Millennials and Generation Zers are the new breeds of tech-savvy, enterprising and positive employees. As they leave university armed with sought after tech skills and bags of confidence, the competition to attract these young adults is fierce. So how can your business compete with its competitors in attracting this year’s top talent? We explore the tactics and benefits of attracting and nurturing young talent in your business.
Hiring people from different ages and backgrounds can increase the knowledge, skills and connections within your business. It is therefore imperative that your business sees attracting top young talent as part of a wider overall recruitment strategy.
That said, there are many significant benefits to hiring young employees. For example, young people can:
- Bring fresh new skills and ideas to your team
- Help your company to ‘move with the times’
- Grow your company’s talent pipeline for the future
- Improve your brand as an employer
Of course, it’s important not to discriminate. However, if your business isn’t already investing in attracting and nurturing young people, it could be missing out on the above benefits.
Tips for Attracting Young People to your Workforce
If you haven’t targeted a younger employee market before, you are bound to face a few challenges. Youthful professionals have big ambitions, and therefore seek employment opportunities that will enable them to achieve their goals.
So if you want to attract young talent to your business, relying on job board advertising will not be enough. Here are a few tactics that work for attracting potential candidates from the Millennial and Generation Z peer groups:
Reconsider Your Hiring Criteria
So many hiring managers are guilty of hiring in the mirror. They’re often fearful of the consequences of hiring individuals who don’t think the same way as the rest of their team. If this is true within your business, consider the benefits of introducing new thoughts and ideas.
Is it essential for your next hire to have x number of year’s experience because that’s the average among the existing team? Or might an ambitious young graduate with a willingness to learn bring a new dynamic your business needs to grow?
If so, consider creating new roles or modifying existing ones to incorporate training packages. The offer of training opportunities doesn’t just help your business attract new talent. It also encourages loyalty withing the existing workforce which helps to retain talented employees your business already has.
Pro-Actively Seek a Younger Market
Go to universities, graduate fairs and other events where you can directly engage young people. Answer their questions and get networking with a younger circle of talent.
This might sound like a lot of effort to go to with no guarantee you’ll find the match you’re looking for. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that this year’s inexperienced graduates are the business leaders of the future. So even if they’re not a good fit for your business at this time, the connections you make with young people now could grow into a valuable future talent pool.
Embrace Digital Recruitment Processes
Millennials and Gen Zers see unsolicited phone calls as an intrusion into their privacy. Therefore digital recruitment processes are overtaking more traditional methods. Specifically, social media is becoming an invaluable recruitment resource for recruitment specialists.
However, using social media effectively in recruitment requires skill and patience. Done well, it can build a strong employer brand and become the most powerful weapon in a recruiters arsenal.
Simplify Your Job Application Process
It’s simple – the easier it is to apply for a role, the more applications you will receive. Similarly, clear and concisely worded job descriptions and adverts receive more applications. So if your job descriptions are wordy and difficult to understand, consider rewording them.
If your job application process is complex, consider how you can simplify it. However, this can involve heavy investment in new technology. If that’s the case, a cheaper alternative might be to advertise your vacancies with a recruitment agency who already has that technology in place.
Hire Potential Over Experience
When recruiting young people into your business, you have to make a trade-off between experience and potential. Someone who is straight out of university will obviously not have years of experience in your advertised role. However, they may be eager to develop their skills and have a growth mindset.
Experts argue that the latter is a better investment, as Dominic Gill explains in a recent CIPD guide for managers.
“Some employers can search endlessly for exactly the right person for the job. Instead, they should try looking for a young person with potential, who has the right skills and motivation – they should develop them. Employers shouldn’t see young people as just another hire. You need to be a bit inventive, and it pays off.” Dominic Gill – Microsoft’s Apprenticeship Manager
A few Final Thoughts on Attracting and Nurturing Young Talent
This should go without saying, but your recruitment process should not solely focus on attracting and retaining young, talented graduates. To create a harmonious workforce, a talent acquisition strategy should aim to attract talented professionals of all ages and backgrounds. However, if your business desires to attract young talent, it needs to take a more creative approach. While this may seem like a costly investment, the experts firmly believe it pays off in the long run.
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