Strategies for attracting young talent to your business
With all the company performance issues caused by a skill shortage in the energy industry, companies must take action to ensure they’re attracting a younger generation of talent.
Over recent months we’ve interviewed various businesses who have proven themselves successful at young talent acquisition, to get their thoughts on what strategies work well. Here’s some insight into what we’ve learnt, teamed with our own insider knowledge from working in the retained search industry.
3 strategies for attracting young talent:
1. Host a memorable event for students
One key way of getting in front of talented young people (possibly the future leaders of your company!) is by hosting an engaging event. To make your event successful, ensure you cover the following:
• Accessibility – you want to make getting to your event as easy as possible – the more steps attendees have to take the less likely they’ll show up. This means ideally hosting the event at a college or university campus, avoiding a complicated sign up process and hosting the event at a suitable time (avoid early mornings and evenings).
• Incentive – to get students to turn up (especially those who may not have thought about a career in your industry), it’s advisable to provide incentives. Let’s face it – students love free stuff (who doesn’t) so if you’re running your event over lunch for example, make sure you’ve got those hot pizzas at the ready. Branded stationary equipment and goody bags are a tried and tested method, so try to be different and creative with it. Providing incentive shows you as a giving company – which is a positive for any potential employee.
• Provide a useful pitch – during your event it’s obviously important that you cover the key benefits to working in your industry, what a career path would look like, what your mission and values are and the type of skill sets that match. However, it’s also vital that students come away with some additional knowledge that they can use after the event. Ensure your presentation pitch includes some actionable insights – a good example could be interview or CV tips.
• Network with students individually – make students feel valued and show you appreciate their attendance by speaking to students directly during the event. Some one to one time allows you to unearth a great hire, so you can talk about how your offer matches their needs to get them more bought in to your business. A personal touch in an increasingly more digital world is highly valuable today.
• Clear marketing – ensure your marketing clearly includes a consistent message about your company values plus all incentives being offered at the event, so students know exactly what they’re getting out of it. Ensure design is modern and fun to attract their attention and appeal to their younger side. Marketing avenues could include flyers/posters at the university or a space in the university magazine or website.
If you can’t host your own event, then think about sponsoring an event where your young target audience will be present. This way you can still provide your pitch and free insight (think printed information) plus some memorable incentives.
2. Speak to their technology gripped side
The next generation of professionals have grown up in a much more technology focused environment than any before. To keep up with them:
• Have a strong brand presence online. This isn’t just a case of tweeting your latest whitepaper – you need to make sure your online content speaks to the younger generation too. Think about utilising platforms like Youtube and Instagram to get your brand seen by a younger audience, posting content that makes them feel like they’d be part of something exciting. A good example could be a short ‘day in the life’ video of what it’s like to work at your company – showing the benefits of taking this career path.
• Offer the latest technology and tools to employees. This includes everything from their laptop (we vote mac!) to modern internal tools (such as reducing emails with ‘Slack’ channels). This shows you’re not a dated company and will evolve with the ever changing times.
3. Offer flexibility
We all know flexible working is on the rise as more and more people sway towards this option, which offers a seemingly better quality of life. One way to combat this is to offer flexibility to employees on permanent contracts – something which will resonate well with a younger generation.
Attractive ideas include: flexible working hours, extended lunch breaks for gym visits, and free time for personal projects.
We have much more insight on this topic which we’re looking forward to sharing at this years UEIL congress event, where director James Moorhouse will be guest speaking. Keep a lookout on our blog for additional strategies on attracting young talent, coming up!