It used to be that health benefits and a generous number of sick days were enough to have top-notch talent kicking in your office door. Current hiring scenes paint a decidedly new picture.
Today’s emerging workforce has become accustomed to blogs, podcasts and other social media tools because they used them at school and in their personal lives to communicate with professors and stay in touch with friends. Being forced to grind into low gear to use low-tech, out-moded communication vehicles while in the office presents a near impossible transition for most new graduates.
Business decision-makers need to realize that not being involved with social media doesn’t just mean they’re missing out on the opportunity to be more competitive with other companies; it also means they’re taking a step back in the battle for great, young talent.
While on a speaking tour recently, an attendee shared a story about a company with a solid track record and decent growth rates. A smart young woman, fresh out of college, was interviewing for a position with this company. Although she was offered the position, she hesitated to accept.
When asked why, she explained to the hiring executive that she had reviewed the company’s website and didn’t think the company was advancing technologically. She informed them that by not having a blog, their website was flat, one-dimensional and lacking in updated content. Clearly, the company wanted to employ her, but the hitch was she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be employed by the company.
What to Do Now
Branch out. Refuse to think one-dimensionally about your hiring strategy. Just as the graying workforce brings experience and know-how to the boardroom, younger generations bring an innate understanding of technology. Take the time to make sure that your interview and hiring pools are diverse and fresh.
Tap in. Management needs to meet with younger employees and ask them about the websites and tools they use – not just to communicate – but to get work done. Then find ways to leverage these sites or create secure versions for the office.
Spiff up. Your company probably says it cares about innovation: you hire the best and the brightest, and you're leading your industry into the future. But none of this matters if those things aren’t evident from your website. Spend some time adding fresh content to the corporate website. Creating and maintaining a blog does require a commitment, but it can be rewarding. If a major redesign is needed, a frequently updated news section might do the trick in the short term.
Remain aware. Constantly be on the look out for ways to make your company attractive to both experienced professionals and those entering the job market. Be sure to stay vigilant about including the voices and input of younger employees.
The war for talent is real. A company can have the best strategy, top-flight alliances and generous cash reserves, but without an influx of new ideas – the human capital – it's merely a corporate shell with a tax obligation.