Unlocking the Future: Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Talent

Published in Orthotics & Prosthetics on November 17, 2023

Unlocking the Future: Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of TalentBy Bailey Ronnebaum, Business Development Manager, Forbin and forbinf

Recruiting and retaining a younger generation of employees is a critical challenge for organizations seeking to stay competitive and innovative in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. To effectively attract and keep young talent, you will want to show your organization values their unique needs, aspirations, and contributions.

According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, 93% of organizations are concerned about employee retention. That said, you will want to focus on the top drivers that cause an employee to stay or leave a business. Below you’ll find elements to implement for each driver to increase your success in employee retention.

93% of organizations are concerned about employee retention

Compensation

Competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits packages are essential to highlight; however, we all know how hard it may be for a business to be the highest paying option in the area. When there’s only so much you can offer, it’s even more imperative to focus on the other drivers below. Put as much effort as you can into expanding all other fields.

Culture and Relationships

A vibrant and engaging workplace culture helps employees feel more connected to their work and gives them a better reason to stay. A few ideas to enhance and spotlight your company’s culture and relationships include:

  • Get-togethers: Having a variety of socialization activities, including some that allow family members to join, gives an opportunity for employees to get to know one another outside of work in different environments. 
  • Milestone celebrations: Birthdays and anniversaries are a great way to show employees you care about them. Fill out a card, buy a cupcake from the bakery in town, and create a social media post to give them recognition.
  • Purpose-driven culture: Younger employees are motivated by a sense of purpose to make a positive impact on society. Find volunteer activities the team can help with to give them a purpose and increase your organization’s footprint in the community.
  • Inclusivity and diversity: Share your efforts to create an inclusive and diverse workplace where all backgrounds feel welcome by showcasing resource groups, diversity training, and policies that foster equality.

A young talent who works as a project manager for Two Rivers Marketing, Jessica Cipolla, says, “Alongside the professional aspects of my job, I’ve been able to build relationships with talented people within a culture that keeps everyone engaged with the goal to succeed on behalf of each other.” 

46% of job seekers say that lack of recognition is a main reason for their burnout

Recognition

Younger employees appreciate constructive feedback and value recognition for their contributions. According to Joblist, 46% of job seekers say that lack of recognition is a main reason for their burnout. Here are some easy ways to increase how you recognize the team to avoid that statistic becoming true for you:

  • Video interview/team montage: Put together a video of the team saying kind words about an employee or ask the employee to record a video of themselves speaking to something they’ve done. You can use those videos to share internally or externally, highlighting the team member. 
  • Blog spotlight: Have an employee answer some questions about themselves and use those to feature them in an employee blog. This can be used in email and social media to bring more recognition to that employee and how they contribute to the company.
  • Social media post: Social media is a free platform, so utilize it as much as possible. The younger generation will be following along, so be sure to feature birthdays, anniversaries, milestones, accomplishments, and any other updates about employees.
  • Email announcement: Send a monthly or quarterly newsletter internally to your team or externally to clients. Within this email, you could have a section spotlighting an employee or team for their accomplishments.
  • Hand-written note: Writing a simple note or card giving thanks means a lot to an employee. Take time out of your week to write one to five handwritten notes to employees individually. You can also ask your team to fill out a card in person or digitally for an employee after they complete a project or have a milestone.
  • Gift: If you are able, give gifts to show your appreciation and recognition. This could be small too—a cupcake or $25 gift card. The gift doesn’t have to be a large monetary sum if that’s not something the company is able to do.

Recognition

Development and Career Advancement

The number one way organizations are working to improve retention is by providing learning opportunities. If an employee feels there’s no advancement, then they feel there is no future. Here are some areas to work on growth in development and career advancement opportunities:

  • Onboarding: Research has found that roughly one-third of new hires will leave in the first 90 days, which means it’s critical to start with a smooth onboarding process. 
  • Technology: Younger generations are typically tech savvy and accustomed to digital tools.
  • Coworker 1:1s: Setting up time for coworkers to meet each other enhances the onboarding experience and can give variety to training. 
  • Dedicated development time: Businesses can allot X amount of time per month or quarter for employees to use toward “development time.” 
  • Career pathing: Microsoft’s Work Trend Index report states 68% of employees say they would stay with their organization longer if their company offered greater internal mobility.
  • Colors and top drivers: Doing assessments or trainings with employees to see how they like to communicate and be communicated with will allow them to learn more about themselves and give you more insight into how to effectively communicate with their personality type.

“My company consistently provides me the opportunity to be involved with new projects, which pushes me to have a broader perspective of how our business operates. Being included in these new initiatives allows me to learn and practice skills that will be applicable throughout my career,” states young talent Kaden Isaacson, key accounts manager with Strategic Imaging.

Work-Life Balance

For the younger generations, a flexible job that allows them to feel balanced in life is crucial. Here are some top areas to showcase when speaking toward the benefits of working for your company:

  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Health and well-being initiatives
  • Workload management
  • Parental leave and family support
  • Respect for personal time

Forbin’s young talent Madison Naeve, visual content strategist, shares her reasoning behind why she continues to stay where she is.

“I like working for Forbin because the employees ask me about my weekend and genuinely care about my success, not only in my work but also in life. They keep me busy but respect my work life balance and listen when I speak up about feeling overwhelmed.”

By implementing the strategies outlined, your business can establish itself as a destination where young talent thrives. Remember, the power to transform your workplace lies in embracing flexibility, providing opportunities for continuous learning, championing diversity and inclusion, and above all, recognizing that the success of your business is intricately tied to the success and satisfaction of the individuals who power it.

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VGM Playbook Elevating Performance Harnessing Human CapitalThis article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Elevating Performance: Harnessing Human Capital. To read the full article and more like this, download your copy of the playbook today


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