With millennial employees now ascendant in workplaces across the land, managers are grappling with how to hire, retain and engage them. In our new continuing series, Anna Fitzpatrick answers our burning questions about how to approach this exotic species of office fauna.

We hear millennials crave snacks and beer carts even more than a raise. Is that true?

Photo: Roberto Caruso

Photo: Roberto Caruso

This question is like trying to pick between having a dog that can do coffee runs and being best friends with Rihanna: a fun game that has little bearing on reality. Like many post-recession pros, I rotate through freelance and contract gigs to earn dough, which made me give serious side-eye to a recent Glassdoor study finding that 89% of 18- to 34-year-olds would prefer more perks to a pay raise.

I brought this up with Lauren Friese, a consultant and the founder of youth job site TalentEgg, who says the “money doesn’t matter” stereotype comes from anxiety about finding steady work: “In an interview, you’re not going to say, ‘Well, you pay a lot, and that is what’s most important to me.’” As with others before us, we millennials want a comfortable, living wage—something even killer office snacks can’t replace.

This article is from the May 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!

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Have you noticed any differences between millennials and older generations when it comes to compensation? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

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