The War For Talent: 4 Strategies To Better Attract And Retain Young Talent

by André Gonçalves André Gonçalves

attract retain young talent

How can we attract young talent? How can my business decrease young turnover? How to be an attractive brand for younger generations? Many companies ask themselves these questions. We have 4 recommendations on how to address these issues. They’re not rocket science, but definitely important to keep them in mind.

More and more recruiters, or HR managers, worldwide are saying it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract, recruit and keep young talent at their workplaces. In the business world, this phenomenon is known as the war for talent. But what is the reason behind it? This might be happening due to discrepancies between young workers’ aspirations and the proposals of recruiters. Today, advertising a job and selecting the best profile out of hundreds of candidates is not enough.

Young people’s demands are changing along with their consumption, so we are sharing 4 suggestions on how to attract, recruit and keep young professionals.

1- Yes, Pay Them Well. But Pay Them Fairly First

One of the first things candidates see when they look at a job offer is their salary proposal. Yet, many employers, especially in start-ups, feel that it is normal to recruit young trainees several times in a row. Some have even had a few years of professional experience, yet they are still offered a low salary.

So here is a reminder to recruiters: compensation still remains a fundamental criterion for all those seeking a professional opportunity. This is confirmed by a job satisfaction study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). So yes, a job description that mirrors a relaxed working environment with free yogurts and cookies is great… as long the salary offered is somewhat interesting.

However, this does not necessarily mean that extremely high wages will get the work done. Most of the time, especially in early career stages, the aspirations of young talent are quite reasonable. In fact, according to the SHRM study, getting and keeping someone on board has a lot to do with giving people a fair and transparent salary. This means that a potential employee will be satisfied as long as their salary seems fair, equitable and transparent. On the other hand, it is difficult to accept a lower remuneration if it seems disproportionately low compared to the company’s profits or managers and shareholders’ payments.  In summary: offering correct pay is important, but what is fundamental is that the pay is fair and equitable.

attract retain young talent

2- Trust, Kindness, And Empowerment

The second fundamental aspect when you want to attract a candidate (especially a young one) has to do with trust and kindness at work. SHRM’s study shows that over two-thirds of workers believe that mutual respect is the most important part of a work relationship. This is particularly true among young people: all the studies on happiness among younger generations tend to show that they find the work atmosphere important, as well as the fact that the relationship with their managers is based on respect and trust.

It is difficult to attract young talents with old-style management approaches based on permanent control, distrust, lack of feedback and lack of good communication. According to SHRM, the focus should be on “openness”, “dialogue” and “transparency”.

Following some of Mike Myatt’s ideas, managers must learn how to lead the way and take the best of their teams’ creativity, passions, and intellect, while giving them a voice, caring for them and recognizing their contributions. That is also why companies that are better at attracting and retaining talent are frequently the ones at the top of the well-being rankings and have adopted a management approach based on leadership. A style where, as Simon Sinek would put it, leaders eat last  (definitely a must watch TED talk for those who haven’t seen it yet).

3- Flexibility At Work

According to SHRM, flexibility at work is also fundamental. Among those who said they want to stay at their business for the next 12 months, 34% said flexibility was the main reason behind that choice. Just behind compensation, this is the second criterion encouraging people to stay at their business. In other words, if you offer your employees a flexible workstyle, they will most likely want to stay. A business culture where it is easy and natural to integrate professional and personal responsibilities is what many professionals are looking for.

In fact, work-life balance is one of the most important issues for new generations. These young experts prefer ways of “nomadic” work to avoid traffic and the hassle of everyday working life. More and more jobs allow for a physical absence, as well as more flexible schedules. This is all made possible thanks to the internet, which makes communication instantaneous.

Of course, working methods like teleworking are not always possible depending on the type of position. Yet, it is often possible to give employees a little more freedom to manage their schedules – always considering the responsibilities and the urgency of their work.

4- CSR And Sustainability

A study from Unilever says that one-third of consumers are choosing to buy goods and services from brands they perceive as sustainable. At the same time, a Trends Report study also showed that buyers are asking themselves how companies are positively contributing and creating value to the broader community they serve.

The consumers of today, especially the generation that is now getting purchasing power, are also the young talent that companies are looking for. That is why some employers, particularly multinationals, are adopting CSR strategies and green HR practices as a way of improving their attractiveness. Research shows that more socially responsible companies are more attractive to employees because they identify themselves with the causes.

attract retain young talent sustainability

Adapt To Attract And Retain

As we’ve seen, a fair paycheck, transparency and trust, flexibility, and sustainability are at the top of young workers’ concerns. If your company is part of this war for talent, it is time to adapt to better attract and retain. Young people are increasingly at the heart of all businesses’ workforce and now you know what they’re looking for!

 

Images credits for young talent on Shutterstock, employees office on Shutterstock, workers business on Shutterstock

News shared by

E-CSR newsletter