In 2018, I saw the HR landscape shift drastically, for the better! Organizations realize that everyone benefits when people come first. I’ve seen companies embrace diversity, prioritize mental healthcare, and support overall employee wellness. I love this piece on Thrive Global about how DigitalOcean, an early leader in employee wellbeing, developed a robust wellness program including mindfulness workshops, yoga, gym memberships, and comprehensive mental health benefits.
We believe these shifts also have important implications for recruitment and retention. Supporting mental wellness and embedding diversity and inclusion throughout an organization will continue to evolve and certainly have an impact on recruitment well into the future. Here are four strategies for recruiting top talent based on 2018 HR trends and 2019 forecasts.
Tailor Your Recruitment to a Multi-generational Workforce
Addressing a multi-generational workforce is nothing new, but recruiting Gen Z is. The oldest Gen Zers (born in 1995) are graduating college and joining the workforce. Gen Zers grew up during several financial crises and were constantly connected to technology and social media. Gen Z craves financial security and immediacy. “To lure more Gen Z workers, EY rolled out video technology that allows job candidates to record answers to interview questions and submit them electronically,” reports The Wall Street Journal. While your HR department may successfully use detailed job descriptions to recruit senior employees, with an 8-second attention span, short videos and animations are more likely to win over Gen Z.
Cultivate and Communicate a People-first Culture
While there’s no ‘right’ definition of a people-first culture, I view it as a commitment to put employees and customers at the core of decision making. I truly believe a people-first culture creates a happier, more productive workforce—one that cares about the product, customers, and ultimately, the bottom line. There are countless benefits to creating a people-centric culture, from increased loyalty and empowerment to higher quality products and margins.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, is quoted saying, “...if the person who works at your company is 100 percent proud of the brand and you give them the tools to do a good job and they are treated well, they're going to be happy.” Likewise, The Container Store, an organization that believes employees are the company’s most treasured asset, states, “When you surround yourself with hugely talented, passionate, dedicated, and genuinely kind people . . . you will succeed in whatever you do.” People want to feel respected and cared for at work. In your recruitment materials, throughout your recruitment process, and after an employee joins your company, share and demonstrate how you put your people first. Candidates are savvy evaluators of company culture, but employees are even savvier.
Provide Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible work arrangements (like telecommuting) are less about scheduling and more about company culture and quality of life. According to a 2018 FlexJobs’ survey, 45 percent of respondents said job flexibility would have a huge improvement on their overall quality of life and 77 percent said a flexible job would allow them to be healthier. While flexible work is often seen as an employee perk, it also benefits the employer. By offering flexible work arrangements, employers gain things like increased loyalty and better recruitment results, like being able to attract more experienced workers. How can you incorporate flexible work arrangements into employee benefits options?
As captured by the Wall Street Journal, “Gen Zers are also the most racially diverse generation in American history: Almost half are a race other than non-Hispanic white.” Since people want to work at a place that reflects who they are, all dimensions of diversity—race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, education level, and diversity of thought—should be authentically embedded throughout an organization. This goes beyond stand-alone diversity committees; it starts with recruitment.
Previously, LinkedIn only recruited from about a dozen colleges. Tey Scott, LinkedIn’s former Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition, writes, “At LinkedIn, we had a theory that the problem wasn’t a lack of diverse talent - the problem was with the pipeline we were building from traditional college recruiting.” To attract a diverse pool of applicants, LinkedIn now recruits from hundreds of schools and computer coding boot camps.
How to Attract Top Talent in 2019
The world of work is changing. In turn, recruitment strategies need to change too. Tailor your recruitment to a multi-generational workforce, cultivate and communicate a people-first culture, offer flexible work arrangements, and embed diversity and inclusion throughout your recruitment and retention processes. Intentional recruitment creates intentional companies.