Hiring great people is a challenge for all of us. Whether you are trying to fill a position that has a plethora of available candidates, or one that has very little, there are challenges either way. So how, as business owners, do we attract the best and brightest, and furthermore, how do we keep them once they join our team?
Although this topic can be quite broad, let’s take a second to focus on one small component — your technology.
There’s no question the workforce of today is much different than the workforce of yesterday. Millennials and generation Z’s are much more tech savvy, much more mobile, and are looking for more flexibility than the prior generations. Considering the bulk of the new employees we are hiring fall into this category, it’s no wonder traditional businesses are caught in a difficult position. Do we adjust our policies and practices, or do we simply write-off the new workforce and assume those millennials will get it one day?
Although writing off the biggest generation in the workforce may be an easy option, it’s most likely not the best way to attract talent. In fact, ignoring it is most likely the main cause of millennial churn as well. The fact is, this change is here to stay. The workforce of today and tomorrow expects a different company than the workforce of the past. The good news is that most of their expectations can be managed with a policy refresh and a new focus on technology in some key areas of the business. Let’s look at a short list of technology considerations that can make your business more attractive to this new workforce:
This is an easy one. You don’t need to create a huge strategy around marketing your business on social media or trying to sell your services. All we’re looking for here is using your social media (a Facebook business page) to show off who you are as a business. Photos from events, dialog from your employees, something to show that you have a pulse, and you have a place others actually want to work at. Employees today want to see who you are, they want to envision working for you, and the best part is, you control what they see. Show them something they can see themselves being a part of.
Either manually or with a business tool, employee recognition is very important to the new generation. They don’t need a “trophy” for everything, but they need to know they are going in the right direction. This is good for everyone, not just them, so take a serious look at how you can roll something like this out company-wide. Everyone will benefit from visibility into his or her performance.
Mobility with Accountability
Do you have the systems in place to allow team members to work remotely? If not, you are behind. Today’s workforce has no problem getting the job done, they just like flexibility in how they do it. This is not a bad thing. If your concern is that you “don’t know if they’re working or not” — well, that is an internal issue, not a personnel one. It means you do not have a system of accountability in place to monitor performance. Focus on getting that in place for the benefit of everyone in the company. Don’t universally restrict mobility because of lacking corporate governance.
Today’s employees expect things to “just work.” If team members are constantly struggling with IT and internal systems, they will not stay. Productivity is important across the board, but the new generation is hypersensitive, as they were born into a mobile generation. You can blame Apple for setting that expectation, or you can address it directly (the latter is our recommendation). But either way, don’t be surprised if candidates want to talk to your existing employees to get a feel for how things work within the organization. A stable infrastructure is something they value.
No matter what industry you are in, or what position you are trying to fill, the way your business technology operates is critically important to the new generation of workers. They have high expectations, but the things they want are ultimately good for your business. Appeasing them will move you and your business forward. Avoiding the shift is not really an option. Happy hunting!