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Recruiting The Latest, Greatest Talent

Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a talent agent sitting across the table from a famous rock star. Let’s pretend it’s Elvis. Every talent agent wants to represent Elvis for apparent reasons—his records and concerts sell out within minutes, advertisers want him to endorse their products, and even Hollywood calls him to make movies.

This scenario isn’t all that different from being an employer, sitting across the table from a young, prospective employee.

In a workforce where talent is scarce, your company—and every other company out there—will want to hire the latest and greatest talent. What will you say or do to convince them to work for you?

Today’s young professionals certainly aren’t swayed by yesterday’s tiresome incentives like stock options. If you want to recruit Generations X and Y (young professionals under the age of 44) to your company, then focus on the following four values:

1. Freedom to Work

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, employees under 35 consider work-life balance the most critical consideration when deciding whether to join or remain with an employer. Simply put, while Generations X and Y are renowned for being high achievers and dedicated employees, they want the freedom to work when and where they want.

Work-life balance options include flexible time off, flexible start-stop times, working at home, working less overtime, part-time work, two people sharing a single job, and compressed workweeks.

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2. Benefits

Xers and Ys also want benefits packages with options specific to their needs.

For example, this demographic is, or soon will be, caring for aging relatives and children under 18.

They want the child and elder care coverage to help them pay bills and maintain balance. They also expect parental benefits, including paid maternity leave, access to near-office child care centers, on-site lactation rooms, and the option to work from home or to take children on business trips.

3. Learning Opportunities

According to the Gallup School of Management, 80 percent of young employees say that job training is key to keeping them as employees. Xers and Ys want to understand what is expected in their present capacity and, more importantly, what will be required to move into the next opportunity. Engage them in the company’s growth strategies and help them understand how they affect the bottom line.

4. Community Giving

Generations X and Y pursue employment that is worthwhile and meaningful.

These generations are attracted to companies that support community causes, like the consulting company that pay employees to work with nonprofits, the pharmaceutical company that allows employees to work on diabetes research, and the financial planning company that built a playground in a disadvantaged neighborhood.

Like Elvis, young generations are bright, talented, and heavily sought after by every company. Take the time to craft a competitive and compelling offer that addresses their specific needs and interests, and they will jump on board.

Don’t let the latest, greatest talent pass you by. In other words, don’t let Elvis leave the building.

This article was published first on the National Association of Women Business Owners Web site:

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