In a market crawling with young and highly trained new talent, it’s a veritable playground for hiring managers when it comes to recruiting and staffing. But with so many companies vying for the same pool of applicants, HR professionals find themselves faced with the challenge of standing out to prospective candidates. While there are obvious draws such as salary and title, many job seekers, especially in the younger millennial demographic, are motivated as much or more by other factors when it comes to finding a corporate home. Perks are becoming more relevant in a big way, and companies that offer their employees avenues to explore personal and community development will find themselves on the winning side of the bid for talent.
One of the biggest concerns of an employee is to know that their employer is invested in their personal development. Providing corporate training programs to help new workers learn the ropes of their position is important, but companies that offer their staff the means to continue developing outside of the conventional workplace framework will demonstrate their value to those on the job market.The counterweight to professional life is academic development, and in recent years many companies have been helping employees supplement their individual academic endeavors through programs such as tuition reimbursement. According to The Washington Post, beverage monolith Starbucks recently made headlines by offering full tuition reimbursement for workers in their junior and senior years of Arizona State University, a world-class university with a recognized online program. This new initiative is attractive to Starbucks employees, as it helps them strike a balance between work life and school life— the online offerings of the school allow employees to pursue their education regardless of geographic location.
Companies that embrace their role as members of the surrounding community and encourage efforts to develop their own neighborhoods show potential applicants that there is more to them than the daily 9-to-5 grind. Work-sponsored charity programs let companies on both a corporate and an individual level give back to their customer base in a new way, strengthening both the company’s public image and the relationship between management and staff.Such programs can allow workers to exercise flexibility and creativity in their implementation, ranging from charitable-giving allowances to public blood drives, food drives, and more. These initiatives are important to employees, who can take from them a sense that they’re part of a company that is doing good work, leading to greater employee loyalty.
Employees want to work for a company that they feel will provide them with ample opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and further their own career goals. One virtue your company culture should espouse in this regard is flexibility. According to Business Insider, flexible companies are those that help their employees break through the glass wall—the conceptual barrier that some companies impose to keep different departments separate. It may seem counterintuitive, but just because an employee was hired asan accountant doesn’t mean they can’t move into a management role later on. Interests and tastes change over time, and employers who are willing to accommodate that will see great returns from their staff.Equally important is providing your workers with the tools to develop skills and competencies in their current positions. Young, smart employees love nothing more than diving in and tackling the most interesting problems, and thus you should provide them with the resources and support to do this.Business Insider reported on one extreme example from Google known as 20 percent time, in which workers could take a day every week and focus on a project of their choosing. While an unconventional approach to be sure, it’s outside-the-box thinking such as this that drives the most innovative ideas.