July 16, 2012 // By: Heather McIlvaine // Beer, iPad, or Flexibility: Which Incentives Work?
When you ask Geraldine McBride, president of SAP America, how SAP became an employer of choice, she gives an answer that sounds a little too easy: “Being a top workplace is all about having fun, doing meaningful work, and making our customers happy. This is why we’re an employer of choice for everyone from new college graduates to professionals from all industries.”
While most job seekers probably agree that “having fun” at work is a definite plus, it’s not actually one of the qualities they put at the top of their list. In contrast, numerous studies show that young professionals really are searching for “meaningful work.” According to Universum’s survey of over 10,000 young professionals, Generation Y is more likely than older workers to choose an employer that conveys a sense of purpose other than or in addition to making money.
Of course, not all young professionals are immune to the material world. Tales of recruiting techniques at start-ups in New York and San Francisco verge on the absurd. Year-long supplies of beer, free haircuts, bikes, and iPads: When it comes to attracting the best in the IT business, there’s no gimmick some desperate companies won’t try. And what many employees once thought of as perks are now considered standard: free meals, stock options, shuttle buses.