Dear Aunty B,
I’m not sure if this is a politically correct question to ask Aunty B, but how do I get younger people interested in working for my company? And once I’ve hired them, how can I make sure they want to stay around?
I employ a staff of around 40 people and I currently have a relatively high level of employee turnover. I’m keen to try some new ideas and to make sure I am running the type of business that is attractive to younger generations, as well as older workers. I’ve read plenty about Generation Y or ‘millennials’ but I feel like I don’t necessarily understand what makes this generation of workers tick.
Have you got any suggestions?
I’d hate to fall into the trap of making assumptions about generations (like that us boomers do everything better!) but I do love that you’re thinking about the ways you can change what your doing to attract the best workers to your business.
I think the best way to think about these issues is to consider what someone in their 20s or 30s now wants to get out of a job. It’s likely to be very different to what workers wanted 30 years ago, and it will no doubt change again in another 30 years.
According to HR specialist David Niu, who recently wrote on this topic for wattsnext HR, the millennial generation want opportunities to learn at work.
Niu’s organisation TINYhr surveyed 500 millennials and 75% of them said they would consider leaving their job if they did not think there were opportunities for professional growth.
So how do small businesses tap into this? Niu suggests both external opportunities – including paying for external courses or seminars and conferences for employees to gain new skills – as well as internal opportunities. Think guest speakers coming in to chat to your employees or better yet, asking experts within your business to run workshops on their area of expertise at lunchtime.
And Niu has one other piece of great advice to find out what younger workers want: try asking them.
“It’s true that millennials need guidance. And yes, they have different expectations as compared to their older counterparts. But their hunger for learning will only benefit your business,” Niu says.