When it comes to attracting top talent, companies used to be able to offer a competitive salary and a big benefits package and that was enough to keep most people happily employed until retirement.
But successful conglomerates like GE, PwC, and Mars recognize that it takes more than just money to attract and keep the cream of the crop talent in the modern market.
That's why they invest in their staff routinely.
Today, top tier employees have more options than ever, since technology has completely changed the face of the workforce.
The best employees can work for online start-ups with extreme flexibility, start their own company, or work for big companies that offer traditional benefits like vacation and sick pay, as well as extras like flexible job sharing and the option to work from home.
But more than anything else, the catalyst for the shift in employee attraction and retention strategies is the increase in millennials in the workforce.
By 2020, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce.
Millennials (those born roughly between the years of 1981-1997, give or take a few years depending on who you ask) expect more from their careers. They watched as the retirement benefits awarded to their parents' and grandparents' generation went by the wayside and collectively decided that if they were going to spend their time working for an organization, they would ask for more than just a paycheck and security.
With the future in mind, progressive HR Leaders are making some very exciting changes to make their companies more attractive to the millennial workforce. "There's no better time than now to ensure your company is developing an environment where millennials can thrive," says Debra Tenenbaum, Chief People Officer at YapStone.
This past year, YapStone (a payment technology start-up) made the Forbes List of Next Billion-Dollar Startups, as well as The Deloitte Fast 500 list; the company was also included in the INC 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies for the 9th year in a row. With that explosive growth has come a huge demand for dynamic, engaged, and motivated new staffers.
Like other leading tech startups, YapStone is taking serious action to make their company attractive to the largest and most influential segment of the workforce: millennials.
"At YapStone, we know millennials want to constantly learn and grow, so we are dedicated to career mobility, meaning we want to provide constant development opportunities so that an employee can see their skills and career growing within the company," says Tenenbaum. "We want to make sure that our employees are not only on a journey to learn, but that they are teaching their fellow employees new skills, technologies, process, etc."
Tenenbaum believes these 4 assets can help employers attract more millennials to their company:
According to a recent Gallup Poll, 87 percent of millennials rate development as being important in a job. At least 25 percent of YapStone's positions are filled with internal candidates, which allows millennials to identify a specific growth path within the company to expand their career.
"As businesses evolve, employees want to develop through expanding within their current role or moving into new positions," says Tenenbaum. "We find that not just the best employees, but millennial employees are truly motivated to learn within their job".
YapStone is reaching out to millennials through their YapCares program, which allows employees to give one full day of paid volunteer service within their community. Since 64% of millennials will volunteer if a co-worker also volunteers, implementing a "giving back" program is a great way to encourage bonding and team building through the workplace.
"A flexible time off policy (FTO) allows employees to be responsible for managing their own time off and for fostering effective teamwork through collaboration and open communication, which all impacts employee engagement," Tenenbaum says. "FTOs empower employees to think what is best for themselves, their department and the company." In order to allow their employees to refuel, the company offers a flexible time off policy for exempt U.S. employees.
It's important to work smarter, not just harder. When employees have the ability to take more control of their schedules, they can come back to work refreshed.
"Providing information through channels, such as all hands meetings, is invaluable because it aligns each employee to business objectives focusing their efforts on making impact which is a key component to employee retention," says Tenenbaum.
In 2017, YapStone will launch a new "teach and learn" brown bag series to be led by fellow employees. At the company's monthly "Hands On" meeting, company leaders will recognize each YapSter who has either had a lateral move or was promoted to a new role within the organization.
Tenenbaum also notes: "Business information helps employees understand how their role can have greatest impact to the business and employees want to know their job matters."
The ability to capitalize on millennial work practices will likely be a leading contributor to corporate success in the coming decades. Millennials want to work for companies that take good care of their employees. What's more, millennials want to patronize companies that do the same. They are more likely than any previous generation to purchase from a company for ethical reasons.
Therefore, the choice to be socially responsible while also offering a positive, engaging work environment will not only allow businesses to attract top talent in a workforce saturated with millennials, but it will also allow them to attract customers from the largest consumer base available.
Companies like YapStone are leading the way. Time will tell which other companies choose to follow suit, and which choose to become obsolete.
What are some tricks you have used to attract great millennials? Tell us in the comments!