How to meet the promotion expectations of career-driven millennials

22 Mar 2018

Technology, software and speed have shaped the millennial generation. They have grown up with the internet and devices; their world is a fast-delivering world, so it’s little surprise that they expect instant delivery when it comes to ascending the career ladder. They have learned to follow a system and get results, such as a promotion – one that’s guaranteed.

How do promotion opportunities in PR and Corporate Comms look?

Industry professionals are fully aware that the more senior you get, opportunities and expectations for promotions are lessened. In a corporate PR agency, the average Account Director has seven years’ experience and will have been promoted four times to make an Account Director from starting out as an Account Executive. This means being promoted every two years is very feasible in the early stage of a corporate communications career. However, there are many Account Directors with four years of experience, so they are clearly getting promoted every year.

A few tips on how to manage millennials’ promotion expectations

Our Annual Salary Guide results gave us some insight into possible reasons for millennials wanting to leave their jobs. By focusing on the things that millennials really value in their career, Comms Directors can boost levels of employees’ job satisfaction and retention. Our survey revealed four things that are really important to career-focused millenials:

  • A crystal clear career path
  • Feeling challenged
  • A great company culture
  • Regular pay reviews

If you have millennials looking to be promoted, leverage their desire by pushing their work production and development. Encourage their inherent drive to be promoted by clarifying the expectations you have for promotion. Then help them devise a plan to be promoted by accomplishing goals towards a promotion. This action will allow your millennial employees to have a reasonable timeline that you support. Check in on a regular basis (monthly ideally; quarterly at the very least) and give them the chance to show evidence of achievement.

Frequent pay reviews are also important. While company policies can restrict how often you hold these reviews, it is key to know if you’re paying your team their market worth. Millennials are very open with each other about their salaries, bonuses and company benefits, so they will have a good understanding of their current worth.

Challenge your career-hungry millennials to improve, develop, and grow. After all, they are not getting any younger – they are quickly repopulating the managerial positions in companies, so make the most of their drive, and train them to be future leaders.

Our Salary Guide can help Communications Directors stay on top of a number of expectations that millennials bring to the table. Read more here:

For more advice on how to fill your leadership pipeline with millennials who are keen to move up, please get in touch on 0207 903 9290 or email

Salary Survey 2017 - 2018