Just a short time ago, we attended a Chamber luncheon at the Nugget where Doug Knuth, the new athletic director of the University of Nevada, Reno, spoke about The Big Business of College Sports. While he educated the audience on his role of managing a university athletic department in today’s world, there was one thing about coaching that he shared, and as human resources professionals, it resonated with us: “My coaches’ biggest job is recruitment — finding new and great talent to play for us.” Every employer in the room could say the same thing about their business, right? So, how do we do that in today’s world? What resources are available to employers? How are you adapting or changing your business practices to find that home-run hitter to play effectively in your workplace?
Today’s workforce is dramatically changing with recruitment strategies and the use of social media. Long gone are the days, well almost, when candidates would show up at your workplace and ask to complete an application. The long paper process has been replaced by electronic HR technologies whereby business owners and HR directors are filing and sorting candidates electronically. LinkedIn, Facebook, your company website and e-mail are attracting candidates from all over the world to your workplace. Your company needs to invest in these options and strategically implement the technology into your recruitment process.
The critical question is this: How are you preparing your workplace for the next generation of workers? The current workforce consists of Baby Boomers, The Gen Xers and Gen Yers also known as the Millennials. The workforce in the Millennial era, those that are born between 1982–1993, are interested in a much different experience at their workplace than what their managers think is important. It will be critical for you to understand what the Millennial employee values to ensure that your expectations and their work ethics are a good fit for your workplace.
Gen Y or Millennial workers are looking for a very flexible schedule and have prioritized it over a larger salary. These candidates have grown up in an era of technology and know that the technology is available to allow them to work anywhere and anytime of the day. The lines of work-time and play-time are blurring. Forty percent of these employees check their social media every 10 minutes. It would then make sense that 56 percent of this population doesn’t want to work for you if your company policy bans social media like Facebook or Twitter. The days of a 9-5 work schedule soon may be gone with the help of technology and the changing lifestyle of the Millennials. Does your business have the technology to support that? Is your employee handbook updated to allow such flexibility while protecting the company? Is it OK to expect employees to answer e-mails in our 24/7 lifestyle, and are you paying them for their time to respond? What challenges will your company face over the next 5-10 years to accommodate?
Additionally, they are looking for collaboration with managers, executives and other employees. They crave teamwork, constant feedback, transparency and an ability to see career opportunities or personal worth and growth within the company. The No. 1 reason why the Gen Y leaves a company is because of lack of career opportunities in the workplace. Ironically, they also want a sense of community by providing meaningful work and having a societal purpose. They want to have fun at work and are more apt to continue at a company if their friends work there. Most are environment-conscious, recyclers and energy savers. Millenials only want to work for companies that give back to their communities and provide them a way to participate in societal efforts!
Did we mention that the Gen Y population grew up with technology? And that they go to bed checking their social media resources? Heard of gamification? This population appreciates the use of games within the workplace for training and they like to earn points for posting, sharing and connecting their ideas with other employees. They also like to earn prizes! With the expectation that the use of various software applications will grow, they want to be part of that growth and have it positively influence their workforce experiences.
So what does that future workplace look like with the growing population of Gen Y/Millennials?
Limited firewalls: Open access to YouTube/Facebook
Gamification: Fun, fun, fun with friends and employees
No more 9-5 schedules
Flat hierarchy. They want collaboration and access to the executives
Result oriented, not just profitability
Flexibility. They want to work from home, the coffee shop or the beach
Millennials have heard that they are lazy and have a me-me-me mentality. Millennials feel it is management’s responsibility to understand and engage this workforce. We need to search out the candidates and employees with an entrepreneurial attitude as we have seen a major change in how we conduct business and socialize with each other as a result of this under-30 group. In the next five years 46 percent of Gen Ys want to start their own business.
Are you prepared? If you don’t prepare, you won’t be successful in recruiting and your company will ultimately lose out on this talent. Now is the time to strategize your recruitment efforts and gain an understanding of how to put the right player in the correct position. You wouldn’t dare put a kicker in for a auarterback, would you?
Lastly, as a matter of focusing on compliance, you should be aware of a new law in place as of Oct. 1, 2013. Nevada has passed SB 127 to restrict the use of credit reports for employment purposes. Employers need to review this law in order to ensure recruitment and employment compliance with the new regulations prohibiting Nevada employers from making an adverse employment decision based on credit information obtained on applicants and employees.
The basic premise of the law is to protect candidates and employees from being disciplined, discharged, discriminated against or denied employment or promotion or threatened by the employer in the form of an adverse employment action based on the results of a credit report or for refusing or failing to provide a credit report when it does not “reasonably relate” to their position or where their duties do not involve one or more of the non-exclusive categories.
Sarah Sommers is chief executive officer of Solutions At Work and Diana Albiniano is the director of HR operations at the Reno-based human resources consulting firm. Contact them at 775-827-9675 or email@example.com and Diana@mysolutionsatwork.com.
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