When considering staffing needs, employers should understand generational nuances to create better company dynamics and hire people to complement the system. It is as much a company’s responsibility to be worth working for as it is an employee’s to be worth hiring.
Any company can provide services or materials. Not all companies can turn profits and be charitable. Millennials continue to be more interested in social responsibility. It's not enough to rally behind a cause, or donate money to a charity. A company must stand for a purpose and prove they believe in it continually. And, this dedication to community good will attract dedicated employees. Significantly, this is not just about corporate images.
A company can pretend to care about causes and profit from the image before the public ultimately sees through disingenuous behavior. However, to attract dedicated employees, a company especially needs to walk the walk. Any employee worth their salary will see through half-hearted efforts during training, if not in the interview process itself.
It's Not All About the Benjamins Anymore
Offering a competitive salary helps, but is not sustainable on its own. Yes, money is more valued now than it was 20 years ago, but Millennials are used to getting by on less and may take lesser paying jobs for freedom to choose the better job. Selling a job has become like selling a product. Sometimes less is more, particularly when the more appeals to conscientious minds. The world is more in shambles than ever and young people care. They may not always act like they care because modern life is exhausting, but they will put their money where their morals are.
“Selling a job has become like selling a product”
A great example of this is eco-friendliness in the foodservice industry. At a time when environmental concern is at an all-time high, eco-friendly restaurants are trendy concepts. However, in a disposable world with quick eating habits of busy people, truly eco-friendly restaurants are not terribly realistic. Many restaurants may have some sort of recycling plan, but few go the extra mile needed to truly make a difference.
To be eco-friendly, a restaurant must commit to sustainable food practices, such as composting food waste or growing an organic garden. Done the right way, such efforts can help save money. The intriguing point is that 51% of customers are willing to pay more at a restaurant that recycles. I certainly am one such person. In fact, I have bypassed restaurants simply for seeing customers leaving with styrofoam to go containers. When the restaurant next door offers compostable to go containers, I suddenly have a craving for their food.
Social Responsibility as a Recruiting Strategy
If customers care that much, then employees who have to live the company life everyday will most definitely care. It’s the restaurant's job to cater to the employees in such a case. This is really about as simple as knowing that people attract people with similar beliefs and attitudes. If you are disingenuous, disingenuous people will be attracted to you. If you are honorable, honorable people will be attracted to you.
Make the workplace a community
In order to be honorable, a company must solicit outside feedback and work as a whole. A genius management staff is great, but won’t survive without a team. The company is the sum of its parts.
Millennials support socially conscious workplaces because they are socially conscious individuals. According to a generational workforce article from USC, millennials represent a step back from the individualistic generation before them. An employer shouldn’t focus specifically on hiring millennials, but on staffing a team with all the pieces in place.
Millennials very much appreciate workplace diversity and will make self-sacrifices that are part of a clear tactic to improve the work situation. They work well in teams, while being respectful of the individual. They are respectful of their individual lives and how to continue to be successful. For this reason, the USC article suggests making sure they receive regular reviews and guidance from management. Perhaps this is a contributing factor to leisure and travel choices, in which millennials feel no guilt in taking an extra break. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Keeping one employee happy creates a culture to keep most employees happy.
Reinvent the hiring experience
Don’t force people to fill out a bunch of standardized blanks to show conformity with the way another person applied. An employer should already know what they are looking for and find it regardless of the document. The hiring process as a whole should highlight the best candidate.
Simply put, no one wants to play games. And millennials are very serious about their employment. While the employer may have the job to offer, the employee has the talent to complete the job. It’s a two-way street and the millennial applicant realizes they have a lot of power. Don’t chase the best talent away with outdated hiring practices or an OCD person in HR that needs everything to be uniform. The more inventive and accepting a company is the more they will grow. And they will grow with the less conventional employees.
Treat each employee as integral part of the company mission and value the input they contribute to that mission. The best employees of the younger generation will be lining up to interview and the company overall will become an industry leader.
About the author
Daniel Myrick is a freelance writer, former English teacher and failed comedian. His interests include poverty, the environment and support for disenfranchised people worldwide. He is an ardent champion of terrestrial, freeform radio and is a DJ at Radio Boise.