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Millennialese: Speak the Language

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by: Eric Decker

Articles and websites devoted to hiring a millennial workforce are full of suggestions like, “embrace technology”, “make work fun” and “give them opportunities to learn.” Sure, these are all great ideas, but how are you telling your story to convey these important messages?

Simply put, to win today’s competition for the most talented workforce, companies must get better at telling their story.

Today’s best prospects have many choices, and they’re being courted by your competitors. Employers that are gaining their attention are finding new ways to set themselves apart from the competition. Things that used to be considered as attraction points (benefits, 401k plans, parking) are now standard offerings.

The workforce is looking for something different – and a growing body of evidence is showing that employees are valuing a company’s culture nearly as much as their compensation. If your company is feeling the talent pinch, it may be an indication that the story you’re telling about your culture isn’t resonating with the millennials in today’s talent pool.

Here are some critical questions that might help you shape a story that would more effectively resonate with top talent:

Why would someone want to work for you and be a part of your business culture?

Since your culture is one of your strongest attraction points, are you clearly conveying your company values? How do you implement them? What opportunities are there for new employees to get involved and contribute to your mission? Go ahead and showcase your working environment – lighting, work stations, etc. – giving recruits a sense of what it would be like to work there. Highlighting areas for collaboration, private space, use of technology, etc. are all evidence of your culture.

How can someone grow and progress within your company?

Show elements of your training and continuing education process. Convey stories in a compelling way, and consider using video testimonials. Showcase someone who has been with your company for a long time, who started in an entry level position and grew to mid or upper management. What are the opportunities for continuing education? Are there apprenticeships, or company-sponsored technical college or university degrees? Do you offer a mentoring program?

Where is your company making a difference in your community?

Top talent wants to be part of an organization that gives back. Show recruits how your company is making the community and/or world a better place. Offering tours for local schools, scholarships for technical colleges, company-wide charitable giving, or participation in efforts like Habitat for Humanity can show your company’s community outreach. Chances are, these are things you’re already doing – you just have to show it!

Taking the time and effort to showcase your company’s culture will go a long way towards reaching today’s top recruits. More than ever, millennials want to be a part of something where they are valued, make a difference, and grow both personally and professionally.

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