Despite all the negative press, millennials now make up a majority of the U.S. workforce, and that percentage will only increase as the boomer generation makes its exit. As such, many employers are rethinking their strategies to keep and retain top talent.
Major financial institutions are appealing to millennials’ interest in social impact by playing up their volunteer opportunities. It’s not just about offering a perk to bring employees in, but in a generation where job satisfaction trumps job loyalty, more companies are changing their culture to appeal to the generation’s priorities. In particular, those in the financial industry worry they’re losing key talent to the more millennial-friendly tech companies of Silicon Valley.
“Increasingly — and especially coming out of the financial crisis — we know the industry and Citi have taken a little bit of a hit around prestige, culture,” says Citi’s global campus recruiting head Bill Fisse in an article published on tearsheet.co. “It’s a brand enhancer for us, but we’re sincerely committed because it really goes to taking on our corporate vision of enabling growth and progress in the world.”
Citi is among leading financial institutions aiming to up their appeal with volunteer programs. While such programs have been around for some time, the latest iterations go beyond allowing workers an afternoon off here or there to do volunteer work and try to match employees’ skills and talents with nonprofits. Wells Fargo, for example, offers a module to prepare its employees to serve on the board of a nonprofit.
Going a step further, Citi has partnered with Cari Club, a platform that matches employees with nonprofits seeking board members. High-performing employees are given the opportunity to spend anywhere from four or five weeks on sabbatical to a full gap year, in addition to more traditional volunteering positions.