The following article was published today on the National Association of Women Business Owners Web site:
Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a talent agent sitting across the table from a very famous rock star. Let’s pretend it’s Elvis. Every talent agent out there wants to represent Elvis for obvious reasons—his records and concerts sell out within minutes, advertisers want him to endorse their products, and even Hollywood is calling him to make movies. This scenario really 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 really want to recruit Generations X and Y (young professionals under the age of 44) to your company, then focus on the following four values: Freedom to WorkAccording to the Society of Human Resource Management, employees under the age of 35 consider work-life balance as the single most important 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 they want, 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.BenefitsXers 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 the age of 18. They want child care and elder care coverage to help them foot the bills and maintain balance in their lives.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.Learning OpportunitiesAccording 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.Community Giving Generations X and Y pursue employment that is worthwhile and meaningful. These generations are attracted to companies that are supportive of community causes, like the consulting company that pays employees to work with nonprofits, the pharmaceutical company that gives employees the opportunity to work on diabetes research, and the financial planning company that built a playground in a disadvantaged neighborhood.Like Elvis, young generations are bright and talented and heavily sought after by every company out there. Take the time to craft a competitive and compelling offer that addresses their specific needs and interests and they are certain to jump on board.Don’t let the latest, greatest talent pass you by.In other words, don’t let Elvis leave the building.
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