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Recruiting and Retaining Talent in Today’s Diverse Landscape
By: Harold Ford, Employer Solutions Practice Director
That is the most common age in the United States, according to Pew Research. The day has arrived – millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, and their numbers and influence in the workplace will only get larger.
To many, this shift is scary, as it represents change. It is also scary to some because Gen-Y and Z have been labeled as “trophy children”, entitled, and lazy. But these tags do not truly represent the population. In fact, if you think about it, we have become very good at shaming the younger generation for as long as generations were labeled. Gen-X were labeled a bunch of slackers. The Baby Boomers were identified as a bunch of hippies. And when the next generation comes (already named Generation Alpha), generations before them will label them as well. But we must look past these labels and adapt our recruiting and retention strategies to fit the needs of the most diverse workforce the world has ever seen.
I recently had the pleasure of listening to Lindsey Pollack speak about the millennial workforce. Ms. Pollak is widely recognized as a leading voice on the multigenerational workplace, and has consulted for corporations and universities such as PwC, Ralph Lauren, Citi, Yale, Harvard, Wharton, and MIT. She is a New York Times bestselling author, and her passion for mentoring young people was apparent in her keynote. The following are some highlights that resonated with me.
When asked “What factors influenced your current employment decision?” in a recent PwC global workforce study, 65% percent of millennials answered “Personal Development” as their top factor, while only 21% chose “Starting Pay”. When asked “What factors were important when considering the position?”, millennials’ top factors include “I interned there previously”, “Someone there met me and I felt a connection”, and “A friend/relative/professor suggested I consider the position”. The least important factors included “The position was posted online on a career site” and “The organization texted/emailed me encouraging me to apply”.
Millennials are eager to have human connection, and are challenging employers to rethink the way they engage. And while technology, such as recruiting and performance management systems, supplement how we recruit and develop employees, organizations need to engage millennials, and all team members, in a meaningful, personal way. Here are some examples of this:
Coaching – Millennials have stressed the personal development and coaching is a must, and studies have shown that they will take advantage of coaching if it is presented to them. Employers are providing much more customized, intensive, one-on-one coaching to team members, and are rewarding Gen Xers and Baby Boomers that help support the next generations. Apprenticeships and First Year Associate programs (as implemented at Net at Work) can be incorporated into organizations to make impactful change.
Variety – Why do we all shop on Amazon? Besides fast delivery and reviews, the biggest reason is variety. There are so many options to choose from. The same parallel can be made of the workforce. One-size-fits-all is no longer the norm, and organizations are being mindful of that when developing career plans. For example, at Deloitte, the “corporate ladder” model was replaced by a “corporate lattice” model, which allows for more varied paths for growth and development. Mass career customization coupled with a wide variety of benefit offerings is increasingly becoming the norm in corporate America today.
Transparency and Purpose – Trust is a major factor in cultivating an ownership mentality, however statistics show that trust is down widely in companies today. Eliciting feedback from staff, trusting your team, and being transparent are all key factors in increasing a team’s trust in the organization. Engagement is about feeling connected, and an engaged employee is one that wants to strive in helping an organization achieve its purpose.
The millennial generation has forced corporations to rethink how they recruit, develop, and retain staff. The wants and needs of this generation are not new, but have risen to the forefront of how organizations build culture. And while some may see this change as scary, it represents a remarkable opportunity to improve the way we all work together.
Watch Informative Live Webinar: Topic: Fast & Focused: Cloud Software – Engaging Millennial Employees Register Here | Date: April 27