The Benefit of a Company Car to a Millennial
Last spring, I began searching for my first “real” job since college graduation was right around the corner. My search led me to an interview for a sales position in Boston. The position required employees to meet at the company headquarters in the morning before heading out to different neighborhoods every day for a canvasing-style marketing campaign.
There was one crucial benefit that I noticed was missing for that job; a company car. The job description highlighted the need for employees to travel to different neighborhoods in order to promote the latest campaign, without providing employees the resources to get to these locations. They expected me (a freshly minted poor college graduate already saddled with student loans) to go buy a car, pay for insurance, maintenance, fuel and taxes out of my own pocket so I could go sell their service.
I had friends who already secured a coveted post-grad position who were getting company laptops in order to do their jobs. A vehicle felt like a necessary tool to do this particular job. Not to mention my friends would go to an office every day. The company would provide them with heat, electricity and other basic amenities to do their jobs. I couldn’t understand why a company would provide those work essentials for office workers but would not do something similar for those on the road.
Once it was clear I would not be provided with the tools to be successful, it was an easy decision to reject the job offer.
I recalled that experience after I stumbled across an article the other day which focused on benefits to attract millennials to work for a particular company. While I agree that many perks on the list could make the work environment enjoyable (i.e. socials or a ping pong table), they are not benefits that would make me choose one company over another. In fact, I ultimately accepted my first job for a vastly different position because the company offered me what I would need to be successful. Having the tools and resources to help me actually do my work was a better benefit than the prospect of a fun environment.
I found another article which discussed why millennials aren’t buying cars anymore, and couldn’t help but to laugh. It made it seem like millennials don’t want cars at all, as they are too expensive and are all millennials are living in cities.
It’s not that I don’t want a car, but the thought of owning a car is a daunting expense to consider, especially while trying to pay back student loans. Not to mention, I am back at home with my parents (who definitely do not live in the city) in order to save a little bit of money and still can’t imagine owning a car at this point.
I would guess that any generation of “road warrior” would be happy with a company vehicle. Articles like the ones mentioned above mask the facts of affordability, particularly for college graduates who often times don’t know where they’ll be in a few years. Headlines reading “Millennials Are Not Buying Cars” does not mean that we don’t want them, but rather we cannot afford them.
If your company is looking to attract millennials, make sure that you’re providing them with all of the tools necessary to do the job.