Elsbeth is responsible for The Predictive Index’s communications strategy. Serving as the voice of the company, she creates and executes programs that encourage brand advocacy, increase global reach, and provide the best experience for business prospects and clients.
By Elsbeth McSorley
The new, technically savvy Millennial generation is the most highly educated crop of graduates in a generation. Schools have finally gotten the memo: General degrees are no good in the real world. Top schools are requiring their graduates to specialize and be ready to add value on day one. This is great for your business once you get the right employees, but it also increases the competition for the elite graduates. No matter what the general unemployment statistics say, your company will always be competing for these employees. Here are three steps to attract and retain these people to your business institution if your name is not Google or Facebook.
Understand your place in the hierarchy
Among other publications, the New York Times reported on the lunchroom table conversation that the elite graduate class is having today. Everyone is gunning for a job at Facebook, Google or Twitter. If they cannot get hired there, Silicon Valley is a worthy second option. After that comes the world of ad agencies. At the bottom is everyone else. Assuming you do not have the budget to compete with the top dogs, you must emulate the other successful techniques they employ. The reason that Google and Facebook were able to attract the best employees a decade ago had a great deal to do with their pitches: They made work look like a college rec room. Instead of stories of huge boardrooms and meeting legendary bosses for boring rounds of golf, they advertised beanbag chairs, time off for volunteers who wanted to plant trees and casual dress codes for the entire week, not just Friday. The new generation is all about authenticity, not size or bravado. Adjust your pitches accordingly, especially if you are at the bottom of the hierarchy anyway.
Advertise the use of new technology
Top graduates graduate at the top as a product of their love for new tech. Why would they want to work at a company that throws them back into the Stone Age? Advertise your business as a hub for new technology. Let your potential employees know that you will reward new thinking with new technology. Erase the line between the personal life and the business life of your team. If you can do this successfully, then your new employees will naturally begin to create ideas for business based on their use of personal technologies. To this end, Google actually requires that employees spend 20 percent of the day away from repetitive work in brainstorming sessions. Take stock of your company's needs and empower your employees with the time and the technical resources to put you at the top.
Go the extra mile for the company culture
Again, you may not have the budget that the top companies have to put a 24 hour gym and personal chef on the business campus. However, you can certainly bring in some free weights and coffee for the office. Go the extra mile to keep your employees on campus as much as possible. Leaving for lunch has a notable psychological effect on employees - they begin to associate the office with stress and lunch with relief. This will naturally cause people to view your business as a business rather than as a part of their lives, and that is not good enough to compete these days.
Food is a bonding element, so have plenty of it. Keep the snacks healthy. High sugar snacks bring huge crashes, and people who overload on coffee with nothing else to eat will lose productivity after a while.
Check out our other blog posts What millennials seek in a workspace and Since when was employee appreciation just a millennial thing? for more information on millennials.