6 traits millennials should look for in a new employer

Maybe you’re a job-hopping millennial that’s ready to settle down and start your career. Stability sounds nice, right? You’ve built up your skill set, know your worth and are ready to commit to a company long-term. But now the problem is actually finding “the one”—the company that meets all of your needs and is a perfect fit.

Aside from a good salary, what else should you be looking for in a company?

The verdict is in. A CNBC All-America Economic Survey found these are the six most important traits millennials should look for in a potential employer: ethics, environmental practices, work-life balance, profitability, diversity and reputation for hiring the best and the brightest employees.

We spoke to millennials to learn more about why these employer traits matter and why they should be on the top of your must-have list.


According to a Deloitte international survey, 75% of millennials believe businesses are more focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. Millennials prioritize ethics and strong social missions when it comes to seeking employment at the a company.

“I like working for a company that chooses to not only make a great product but to also do good in the world that makes a difference,” says Vincent Carabeo, 25, community manager at Seattle-based photography accessories startup Moment.

Carabeo, like many millennials, wants to work for a company whose social values align with his own. “I find that putting my passions into my daily work motivates me and enables me to thrive and grow personally and professionally,” he says.

Environmental practices

CNBC’s All-America Economic survey showed a slight preference among millennials for a company with strong environmental sustainability practices.

Kelsey Reinke, 25, a cargo agent with Delta Air Lines, says a company’s corporate responsibility is important, especially for millennials who are passionate about environmental practices.

“Personally, I look for a company that is supporting the local environment and community in my area,” says Reinke.

Work-life balance

Millennials are just as concerned about work-life balance as any other generation. Eighteen percent of millennials say work-life balance is the most important trait in a company, compared with 19% of the working population, according to the CNBC All-America Economic Survey.

“I think my generation looks for a strong work-life balance measured by freedom and flexibility around hours and paid time off,” says Haley Smith, 25, a lab assistant at a cancer research facility in Seattle.


Like any generation, millennial job seekers want to work for a profitable company; one that has a sustainable business and can provide growth for its employees.

Deloitte’s survey found that millennials believe an organization’s treatment of its employees is the most important consideration in determining whether a company can be considered a leader.

“I look for clear structure and roles and responsibilities,” says Carabeo. “I want to work for a place that has a plan for me to grow with the company, as well as having people willing to teach me.”


When it comes to the workplace, millennials say they look for a company that is diverse in terms of culture, gender and race. This trait reflects a changing workforce that comprises a 43% non-white population, the highest percentage in American history, writes millennial workplace expert Lindsey Pollak.

“For me, an open-minded company culture is crucial,” says Reinke. “Also, seeing women in positions of power is important to me.”

Currently, women account for 60% of college grads but only 3% of leaders worldwide, according to Dennis Nally, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers.


A Bentley University study found 95% of millennials say a company’s reputation matters to them and 91% say that a company’s social impact efforts are important when they are considering which companies to work for. For Carabeo, it’s important to work for a company that embodies a positive mission and is passionate about it. “I really admire the company I work for, and I think that’s important for other millennials,” he says.

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