Attracting Generation X and Millennials in a Competitive Market

Attracting Generation X and Millennials in a Competitive Market

Competition For Talent Is at an All-Time High

With competition for talent being at an all-time high, how do you compete? If you are an up-and-coming company, it’s hard to attract talent because potential candidates may fear your survivability. If you are an established company, the individuals with hot new ideas want companies who are on the cutting edge. With that in mind, think about what really motivates people today to make a job change. Most might say the top decisions, in no particular order, center around:

  • Money
  • Title
  • Location
  • Challenge
  • Opportunity
  • Stability

But is that really the case in today’s world? Think of Generation X and Millennials. Is this list important to them? Don’t be so sure. Candidates today are not always motivated by money alone. A possible list for these younger generations might look like:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Recognition of strong work
  • Adaptable work environment
  • Alignment with company goals and beliefs
  • Work-life balance
  • Modern, stimulating working environment

No doubt this list might be very different for some. This list does make you think about what is really important today and how we present company values in interviews. Every company needs to be profitable to exist and grow. You cannot run an organization if the work doesn’t get done. However, most of the items on this list are tangible. We live in a digital world where most of our work can go where we go. Many of us take our work with us. If you enjoy your position and are invested in the outcome, your drive to excel falls beyond the normal 8 to 5 or 40 hours a week. The key for company leadership is making sure people are invested in their job and share in the success of the company.

Interviewing Generation X and Millennials

While prepping for interviews with candidates, think about the two lists above from the job seeker’s perspective. Then assess the type of person you want to hire as well as who you are interviewing. Utilize clarifying questions similar to the following:

  1. What criteria will you be using to make a decision about taking a new position?
  2. Regarding your current company, what core values do you like?
  3. What advice would you give companies hiring today to attract great talent?

These types of questions might help you assess and adjust how you proceed in an interview. The end goal is to hire the best talent that will fit into your company and drive results.

Crossover exists between the two aforementioned lists. You can bridge challenge with recognition of strong work or belief in company goals with opportunity. Everyone wants to feel that a company and its employees are both sincere and passionate about what they do. We all seek a purpose.

Before you begin to interview candidates, write your job description and also write a description of the type of person, personality, intangible characteristics that you are seeking. Your questions might look like:

  1. Who will this person interact with the most?
  2. In my team, what characteristics stand out?
  3. What characteristics are needed to round us out?
  4. What is the temperament of the team?
  5. What personality will help foster a strong team and drive results?
  6. What type of communicator do I need?
  7. What are my expectations of this individual in 90 days and beyond?

Are You Passionate About the Opportunity?

As a company, it is important to make sure you are looking at talent overall in the marketplace. Sometimes it’s good to think about hiring someone that comes from your industry but perhaps brings a different perspective. How do you bring on talent that wants to be challenged, have autonomy, and think outside the box if they believe your company is all red tape and bureaucracy? It starts with you and the impression you make in the first interview.

Passion comes from people, not brick and mortar. Advertising a company’s brand, high-quality service and great products certainly validate the reasoning behind passion, but the passion for what you do starts with you. People go to work for people. Driving success comes from a proven track record of goals being met. People drive the goals.

So, whether someone is evaluating your opportunity using the “traditional” list or the “modern” list to consider making a change, it’s important to remember that, regardless of their mindset, YOU are a driving force in their evaluation. Does your passion come through?

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