EMPLOYING THE NEXT GENERATION REQUIRES NEW STRATEGIES
Hiring young talent for your business is a huge challenge. According to Eric Chester, a Denver based speaker and author of the newly released, Employing Generation Why? Understanding, Managing, and Motivating your New Workforce, "Connecting with the emerging labor force requires a specific approach." Chester coined the term "Generation Why" to represent those 40 million workers born after 1980. And, unlike the "Baby Boomers" or "Generation Xers," "Gen Why" candidates need to be sold on both why they should work and why they should work for your company. Chester offers these ideas to help you recruit top Generation Why workers:
- Sell yourself first. Recruiting top Gen Why employees requires your ability to sell them on your company and convince them to be part of your team. However, at the same time don't oversell it. Be extremely honest with the responsibilities and expectations so you don't create a distance between you and your workers later.
- Recruit creatively. Brainstorm ideas on how you can recruit employees to your organization. Ask current Gen Why employees for suggestions on how to attract their peers. Think about where the best potential recruits might hang out and advertise positions at coffee houses, video game stores, parks, etc. Form alliances with high school and college counselors who can identify good students looking for employment.
- See your customers as potential employees. If young people buy your products or services, chances are they are familiar with your operation and would want to sell your merchandise too. Not only could they become "experts" in your product-line, but they can draw new customers into your business as well.
- Streamline the application process. Keep your application process simple. For example, McDonald's prints job applications on the outside of their bags, making it simple for prospects to pursue employment. Take steps to decrease the time between application and interview and job offer. But at the same time, make it seem like getting a job in your company or organization is an accomplishment. Creating a rigorous, but efficient application and interview process will find you the most committed employees.
- Use the Internet. Generation Why has grown up with the Internet. First, find the best Internet recruiting sites for the candidates you want to attract. Second, create an ad that stands out. You also want to invoke a response that requires more than just a click or two of the mouse. The Internet application process, like any other, needs to be simple, efficient, engaging and user-friendly.
You could also expand your reach by buying a banner bar advertisement on non-recruiting sites that attract a large number of young surfers. When they click on your banner bar ad, it links them to a special recruiting website for your company. For example, our website, www.streetfighter.com, gets over 150,000 hits a month. As it turns out, the majority of those hits are not for our marketing and sales services, but kids looking for the "Street Fighter" video game. There are perhaps many sites like that which could help you get your target audience to your own website for recruiting.
BizSmart Action Plan:
Attracting young talent requires creative thinking.
- Be able to articulate why working for your business is superior to others.
- Recruit through a variety of people and in a variety of places.
- Look at your current customers as possible employees.
- Keep the application process efficient and decrease the response time to applicants.
- Use the Internet and create an ad that engages the respondent.