Deloitte just released its fourth annual Millennial Survey and the findings suggest what Millennials (and me) have known all along. Employers are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to hiring. That may very well explain why businesses are having an extremely difficult time attracting and hiring talent. Business leaders need to take a step back and reset the way they go about doing business if they are to acquire the talent needed to fuel business growth. Here’s what purposeful hiring looks like.
Focus On People and Purpose. Today’s workers (especially Millennials) want to be part of something bigger than profit making. Millennials want to work for organizations with purpose. For six in 10 Millennials, a “sense of purpose,” is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers. Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global, sums this up best. “The message is clear: when looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits. He goes on to say, “These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community.”
I’ve helped a number of organizations dramatically improve their ability to pull top talent in by making a few minor adjustments. We begin by identifying how the world is better as a result of their company being in business. We then take this information and look at ways to convey our message, both internally and externally, so that the organization is better able to attract and retain the right people. We then work with the hiring managers to ensure the conversations they are having with perspective employees accurately reflects the partnership we are attempting to achieve. The word partnership is important here, as today’s workers want to be viewed as a business partner and not just merely an employee who is easily replaceable.
Career Development-More Than a Training Program. I’m a huge fan of Millennials, as most are extremely bright. They recognize (as do I) that career development is so much more than a one-day training program. Those companies who move away from the one-size-fits-all career development models they are using will come out as winners.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for training, but it’s not the only option nor is it the best option all of the time. I believe that career development is a two-way street. It’s not simply something you do to an employee. Employees must also participate and guide their own careers. In fact, they should be driving the bus on this. Don’t be afraid to provide development in some unconventional ways. For example, I facilitate round-tables for groups of leaders who are in similar places in their careers. This kind of development demonstrates to the employee that the organization is very invested in the partnership and allows the employee to grow at his or her own pace.
Emphasizing what your organization is doing around career development will help you attract Millennials. If you don’t have anything to say about this, start making changes so your company is better aligned with the wants and needs of the today’s workforce.
Revisit The Type of Leaders You Are Promoting or Hiring. It’s no secret that people work for their bosses. It’s also one of the top reasons they accept a job offer and why they leave companies. This means that if you are going to be successful at hiring Millennials, you’ll need to know what they are seeking from their leaders. According to the Deloitte study, today’s Millennials place less value on visible (19 percent), well-networked (17 percent), and technically-skilled (17 percent) leaders. Instead, they define true leaders as strategic thinkers (39 percent), inspirational (37 percent), personable (34 percent) and visionary (31 percent). How do your leaders rank when it comes to what today’s candidates and employees are looking?
Take a closer look at your current approach to hiring. Most likely the questions and process you are using will no longer yield the results you are seeking. Especially if you believe like I do, that a large number of organizations don’t have the type of leaders in place that Millennials are seeking. I’ve designed and implemented enough programs on hiring to know that your hires are only as good as your hiring process and those responsible for making hiring decisions. Mis-hires happen more often then they should and can be quite costly. Here’s a free tool you can use to determine how costly this mistake can really be for your organization.
If you serious about staffing your organization with the best, then take the money you are using to create more perks at work and invest it in purposeful hiring. In return, you’ll have more time to focus on your products and profits.