Young workers? If you believe the headlines, young workers are all unreliable, entitled, non-committal and whiny – but that is fake news. Young workers generally get a bad reputation based on the actions of a few and the truth is, just as a sports franchise needs young athletes, companies need young workers. But why is it important, and what are the keys to developing a young robust talent pipeline?
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus once said, “Change is the only constant in life.” In human resources, we are faced with replenishing workers all the time. Often we do so as our employees get promotions or retire. The HR department is tasked with finding and attracting younger workers to bring in new ideas, energy and diversity as the company’s saviors. New ideas, energy, and diversity are vital to a company’s survival, growth, development, and its competitive advantage. Without diverse young workers, your company will likely begin to lose market share, while your competitors, who are hiring young workers, will gain ground and make your company obsolete.
Here are 4 keys to building a robust young-talent pipeline.
Pay Them Fairly (and Well)
Money isn’t everything, but it sure does help to have it. Younger workers don’t require as much money as older workers, and they don’t mind building their careers; however, they want above average compensation so they can experience life without having to work themselves into an early grave. Younger workers have seen their parents and older siblings work very hard for very little pay. They will not stay with your company for more than 3 years if they do not see a path to greater career opportunities and financial equality. Also, younger workers are much more likely to discuss their pay with each other and quit if you don’t pay them equally.
Improve Your Culture
To make your workplace the employer of choice among young workers in your community, you must first evaluate the reputation of your company and its culture. To do you this you have to investigate how your company is perceived online. Go to Glassdoor and Indeed and read the reviews about your workplace – sure, some of them will be unfair, but don’t dismiss them. Take them into account and make the necessary adjustments. In most cases the fixes are fairly easy and can make a huge impact on the type of applicants who apply to your company. Also, search social media platforms using your company name as a hashtag. You are guaranteed to find some interesting information. One final note, make sure your company is diverse. According to Talent Now’s “Recruitment Statistics 2018: Trends and Insights,” 78% of companies focus on diversity as a way to improve their work culture.
Make Work Fun, Collaborative and Purposeful
Young workers are often mischaracterized in the movies as lazy and tech-addicted people who do not take anything seriously, especially work—but that is not true. Most young people take their careers very seriously and, like anyone, simply want to have a little fun at work.
While wanting to have a fun work environment is not unique to young people, what is unique to young people is the desire to do some good while at work. In the Forbes article, “What Millennials Want in the Workplace (and Why You Should Start Giving It to Them),” Rob Asghar cites a study by the Intelligence Group that found “64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.” This means working for a company with community involvement, such as cleaning up the neighborhood, growing sustainable gardens, sponsoring a 5K or 10K race team for a charity, participating in clean energy programs and recycling campaigns, or holding food drives for the less fortunate.
The same Intelligence Group studies reported that “88% prefer a collaborative work-culture” and “74% want flexible work schedules.” When your culture offers meaningful and purposeful work, fun and excitement, along with flexible benefits, you will attract more young workers, and they will refer their young hardworking friends to your organization as well.
Identify Relevant Skills and Traits
When attracting young workers, you don’t just want just ANY young workers. You want to find the young workers who can perform the essential job duties for the position, as well as add value, diverse experiences, and enthusiasm to the workplace. To screen for the right talent and screen out the wrong talent you must first identify the skills, characteristics and behaviors you want and need in a new employee. To accomplish this, you must perform a job analysis to break down the essential work duties for the position and then develop a behavior test to identify applicants who have the attributes to be successful in the role and with the company.
Once you have determined the desired skills and personality traits (for example, creative thinker, humorous, self-motivated, etc.), eSkill Assessments can help you create customized skills tests to help you reach your recruitment and talent acquisition goals.
Chris Fields is an HR professional and expert resume writer with more than 13 years of experience as a former practitioner and current HR consultant. He is the curator of two websites: CostofWork.com and ResumeCrusade.com , and contributes HR-focused content to many others, including PerformanceICreate.com and SmartRecruiters.com .
He has been listed by the Huffington Post as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts to Follow on Twitter”, one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the HR Blogger Network, one of the “25 Must-Read HR Blogs in 2013”, and also featured on Oprah.com.
He is very active with the Society of Human Resource Management, working closely with conference directors, communication chairs, and social media teams from Illinois, Oklahoma, and Tennessee to develop social strategies to engage attendees and enhance their conference experience.
Chris earned his master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources from Ohio State University. In 2005, he moved back to his hometown of Memphis, TN, where he has developed a reputation for helping his clients create HR strategies, and individuals master the tough economic challenges of the South.