Stop by for groceries, leave with a job application.
Having a career isn’t what it used to be. For the most part, the baby boomer idea of taking a job out of college and holding it down until retirement is gone. Instead, millennials — who Fortune defines as those born between 1981 and 1997 — are, as the magazine puts it, “inveterate job hoppers.” So how do you keep millennials around? It’s a question Fortune looked into when compiling its 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials list — and the answer is at least partially encapsulated by the two grocery chains that made the cut: Wegmans (number 12) and Publix (number 62).
Probably not coincidentally, these two supermarkets recently finished first and second in a survey of America’s favorite grocery stores. Apparently, their employees have positive feelings about them as well. “The company gives everyone an opportunity to grow,” one unnamed worker said of New York-based Wegmans, where millennials make up 58 percent of the workforce. “Not only do they help employees become stronger workers but they help employees become stronger and better people outside of work as well.”
Foodie types might be interested to hear about Wegmans' grocer’s training program. “They will always cross-train you for a job you do not have real experience with, and will do so willingly,” another employee said. “For instance, there have been employees sent to other countries to study specific items...I find that pretty cool and worth taking advantage of.”
Publix, which is largely staffed by millennials (57 percent, to be exact), was the only other supermarket on the list. Employees praised the company's friendly atmosphere and flexible work schedules. As one Publix staff member told Fortune, “I am currently a full-time police officer and still decided to stay part-time with Publix because it truly is like a family — from the way you are treated to the many opportunities."
Another Publix employee echoed that idea: “In this company, the workers are associates, not employees. We are all owners of our company. When everyone is an owner, you get thousands of people who want the company to succeed. We are all in this together, that is what gives us an edge over the rest of the industry.”
Of course, 98 other companies made the top 100, including food-related brands like Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Cheesecake Factory, candy giant Mars, business catering brand ezCater, and America’s fastest growing restaurant chain MOD Pizza. But at a time when finding the perfect job might feel trickier than ever, the fact that two grocery stores performed so well underscores an interesting point: Maybe a satisfying gig has been staring you in the face every time you went to grab some organic peaches and a case of LaCroix.