Young talent already makes up a large portion of the workforce, and the trend is growing.
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. In addition, Generation Z, made up of individuals born between 1996 and the early 2000s, is projected to comprise 24 percent of the workforce by 2020. Aside from the reality of their growing numbers, millennials and members of Generation Z also bring attractive skills and traits to the workplace. Companies who dedicate their recruiting efforts to attract today’s young talent will have opportunities to leverage their digital skillset, incredible diversity, and potential to develop into the next generation of organizational leaders.
Successfully recruiting young talent requires a new approach, because, like all the generations before them, millennials and Generation Zers possess traits that make them unique. Here are four ways enterprise companies can attract and retain young talent:
Engage in Ways That Appeal to Them
Today’s young talent has grown up in a world where the internet offers a wealth of information that was unavailable to previous generations. Company reviews, online discussion forums, and social networking all provide numerous opportunities for candidates to learn more about companies, their culture, and the people who work there. As a result, young people naturally want to know more about a company than what is listed on a careers page or job posting. Instead of cliché catchphrases and bland overviews, they want access to real information. To attract and retain young talent, you’ll need to showcase your brand and tell engaging stories about what makes your company a unique and attractive place to build a career.
Young people are also digital natives. They watch videos and use chat platforms for entertainment, learning, and communicating. To reach young job candidates, it’s necessary to engage them using social media, virtual career fairs, and other digital methods that enable them to connect and learn about your organization. Connecting with young talent on platforms where they’re more likely to be receptive to engaging with you might include posting video messages from company leaders on Instagram Stories, using chatbot technology to answer careers questions from candidates, or telling employee success stories on your company Facebook or Twitter pages. You can also meet young people where they are by leveraging a social career platform that’s specifically geared toward connecting students and young professionals with enterprise organizations. Some candidates do prefer to use professional profiles to connect with employers and in this case, leverage social career platforms only during certain moments of engagement such as the initial outreach.
Recognize Their Entrepreneurial Nature
According to data collected by Online Schools Center, 41 percent of Generation Z plans to pursue an entrepreneurial career someday. Given that Gen Zers are likely to be attracted to career opportunities that appeal to their entrepreneurial aspirations, you can build interest in your company by highlighting training and job opportunities that allow employees to exercise autonomy and develop a sense of ownership.
Young people who are just starting a career are also interested in understanding the different ways they can build skills that will be useful to them later, whether they ultimately become an entrepreneur or not. Some of the company features that are attractive to young people include:
Dynamic career paths: Explaining different career path options can help young people identify roles that align with their entrepreneurial interests.
Soft skills training: In a survey of millennials and Generation Zers, respondents said they needed training to improve soft skills such as interpersonal communication and critical thinking
Job rotations: Short-term assignments in new areas help young people develop cross-functional skills and experience.
Highlight Your Commitment to Diversity
Seventy-seven percent of Gen Zers say that a company's level of diversity affects their decision to work there. Given their interest in working as part of a diverse workforce, you can attract and retain young talent by demonstrating your commitment to diversity, sharing success stories, and highlighting ways that diversity plays a role in your company values and culture. For example, when recruiting, you can feature opportunities to work abroad or with individuals from a range of backgrounds and geographies, which will appeal to diversity-minded young people.
Utilize Multiple Sourcing Methods
Online job postings and campus recruiting aren’t the only ways to recruit young talent. A job posting can say only so much about the job or your company. Furthermore, college recruiting can help you identify certain students at certain universities but doesn’t always help you find or target the students who fit your culture. The truth is that you could be missing out on connecting with some of the best candidates because your current recruiting methods aren’t reaching them. The way to source young talent effectively is to amplify job postings with a professional social networking tool that gives you access to a whole new world of young talent. By mimicking the social media platforms that young people already use, you can source more of the kinds of candidates you seek.
Attracting and retaining young talent requires offering opportunities and chances to grow that appeal to them. When you engage with young talent on their favorite platforms and tell your company story through chat, video, virtual Q&As, and relevant content, you can nurture increased interest in your company and attract talented young people with a range of relevant skills, experiences and achievements. By taking this fresh, new approach to identifying young talent, you can engage with more of the candidates that will help lead your enterprise into the next generation.