How to attract the next generation of workers

September 13, 2021

attract Millennial and Gen Z workers

You’ve likely heard of the current “Great Resignation,” but did you know that Millennials and Gen Z are driving this “I quit” movement? We recently surveyed staffing professionals and buyers, in partnership with staffing research firm ClearlyRated, and learned a lot about these generations that now dominate the workforce. Nearly half of survey respondents were Gen Z and Millennial (age 41 or younger), and of those, 28% report being less satisfied with their firm over the past year, compared to 15% of Gen X and 19% of Baby Boomers. Of this younger age group, 34% are open to exploring other job opportunities but not actively looking, while 6% are actively looking-- that's a total of 40% not committed to their firm. 

What does this lower satisfaction, lower commitment level mean? You could call it a perfectionist, grass-is-greener mindset or the fact that we live in an age of endless options — so the next opportunity is always around the corner. Regardless of these generational and societal forces you can’t control, these workers tend to respond well to certain practices and conditions. Here’s how to court them: 

Prioritize clarity and ease with tech. 

More than 70% of CareerBuilder job seekers are on mobile devices as they search, so if your job postings aren’t mobile accessible, you’re missing out. Along with that, this tech-savvy generation is accustomed to instant gratification and many don’t have the patience to fill out a wonky form. Enabling one-click apply on your job postings lets technology do the work for you (and them).  

It’s also good practice to think about how job seekers communicate. Texting candidates can reach them quicker and make it easier for them to respond. Some tactics, like good old referrals, will never go away, but the technology behind referrals has changed a lot. Recruiters can now look to social media and use tools like Social Referral, which automates the referral process.  

Share salary and wages upfront — and price pay competitively. 

This is the generation that largely entered the workforce during the Great Recession, they’ve been saddled with college debt and medical expenses, and homeownership and starting families is delayed or nonexistent. If they’re not getting the pay they feel they’ve earned, on to the next. A little research will tell you what you should be paying to attract workers. From there, proudly share wages in your job posting. With job openings galore, why would a candidate waste their time (and yours) applying and interviewing only to find out the job pays lower than expected? Providing these details also lands the position in more search results and yields more applications.  

Break with tradition. 

These generations have brought topics like paid family leave and the four-day workweek to the forefront. For those who haven’t already adopted these practices, this is where employment is headed.  

We all know the traditional office is largely gone – and was on its way out even before the pandemic normalized trends like remote therapy and telemedicine. Remote work is here to stay, so make sure you implement working from home in sustainable ways

Even if you need all hands present and can’t offer work from home, try to inject as much flexibility into company policy as you can. If you have the opportunity to move offices or adjust your workspace, don’t just assume that the pre-pandemic open floorplan trend was embraced by most workers or even that it increased productivity and team building. One thing WFH affords is privacy and contemplation. Walls give workers their space yet allow for spur-of-the-moment in-office collaboration

Recruit for skills. 

If you’re not already implementing skills-based hiring, you’re missing out. Prioritizing skills over years of experience or (costly and often unattainable) degrees brings in these workers from all backgrounds – along with their energy and ideas. Job switchers are leveraging their transferable skills to change industries and even get a pay raise. Skills-based hiring doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with functions like AI skills translators that can help match candidates with ease.  

Help them grow. 

Our survey found that culture, leadership and career growth potential are top reasons employees were attracted to their firm. At the same time, when asked if there is a career development path for all employees at their company, 76% of leadership agreed, compared to 63% of those in the field. Make sure that upskilling is part of your strategy across all levels. Launch a mentorship program. Cover the cost of tuition. And don’t forget to recognize employees for their hard work — Millennials tend to be motivated by this. 

While no generation is a monolith, many Gen Z and Millennial workers have come to expect certain norms. Take these steps to attract and retain them, and you’ll set your company up for long-term success. 

For more tips and advice, watch the full webinar, “How to Thrive in a Tight Post-Pandemic Labor Market," hosted by Steven Cerny, VP of sales for staffing and recruiting groups at CareerBuilder, and Eric Gregg, ClearlyRated CEO.

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