Millennials with jobs are more likely to be looking for a new job than any other generation in the workplace, according to a Harvard Business Review article by Brandon Rigoni and Amy Adkins. They report that six in 10 millennials are ready to jump ship at any given time.
This is a challenge for keeping workers, but it’s also a golden opportunity for recruitment. For the most part, these are bright workers who are deconstructing the great American job search.
Firms can seize this opportunity by honing their HR brand to appeal to younger generations and balancing this with assessments that assure a good match with most new hires.
Compensation is still important, but millennials are looking for jobs that are in sync with their values and can help define who they are. Getting hired has become a matter of personal identity.
As an employer, you are being evaluated more than the candidates. How will your firm make the cut? And if you do, will you hire the right people?
Major corporations have overhauled their approach in the scramble for talent.
- General Mills began using virtual reality headsets to allow candidates to see themselves working inside General Mills, including using the company’s gym.
- Two Volvo engineers recently built a Baja racer for collegiate competitions to attract young engineers to the legacy truck builder.
- General Electric’s humorous “What’s the Matter with Owen” television campaign said bupkis about GE products. Instead, Owen touted the company’s geek chic HR brand as a bespectacled new employee being effusive about his job of programming life-changing technology to help people.
- McDonald’s eschews traditional media to engage 16 to 24-year-old candidates via Snapchat, offering “Snaplications” and video clips of young McDonald’s employees talking about their jobs.
Not everyone can serve up cold brew coffee in a corporate cafeteria. Still, there are practical steps most firms can take to enhance their brand for millennial and Gen Z values.
- Does your organization operate with a high degree of transparency?
- Is it socially responsible?
- Do employees have paid leave for volunteer work?
- Are young team members valued and encouraged to contribute to relevant and visible projects and products?
Are there ways to present your products and services to be more relevant and important to society? For example, a textile manufacturer might not actually make exciting products anyone can buy, but its fabrics are used in the space program or to save lives in emergency rooms. Maybe a law firm has a pro bono clinic for low income families.
Yes. HR needs to make your employer brand attractive to these talented but fickle job seekers, but this doesn’t mean that everyone who’s attracted to your organizational hipness is going to be cool for your company.
Talent acquisition assessments
There are two tools to make sure both parties get what they want. The first is assessments.
Talent acquisition assessments greatly improve your odds of hiring an individual who is well matched to your company’s needs. The best are scientifically valid and EEOC compliant, focusing on the candidate’s motivation and likely work traits as compared to the job description. You’ll save a lot of money in not having to re-hire for a position.
The second tool is the “Shared Success Model,” which is a process hiring managers can establish that aligns individual development plans with organizational strategies to identify where overlap exists and where there may be gaps.
It has five components:
- Individual needs—What is important to the candidate, both professionally and personally? What aligns with their values and interests?
- Individual offer—What value does the organization bring to the candidate?
- Company needs—What does your organization require for success now and in the future? What do you need from your leaders and employees?
- Company offer—What is your corporate value proposition to the candidate? What opportunities do you provide? What culture do you provide?
- Plan—Analyze the gaps and overlap between each quadrant. Develop and implement a plan that balances your grid for shared success.
As younger candidates seek more of a cultural match, the Shared Success Model is a good way to make sure the culture you promise is a culture that supports your mission and business model.
Donna Warrick (email@example.com) is a communications skills facilitator and the founding partner of Jamesson Solutions, Inc., a Greensboro, NC-based leadership development and talent acquisition firm.