Companies that wish to keep their pool of talent fresh and innovative need to learn how to attract millennials – people born between 1980 and the early 2000s. People in this generation tend to stay on top of the latest technology and work hard to earn recognition.
When it comes to the latter trait, one attraction that job recruiters and employers cannot overlook is millennials’ interest in volunteer opportunities, as reported by Human Resource Executive Online. Still, this does not mean that just any volunteer project will do, and companies need to know how to make their opportunities look more appealing.
Millions of Americans volunteer
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 25.4 percent of the U.S. population performed volunteer work in the year ending September 2013, totaling about 62.6 million people. Among those ages 16 to 19 years, that rate was 26.2 percent. Among individuals who were employed, 27.7 percent were volunteers, as were 39.8 percent of college graduates at least 25 years of age.
The social consciousness of millennials can affect how they feel toward certain companies, including prospective employers. According to Human Resource Executive Online, a report entitled “Engaging Millennial Employees: Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Cause” indicated that 83 percent of millennials trust companies with commitments to social responsibility. Additionally, 74 percent of people surveyed noted paying closer attention to companies’ core missions and messages because of their social profile. Conversely, millennials may be likely to turn down employment opportunities with companies that lack social awareness or have neglectful environmental practices.
Volunteerism develops identity, leadership
There are many ways in which companies can increase their social profiles among individuals seeking staff training and development opportunities via volunteer work. Some businesses have formed partnerships with nonprofit organizations, including ones that have projects overseas. Such projects can appeal to millennials’ desire to feel that they can have a significant and positive impact. The fulfillment that employees get from volunteering for these projects can be further compounded with perks such as appreciation luncheons, awards programs, or recognition letters sent home to relatives.
Just as importantly, volunteer work allows workers to develop additional skills, including leadership ability.
“Millennials aren’t looking for another opportunity to be a cog in a big effort,” Jill Silliphant, citizenship lead for Deloitte, told the news source . “They want to run something. It gives them opportunities to develop themselves as leaders, make their day much richer, and leverage our resources for causes they’re passionate about.”
Before companies decide which volunteer opportunities to offer their employees, they should poll their workers to get an idea of what they would like to do. This ensures maximum engagement and satisfaction. Workplace trends indicate that employees tend to prefer hands-on experiences. These differ from fundraising drives or donation collections, which present situations when employees may not feel in control of how their donations are put to use.