Tuesday, 13 September 2016 14:13

How Do You Attract and Retain Talent for the Future?

One of the issues we give a lot of thought to is continuously evolving our corporate culture to meet the needs and demands of younger generations finding their way into the hardwood lumber industry. It’s predicted that millennials will comprise up to half of the U.S. workforce in the next five years, so adopting a flexible approach now seems like the wisest strategy to attract (and retain) talented employees that will help us succeed in the future.

This is an area we are constantly trying to improve upon. If this is a focus on yours as well, we have found that these are a few more prominent considerations one might want to keep in mind for successfully recruiting top talent for your business:

1-What you think you know about millennials may be wrong. hardwood lumber warehouse

The easy stereotype is that many millennial employees are self-absorbed, easily distracted and not especially hardworking. As with most stereotypes, this is just plain wrong.

“Millennials are continuous learners, collaborators, achievement-oriented, socially conscious and highly educated,” contends Business.com. “As a result, they are looking for more than a paycheck from their jobs.”

What we think this particular demographic wants are employers that offer a stable work environment with opportunities for professional growth and the right technological resources to get the job done.

2- Reconfigure opportunities for professional development.

As part of the orientation process, we try to improve our practice of getting millennial new hires talking about how they perceive their own strengths, weaknesses and areas where they’d like to grow.  We try to listen for ways they describe their work-related goals and then develop specific areas we can agree on for their professional development. When possible we like to try to have newer employees mentor an experienced employee on how to use newer technologies to be more productive or sponsor their participation in general industry conferences or seminars that others usually attend and which are related to their job duties to get a fresh perspective on issues.

Our hope is that if we successfully do things like this we will see improved retention rates with employees who value these opportunities to expand their skill sets.

3- Commit to providing collaborative technology and working in the cloud.

Remember, millennials “live and die” by the use of their smartphones. They’ll gladly work with APPs, cloud-based IP systems, live chat, video conferencing and other digital collaborative resources. In fact, when these young men and women are looking for the right job, they just assume a prospective employer makes use of such advanced technology.

4- Establish a viable work/life balance and a “fun” work environment.

Over the past few years we feel we have been noticing a shift.  The days when an employer might request long work days and s constant connectivity commitment from employees might be over. Balancing work and life is a top priority among millennials, so they’ll respond more enthusiastically to an employer who shares this view.

Also, millennials famously hope for a work environment that has elements of fun involved. Whether it’s a Friday end-of-workweek party, a rock-climbing team-building exercise or some other way to let off steam, they look more favorably on a prospective employer who’s not locked into an “all work, all the time” mentality.

When thinking of evolving your business culture, don’t look at this as “giving in” to the younger generation. Since the bulk of the emerging workforce for your business will be come out of this demographic—a statistic also mirroring the emerging population of customers—it only makes good business sense to stay current, relevant and attractive for the future.  As they say, hardwoods … treasured for generations!

Tony Cimorelli
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