What attracts you to your position or employer? If you were to ask your friends and family that question you will find each response varies, especially at different stages in their lives. When candidates are selecting a job with your company they look at all aspects and how you will fit into their lives. Employees and candidates have the pick of any employer, they have the buying power. So how do you set yourself apart? And how do you prepare your company for the future workforce? It all starts with asking yourself what candidates and employees are thinking, "What's in it for me?"
When I was sixteen (my first job), the only thing I wanted to do was make money. I didn't care about health insurance or paid time off. I only wanted to make as much money as I could to pay for the fun things in my life. Fast forward to my second job, I wanted to make money and have a flexible schedule while I attended college. Again at nineteen, I wasn't thinking about health insurance or retirement, only a position where I could make a decent paycheck and get my degree. As my second job started to turn into a career, I wanted paid time off, retirement options (401k and pension), and most importantly room for growth. And this is what I found and kept me happy for a long time. My employer also helped me with tuition reimbursement toward my MBA.
As business owners and recruiters we need to align our ideal candidates' wants with our offerings. Not one size fits all but we can get close with some really creative benefits that stretch across all stages in life. So how do we do this? We look at a couple of different factors.
Define What Kind of Employer You Want To Be: For example, do you want to be a leader in the industry or a follower? Do you want to be the employer that all candidates shout, I WANT TO WORK FOR YOU? If you want to be a leader you will need to be a little more creative and possibly invest more in your people's benefits.
Define Your Team's Purpose and Goals: Start by clearly defining the purpose and goals of your team. This will provide a sense of direction and alignment for your young and dynamic team members. Clearly communicate your organization's mission and vision, and ensure that your team's objectives are well-defined and meaningful. Candidates and employees want to align their values with your values. And you want employees that truly believe in your company.
Targeted Recruitment Strategies: To build a young and dynamic team, you need to implement targeted recruitment strategies. Leverage digital platforms and social media to reach out to young professionals who align with your team's goals and values. Participate in job fairs, career events, and engage with universities and colleges to tap into fresh talent. Consider implementing internships or mentorship programs to attract young individuals who are eager to learn and grow.
Foster a Supportive Work Environment: Create a work environment that supports and nurtures young talent. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and idea-sharing. Offer opportunities for skill development, training, and mentorship to help your team members thrive professionally. Provide constructive feedback and recognition to motivate and empower them. Embrace a flexible work culture that values work-life balance and promotes well-being.
Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork: Promote a collaborative work culture where teamwork is encouraged and valued. Implement cross-functional projects, group activities, and team-building exercises to foster camaraderie and build strong relationships among team members. Encourage knowledge-sharing and mentorship within the team, allowing young talent to learn from experienced professionals.
Embrace Technology and Innovation: Young professionals are often tech-savvy and thrive in an environment that embraces technology and innovation. Provide your team with the necessary tools, software, and resources to enhance productivity and efficiency. Encourage them to explore emerging technologies and innovative solutions that can drive the organization forward.
Continuous Learning and Growth Opportunities: (This may be the most important and overlooked area of value.) Create a culture of continuous learning and growth by providing ongoing training opportunities and professional development programs. Support your young team members in acquiring new skills, attending conferences or workshops, and pursuing certifications. Encourage them to set personal and professional goals and provide the necessary resources to achieve them.
Remember, investing in young talent is an investment in the future success of your organization.
Here is a list of creative, overlooked, benefits you can offer on a budget:
Consider a QSEHRA plan if you have under 50 employees you can contribute a maximum of $5,850 for individual employees (or $487.50/monthly) or $11,800 for employees with a family (or $983.33/monthly) to an HRA where employees must use the funds to pay for the MEC (minimum essential coverage) plan through the Marketplace. This is a great option for employers who cannot afford to pay for health insurance. Employers can write these plans in a very flexible manner with the right support. AND it is a business expense. Can't get better than that!
Retirement plan options are necessary. Opening a Simple IRA or 401k are great options to help employees save for retirement. The younger workforce is seeking employers who will help them save for retirement.
Paternity and maternity leave plans are ever-increasing. Even if you have less than 50 employees and do not fall under FMLA, you can consider a plan for paid leave. Although this is not protected leave under any regulation, you can adopt a policy to allow for this benefit. By offering two weeks of paid time off to bond after the birth of a child or adoption, may win an employee over to your company if they are planning to have a family.
Generous paid time off policies are also top of mind for younger talent. These workers want to be able to know how much time they have, how they can use their time, and how they earn more time. Also, consider having paid holidays and paid shutdown weeks (Christmas week).
And lastly, consider helping employees pay for continued education or tuition reimbursement plans. The average student loan balance of loan holders in NH is $33,119.66. This is a large burden on many employees of all ages.
Remember, while these benefits are appealing to young employees, it's important to tailor them to the specific needs and preferences of your workforce. Regular feedback and open communication can help you understand their evolving expectations and adjust your benefits package accordingly.
The best thing employer can do when building a young and dynamic team is to LISTEN. We need to listen to candidates when they come in for an interview. We need to listen to our current employees. What do they want and need in this ever-changing world and how can we help them? Also, listen when candidates turn down the job offer. Why did they turn it down? What offer did they accept and how did you miss the mark?
By 2030, 74% of the workforce will be comprised of Millenials and Gen Z workers. That is less than seven years away. We have time to adjust but we have to start now. If your company is interested in positioning itself as an employer that attracts young and dynamic team members, reach out today to get started!