Leadership

3 reasons why millennials want to work for Google and Amazon so badly

Brendan Hoffman | Getty Images

Tech companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft top the list of employers that millennials want to work for. Why? Because they give young professionals what they want most: career growth, flexibility and a sense of purpose.

In fact, tech companies represent four out of the top five employers millennials want to work for most.

That's according to a recent study by the survey development platform SurveyMonkey. "Millennials are primarily interested in opportunities for career growth," Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey, tells CNBC Make It. "Look at Microsoft, Apple, Google. They all have that same characteristic: growth."

The survey was conducted online among a national sample of 13,882 adults evaluating the top 75 companies ranked in the Fortune 500.

Tech's quick expansion makes room for more jobs

Cohen says that tech companies grow at a rapid pace, allowing for increased career opportunities and growth throughout the company. Older age groups are more interested in compensation and total package, says Cohen.

But for millennials there's a correlation between the top companies they want to work for and how fast those companies are growing, he says. Cohen adds that unlike other age groups, millennials see themselves advancing more swiftly into higher level positions.

In another survey, performed in partnership with job site Ladders, 80 percent of millennials say they expect a promotion within one to two years.

Millennials want "accelerated promotions," which tech companies can provide" because they have the financial ability and consistently add new roles as they grow, says Cohen.

Millennials value flexibility over freebies

Although companies like Google are known for giving perks like free lunches, few millennials listed these bonuses as reasons they'd want to work for a tech company.

Stephan Dietrich, vice president of computer software platform Adobe Campaign, tells CNBC Make it that "throwing free things" at employees is not effective in retaining or attracting top talent.

Google employee at a recreational area
Edgar Su | Reuters
Google employee at a recreational area

"It's artificial to give free lunches and gym memberships," says Dietrich. People want to work at a company where they are "able to learn and be challenged and see results," he says. "Then the career growth comes naturally."

However, 64 percent of millennials do say that they are most excited about company perks like flexible hours and working from home. Tech companies tend to dominate the lists of organizations that offer such flexibility, Cohen tells CNBC Make It.

Young professionals want to make an impact

Finally, millennials care about being challenged, impacting society and making a difference in the world, says Cohen. Working in tech allows them to be on the cutting-edge of society and see their ideas come to fruition.

Along the same lines, millennials are more likely to seek out companies with progressive management. A majority of millennials, 65 percent, say they'd rather work for an organization whose mission they believe in than a company that pays a lot.

Cohen points to Silicon Valley's swift response to President Trump's transgender military ban as well as the travel ban as examples of progressive thought in the tech space.

Dietrich doubles down on the importance of young professionals feeling that they are adding value to a company. He says that his team at Adobe has had a 40 percent growth rate because the "younger generation is excited about learning and enjoy feeling like they have an impact."

"If you keep them excited to come into work," he says, "it will bring tremendous growth and revenue."

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