Recruit Your Best Talent

In today’s online world, talent searches can seem overwhelming given the many channels that can be used to find candidates. The trick is to find the best talent for your industry and take the time to find the right hire. The right hire is a person that fits into your culture and values, and treats your business as if it was his or her own, says Chad Hatfield, president of Hatfield Builders & Remodelers.

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials – those roughly 18- to 34-years-old – became the largest share of the American workforce as of 2015, and cleaning and restoration firms need to be effective in recruiting and retaining younger talent to ensure there are plenty of employees to take the place of older technicians as they near retirement age. However, to attract younger talent, companies need to adapt their offerings and change the way they hire to meet the needs and expectations of this demographic.

Understand Your Job Candidates

First, it is important for firms to understand that millennials are socially conscious, want to work for a company they can believe in, and will research a firm’s history, mission, and values. They are eager for growth opportunities and value a clear path for growth and development. Millennials’ preferred methods of communication are more modern, such as video conferencing, text messaging, and social media, and they desire flexibility and freedom in their careers.

Seek Employees Where They Are

Next, firms need to take steps to get millennials in the door. This requires an understanding of how the younger generation approaches job searching, with a survey by Jobvite revealing that 47 percent of millennials use mobile devices to search for jobs, and 42 percent assess a company’s culture using Facebook or Instagram. This means firms need to have an easy, mobile-friendly application process to attract the younger generation. They also should tweet about their success, says leadership coach Marc Robertson, author of Working with Millennials: Using Emotional Intelligence and Strategic Compassion to Motivate the Next Generation of Leaders. He stresses that “if you’re not recruiting on social media, you’re missing the boat.”

Offer the Next Generation What They Want

To connect with and recruit millennials, David Smith, senior managing director for talent and organization at Accenture Strategy, recommends making connections early by offering internships and apprenticeships to college students; increasing investments in digital hiring tools and platforms; offering long-term development opportunities; and creating an enjoyable, though challenging, work culture.

Meanwhile, Anne Donovan, human-capital transformation leader at PwC, says that because millennials place high value on flexibility in the workplace and a work-life balance, firms should consider individualized schedules where possible. Experts also emphasize the need for firms to offer training resources and leadership development in order to retain younger talent, revamp their performance review processes to set short-term goals with more frequent check-ins, give younger workers a sense of purpose beyond the bottom line, and recognize that perks matter to millennials.

Show Employees Their Work Has Purpose

Numerous other studies and articles provide tips for firms to attract and retain young talent. Among other things, they should show job candidates where they can go and how they can get there in terms of career path; explain the purpose behind the work to ensure they believe in the company’s mission; give back to the community to show that the firm believes in causes bigger than itself, which is important to millennials; let candidates know they will have the opportunity for creative thinking and be given the autonomy to solve problems for the company; place an importance on innovation; and encourage teamwork and teambuilding.

Don’t Forget Your Company’s Needs

Hatfield explains that his company makes sure that job candidates are tested in the initial application process. Potential candidates who do not follow instructions inside the company’s job descriptions are not interviewed because they are not detail-oriented enough. He also suggests that firms provide candidates with opportunities to showcase their skills or ability to manage projects. For instance, Hatfield explains that one job candidate was asked to design a cabinet system, and the candidate adjusted the basic scope of the project to the specific space needs of the project space without being asked. If attention to detail is necessary, he says the additional expense of “testing” candidates can save companies money in the long run.

Firms that make the workplace a fun place to be are more likely to retain younger workers for the long-term. They have determined the best way to sell to customers, and need to do figure out how to sell to their employees as well. Ultimately, they must strive for their employees to love the company and the people they work with, which may require learning to address the needs of five generations in the workplace at once. Achieving these goals can make it harder for recruiters from another firm to steal them away.

This article was shared in C&R with the permission of the Restoration Industry Association.

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