The vetting process of top talent to choose whom to work for today is a two-way street. Top talent is pro-actively searching out what your company says it is committed to, but even more importantly, how you are fulfilling your promise today. Gone are the interviews where the recruiter or manager has the exclusive upper hand, and all the information. Now candidates have done their due diligence by:
• Surveying their Facebook Friends
• Pinging their LinkedIn Connections with Questions
• Searching the Twitter Hashtag (#) Trends
The interview began long before you even knew they were considering working for you. To attract top talent to you, it’s time to put your best image forward as the premier company to join. It’s essential that you know what top talent is looking for in an organization. (Not just what you want them to provide for you.)
Your prospective employees will be asking tough questions:
• How does your organization meet my needs and values?
• What opportunities will I have to build my skills here?
• What will my career/portfolio look like in 6, 12, 18 months (not years)?
• What innovative projects/solutions will I work on immediately?
Traditionalists and many Boomers began their careers valuing job security, company history, and job perks such as retirement pensions. By comparison, top Xer and Millennial talent today have motivators lists that include:
• performance-based bonuses
• mobile benefits package (medical being a priority)
• new challenges to learn new technologies
• opportunities to engage in a variety of interesting and diverse
• salary integrity (market consistent salary increases)
• meaningful work
• support for my commitment to make a difference
• recognition of my contribution to the big picture
• immediate and frequent feedback
• flexible work hours
• open work spaces and places (telecommuting and virtual teams)
• mentoring and coaching
• a culture of fun and enjoyment of life
• diversity/inclusion of workforce
Hire Slow, Fire Fast:
Over three years of judging a competition for the top Forty Leaders in the region under the age of forty, I consistently saw the following core lesson theme expressed by successful leaders, “Take your time in the interviewing process to make sure that your values and expectations match the candidate’s. Hire SLOWLY. Be willing to recognize a mistake in judgment quickly and let the individual go QUICKLY.”
Generationally Savvy Solutions:
Recruiting is for the military. Attracting like-minded team members who align with your values and vision may take more upfront effort, but they pay dividends in the long run. Whether you are an interviewer, a manager, a team member, customer service personnel, or a human resources person, being aware of your and other generations’ CODES and blind spots is a vital part of your “recruiting” success. Deal in reality when seeking to attract new team members. Don’t paint the picture you think the candidate wants to hear and think that once you’ve snagged the person, the battle is won. It’s essential to talent retention that the company evangelists project an accurate reflection of the organization when they seek to convert candidates into employees. It is no longer accepted that if what you were told would be your experience in an organization is not a match for the actual organization, that you will stay. Now, Millennials will leave within the first week, first month, or first quarter if the way the interviewer presented the company does not accurately reflect their early experiences working for it.
You may be surprised what your brand and face to the world are really conveying. Inadequate or poor web presence will ensure that you will not be considered or taken seriously among Millennials and most Gen Xers in the marketplace.
Audit your company website from the candidate’s perspective:
• Are you showcasing your values in action, or merely touting them in theory?
• Are all four generations represented in leadership?
• Is the focus on the past history of silver-haired founders or the future talent?
• Do you clearly show the career path a rising star could follow?
• Is job security viewed as a fond memory of times gone by?
• Are pensions and retirement savings plans portable?
Millennials and Gen Xers understand that the coming economy will require technology to be a top priority and they will need up-to-date technology in order for their skills to be effective. They will not want work for an organization that finds technology to be a second tier priority. Check your marketing materials for appeal to the generations of candidates and customers you are trying to reach. Regularly hand your marketing pieces to representatives from the four generations and ask their honest feedback.