- August 1, 2012
- Posted by: Hillary Feder
- Category: Employee Engagement
There’s a talent-shortage tsunami looming over the shore of American business, and it’s expected to wreak its havoc by 2015 (based on data from a number of qualified sources including the Employment Policy Foundation).
With a dearth of qualified workers, companies need to plan how they will stand out to attract and retain talent. I’m talking about a new breed of GenY up-and-comers who expect something different from the recruiting/hiring process. Companies need to develop strategies that go beyond electronic job postings and hiring a recruiting firm, or they might be left behind without the sustenance they need to grow.
In our sophisticated, more complex environment, people who possess strengths in judgment, creativity, intuition, experience, and empathy are essential for implementing company strategies. When plans don’t work, it’s not machines nor capital that can fix problems. People create and implement solutions, and the number of these knowledge workers—positions that require interpersonal, technological and decision-making skills—has increased.
The Millennials are coming—are you ready?
The newest entries to the workforce to fill these positions are the Millennials (another term for GenYers). Retention of these workers is proving to be a challenge. According to the Department of Labor, they are prepared to stay with an employer for 2-5 years. Of greater concern, their average tenure is only 1.5 years, not long enough to have them fully integrated in order to independently and proactively contribute to your organization. With 75 million Millennials entering the workforce, employers must keep these employees engaged and performing to their potential in order to exceed these tenures. In our sophisticated, more complex environment, people who possess strengths in judgment, creativity, intuition, experience, and empathy are essential for implementing company strategies. When plans don’t work, it’s not machines nor capital that can fix problems. People create and implement solutions, and the number of these knowledge workers—positions that require interpersonal, technological and decision-making skills—has increased.
Here are a few key facts about Millennials that can guide you in developing your new strategies for talent attraction and retention:
- Most educated generation in American history
- Heavy in communicating via social media (The Learning Café)
- 75% have a profile on a social networking site
- 44% read blogs
- 76% use instant messaging
- Most child-centric generation grew up with excessive positive reinforcement from Baby Boomer parents; expect same from employers
- Seek real-time communication
Are you getting the picture that this generation is characterized by differences that require a people-centric culture in order for them to thrive? Coincidentally, companies with people-centric practices and a culture of engagement report revenue growth at a rate 2.5 times greater than others in similar industries (Hay Group Employee Engagement Survey).
IT ahead of the curve
Some IT firms may be ahead of the curve to meet the current shortage of talent in this field. I was struck by one company’s approach of building a branding message that is sustained by the culture they nurture. A much-abbreviated synopsis will paint a picture.
The company’s recruiting genius (his real title) ideated a superhero theme that fit the company’s mission of rescuing people in desperate need of IT help. The firm’s leader confirmed that software geeks are typically into comic books, music and sci fi.
The implementation featured employees posing in superhero stances on the company’s career website along with comic-style images of people appearing to be in an IT jam. Images of superheroes appear on flat-panel screens at the company. Open positions are referred to in comic book jargon, i.e., “.Net superhero.”
Tangible expressions include business cards to hand out at recruiting events that feature superheroes and QR codes that job seekers can scan with their mobile devices to be taken directly to the firm’s career site.
If you’re guffawing or assessing this strategy as corny, the proof is against you. Candidates have embraced the concept to the point where they incorporate superhero language into cover letters, like calling their technical skills super powers. It’s all about a brand that meets the market’s needs.
We are problem solvers and innovators when it comes to helping you create the conditions for attracting and retaining key talent. For strategies that will align with your objectives, reflect your company brand, message and voice call us.
Toll free: 800-742-6800 In Minneapolis/St. Paul: 952-933-8365 www.askhillarys.com