How to Recruit, Hire, and Retain the Best of Generation Y


image_10Generation Y, also known as the Millennial generation, are people born between the years of 1982 and 2000. This generation of workers operates under a much different life plan and moral code than their predecessors, the Baby Boomers. They’re even different from Generation X, who are currently in their prime working years. These proven strategies will help you to effectively recruit, hire and retain the best of Generation Y.

Recruiting Generation Y to Your Organization

If there is anything Generation Y is known for, it is walking to the beat of their own drummers. To find the best and brightest of Generation Y, you may need to recruit outside the “ivory tower” and look to places such as community organizations, international volunteer programs and other places where members of this generation are spending time before and after their college years.

Hiring with Purpose

During the hiring process, prepare your human resources staff for an onslaught of questions from the applicants. They will want to know their purpose in your organization and how they will fit into the culture. You’ll need to offer clear-cut explanations for not just their specific job duties, but how their work will make an impact on the world around them.

Fostering Growth and Opportunities

Members of Generation Y are committed to lifelong learning and want to be challenged in what they do. Your organization can retain these highly motivated employees by offering continuing educational opportunities as well as work-related perks such as tuition reimbursement, on-site workshops and partnerships with community organizations who can benefit from their expertise while teaching them additional skills such as creative thinking and resourcefulness.

Offer Flexibility and Alternative Reward Systems

In order to be able to maintain their outside interests, volunteer activities and continuing education, members of Generation Y want a workplace that offers flexibility. Alternative work hours other than the typical 9 to 5 business hours are key to helping members of this generation stay with your organization. Telecommuting is another option to retain these tech-savvy staff members. Also consider alternative reward systems such as more vacation time rather than bonuses.


Hiring Techniques to Reduce Employee Turnover


image_02The hiring process is not only an economically costly endeavor for a company but a time-consuming one as well. When a relatively new hire jumps ship to join the team of some other company, all the resources that went into hiring and training that staff member are for naught. These three hiring techniques can help employers reduce employee turnover.

Make Sure the Candidate is the Right Fit

During the candidate interview process, Human Resources specialists and managers must take care to ask the right questions to ensure the candidate is the right fit for both the job and the organization. In addition to ensuring that a candidate has the right skills and educational background to do a job, he or she must also be a good fit for the manager and the corporate culture in order to succeed and stay loyal to the organization.

Regularly Review Employee Needs

Employers should take the time to understand what employees want. Flexibility in scheduling, telecommuting, job sharing, tuition reimbursement and other benefits may be more important than significant salary increases. Candidates can be asked during the hiring process about which benefits comprise the most important parts of their compensation package. Human Resources can address these employee needs during the hiring process and as an ongoing strategy to retain highly qualified staff.

Create and Maintain a Positive Work Environment

Candidates should be treated in a positive manner right from the start. The organization should be able to explain how employee recognition works and how achievements and goals are rewarded. Candidates typically want a position that will challenge them and motivate them to work their way up the corporate ladder. Tangible examples of awards, recognition and praise can be provided to candidates during the hiring process. This shows applicants that the organization is committed to maintaining a positive work environment. These actions also show that managers and the Human Resources department recognize successes. Candidates want to know that they will be appreciated and respected for their work and effort.


Managing Perceptions in the Intergenerational Workforce


image_04Due to the tough economy since the Great Recession, many people of retirement age have elected to remain in the workforce. At the same time, new college graduates are entering the workplace, creating a dichotomy of older experienced employees and young tech-savvy workers. Managing the perceptions that each generation has of the other helps to ensure that the intergenerational workplace is one of productivity and respect.

Changing Attitudes Through Mentoring

Human resources personnel can set up mentoring programs within the workplace by pairing a more experienced senior staff member with a new employee. The young person gains inside knowledge of the company’s policies and politics while the longstanding team member can learn about the use of social networking and the newest tech advances in the workplace. Mentoring helps different generations gain appreciation and respect for each other.

Judging Books by Their Covers

While the Baby Boomers and older generations may be clean-shaven and accustomed to wearing business suits or ties to work, younger employees may be strolling into the office with multiple tattoos, body piercings, colorful hair, torn jeans and hoodies. They may perceive the older staff as stuffy and boring, while older workers may see the new team members and find them to be disrespectful or even lazy. Accepting differences in appearance and setting basic company dress codes helps to manage perceptions and underlying attitudes about competence and intelligence.

Speaking Their Minds

Members of the newest generation of workers often feel free to speak their minds in any situation. This may cause older employees to become stressed and frustrated because they were taught to keep their opinions and politics outside of the office. Human resources personnel can encourage communication by writing easily understood policies on the voicing of political beliefs in the workplace and coaching staff on appropriate workplace expression and conduct. Positive reinforcement is preferred over discipline.

Key Factors in Talent Attraction and Retention


image_06Attracting and retaining the best employees is no easy feat, even for the most experienced HR manager. While the specific details of a contract vary among firms and industries, there are some common denominators in talent attraction and retention.

Get the Compensation Right

Financial compensation is the biggest factor that employees consider when accepting an offer or choosing to stay with a company. Before an interview, research what a competitive salary might be. Once talent is hired, don’t wait to be asked for a raise; increase salary commensurate with skill and dedication so that your employees won’t be lured elsewhere. According to Inc., you should “pay market, or above, as soon as you can. It’s a sign of respect. And most of the best ones won’t ask [for a raise]. They’ll just eventually get frustrated and leave. [1]

Establish Your Role as a Coach, Not a Manager

Forbes writes that HR managers should “try to balance giving…team members the authority, the tools and the space they need to do their jobs – empowering them – and staying checked-in as they execute their responsibilities [2].” The best talent in any industry needs to have the freedom to do well, and good employees shouldn’t feel micromanaged at every turn. Those that have independence in their jobs tend to do well and have the desire to stay with the same employer.

Provide and Advertise Perks of the Job

Small incentives and perks are often not specified along with the more important aspects of an offer like salary or flexible work hours. However, many employees appreciate and notice the smaller touches like free breakfasts on Fridays or complimentary dry cleaning once a week.

Create and Showcase Clear Paths to Advancement

Without a doubt, the potential for promotion is a significant factor in both attracting and retaining top talent. During the hiring process, emphasize the potential for advancement within the company. Then, says the Wall Street Journal, “promote from within whenever possible [3].” This shows employees that there is room to grow, which might discourage them from switching to a new company in order to advance their careers.






Getting Past Generational Issues in Meetings


image_09With the way that technology has leapt forward in the past few decades, generational issues are growing more and more pronounced. Not only do you have cultural differences to deal with when you have a diverse workforce, but you also have to think about technological barriers. If you really want to make sure that everyone, from baby boomers to millennials, can work together, keep these things in mind.

Try to Involve Everyone

A big part of the reason why people feel alienated is simply because they are part of a group that is not being given equal consideration. Older workers may rely on experience and knowledge, while younger workers focus on being innovative and coming up with new ways to do things, seeing as how they lack that experience. Successful companies need to balance both of these aspects, and neither group should get preference over the other. Clearly indicate that input from both sides is valued equally so that all members of the team feel that they can contribute.

The Simplest Solution is Often the Best

Much of the time, keeping things simple is the best plan for a meeting that everyone enjoys. Do not depend too much on older or newer technologies. For example, having a meeting on Skype so that no one has to leave the office may sound easy, but it can grow complicated for older workers in a hurry. Why not just stick with older tactics of having everyone meet in a central meeting room when possible? This breeds a sense of company community, and it eliminates a lot of the hurdles that you could otherwise face.

Focus on Understanding

To some degree, you must simply realize that older and younger generations are never going to see eye-to-eye on everything. They are always going to have different viewpoints. You need to focus on bridging that gap instead of pretending it does not exist. If you can get each side to understand where the other is coming from and create an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation, cultural differences and age differences are going to mean a lot less. Focus on strengths and how people can work together. Do not focus on differences and things that are holding you back.

Best Practices for Retaining Experienced Employees


image_12Hiring and retaining top talent is crucial to the success of any achievement-oriented organization. Corporate leaders, including HR managers and professionals, understand the staggering cost of employee turnover. Many companies are forced to endure turnover rates in excess of 60 percent every four years. Needless to say, the loss of talented executives, managers and rising stars can make it nearly impossible for a business to accomplish strategic objectives.

Career Development

Employee retention should begin even before the hiring process begins. It’s important to identify the employee characteristics that best fit the organization and position in question. Extensive discussions with executives and managers, exit interviews and regular conversations with current employees can help establish a strategy for making successful hires.

Although it’s true that talented employees are typically interested in furthering their career goals, it should not be assumed that compensation is the only reward they have in mind. Many talented employees move on simply because they’re frustrated with management or they perceive that the company doesn’t offer a realistic path for career advancement. Every HR recruiter should be aware of the career opportunities that may be available to prospective employees.

Achievement and Advancement

Talented employees are more likely to stay with a company that demonstrates an interest in their career goals. Constant communication at every level of an organization is the only way to avoid unexpected resignations. Every level of leadership should emphasize the implementation of a professional development program that includes the career objectives of future leaders. The importance of related training and development for managers and executives cannot be overemphasized.

The career goals of one talented employee may be quite different from that of another high achiever. It’s vital that the leadership of a company create the conditions necessary to prompt an employee to strive for success. While one employee has a desire to occupy the office of a high-level executive, another high achiever may only be interested in high-stakes commission checks. Ambitious employees can’t stand failure. It’s only natural that they keep their future prospects in mind. A professional HR department does everything possible to allow talented employees to reach their highest potential.

Workforce Planning for Staff Retention



The purpose of workforce planning is to align a company’s workforce objectives with the strategic objectives and priorities of the organization as a whole. It identifies current and future workforce capabilities and provides solutions to meet any deficiencies. An essential component in the workforce plan must be retention policies that target turnover.

Retention Should Be a Higher Priority than Recruitment

Critical turnover refers to the loss of employees that demonstrate the highest potential value to the company. Typical turnover costs are more than twice an employee’s salary, but far higher when the organization loses its most motivated and productive contributors. This is why retention of high value employees should take priority over policies and programs to recruit new talent.

Discuss Misconceptions about Turnover and Retention

During a discussion of retention policies, it is helpful to clear up preconceived notions about turnover and its causes:

  • An employee’s pay level is not usually the primary reason for them leaving. People more often quit because they have problems with their manager or the organization as a whole.
  • Examining the reasons people leave is necessary, but it is equally important to evaluate why employees, especially the most valued among them, choose to stay.
  • Most exit interviews provide scant insight into turnover causes. Departing employees are worried about job references or burning bridges back to the company. Thus, they supply interviewers with non-confrontational half truths about why they are leaving.
  • There must be a distinction made between turnover in general and critical turnover. Retaining the highest performers is far more productive to the bottom line than trying to make everyone happy. Turnover of less productive workers is not always undesirable.

Retention Is a Team Effort

To be successful, it must be pointed out that retention strategies are not the sole burden of the HR department. They must be developed and practiced with the close involvement of management. Managers should be provided opportunities to sharpen their communication and coaching skills and trained to detect signs that good employees are thinking of moving on.

How High Employee Retention Rates Can Positively Impact Your Business


High employee retention rates can be great for your business, especially in terms of recruitment purposes. Lower employee turnover rates can indicate to prospective candidates that your organization is a stable and satisfying place to work. High morale and huge cost savings are just a few of the benefits of maintaining high levels of employee retention. Here are some other ways that high retention rates can positively impact your company:

Increased Productivity

The longer employees stay with your company, the better they will be at their job. Under good management, their job knowledge and skill level will steadily increase over time. Having more tenured employees could lead to more sales, better service and increased productivity. Additionally, your staff may have a stronger understanding of your business and its customers. Kristen May, contributor at the Houston Chronicle, wrote that “Low turnover makes it easier for the company to focus its time and energy on the business at hand rather than adapting to new staff.[i]

Cost Savings

Countless studies have attempted to measure the true cost of employee turnover. A recent study by reveals that the true cost of employee turnover can be as much as 150 percent of their annual salary for higher level positions[ii]. With this in mind, one thing is certain: employee turnover is costly – the time and resources your company will save on recruiting and training new employees can be invested into keeping your existing employees happy.

Higher Customer Retention

While your customers likely chose your company for its high-quality products and services, they stay loyal because of personal interactions with your employees. Customers enjoy a stable staff that they can build relationships with. It can make them feel more comfortable about stopping by your store or calling customer service. In addition, employees that have been with a company longer will be more knowledgeable about your products and services. This can be a huge benefit to your customers.

High employee retention rates are good for your customers and your employees. While your customers benefit from the knowledge and expertise of more seasoned employees, your employees will benefit from deep bonds with their co-workers. Keeping your retention rates high can leave you with a happy, well-functioning company.