Want to recruit Gen Y and Millennial talent? Don’t forget this!

Want to recruit Gen Y and Millennial talent? Don’t forget this!

The best way to be known as a great company and a great place to work IS to be a great company. So how do we get there?

In an earlier article (How CEO’s find more time by focusing on employment brand), we discussed that one of the initial priorities that the C-Suite must start with in order to build an engaged culture and compelling employment brand was to articulate an effective corporate vision and related values. We will discuss how to translate this into an employment value proposition later but for now let’s first take a look at how you create the culture you want your people to talk about and advocate for in their recruitment discussions.

What is missing in your corporate culture?

While creating the high level mission and vision is often touched on by most senior leaders, in many cases, what is lacking and often gen ymissed by most corporations are the reasons why. Specifically, why the managers, followed by non-management personnel, should believe in the vision and how this can impact their chances for individual and team / company success. I mention managers first because unless your managers eat, breathe, and believe in any initiative and can properly communicate the reasons why it is a priority and why it can succeed, the initiative will almost surely fail. This is especially true in recruiting and retaining millennial talent.

Millennials will ask why – how will your middle managers answer?

According to Universum research across North America, 85% of this year’s crop of Gen Y talent are searching for meaning in their work and want their jobs to be more than just a way to pay the bills. Middle managers need to embrace the vision and mission and understand the why of things if they are going to be successful implementing new initiatives with this generation and responding to their challenges and questions. It isn’t enough to just tell these emerging leaders that “this is just the way we do things around here” if you want to keep them. Contrary to popular opinion, Millennials actually plan on being with their first employer for an average of 5 years provided that the employer can answer their questions and meet the challenges that come with hiring this hyper-collaborative, feedback driven and adaptive generation.

Creating the vision and clear mission statement:

The important points to consider in articulating a compelling vision and related values are:

  • Create a simple and easy-to-understand vision with a clear mission statement. One effective way to do this is to start by writing your vision for the company and why it is worthwhile in as many words as it takes to properly describe. Don’t worry about word count and don’t be afraid to use words that express your enthusiasm for your vision. After completing this exercise, Google companies known for their great culture.
  • Consult the Universum Top 100 Ideal Employer list based on student voting to see how your recruiting competitors position their culture and cultural brand. Study the format and content of your competitors statements in order to provide examples of how to condense your words into the most efficient and effective form.

List the reasons why you passionately believe:

  • The vision is a worthwhile one.
  • It has a good chance for success.

To do this you need to describe:

  1.  The market(s) that the company is targeting and why the services/products are needed (if possible it is good to provide information about total market size, its potential growth and the targeted share of the market for the company).
  2.  Who else (if anyone) services this market and how does your company differentiate itself from these competitors in order to gain market share.
  3. Any other key items that you feel are pertinent.

List the values that you live by and ensure that they align with the vision. Take a look at how companies in your space have described their values in order to help you improve your communication. Because it is based on a democratic process, it is sometimes useful to use the Universum Top 100 Ideal Employer list to help you establish some comparative benchmarks and understand how your recruiting competitors are crafting their messages, differentiating and getting their people and candidates aligned around their cultural values.

Next you must effectively communicate the above information to the employees of your company and get their buy in. How to do this, implement an ongoing corporate communication program and how to transition this into a compelling employment brand will be the subjects of my next articles.


About the author

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Jason Kipps

Jason is Head of Universum Canada

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