The Kids are Alright.
31% of employers say that they have found it difficult to fill positions because of a shortage of available talent, that’s according to a recent study by employment agency Manpower. The market for top talent is expected to become even more challenging as baby boomers retire en masse over the coming decade. More than ever before it is critical that businesses correctly brand themselves to appeal to the next generation of top performers.
Understanding Generation Y’s Motivations
Millennials are no longer motivated by the same factors as previous generations. They are less interested in salary or titles and more in challenging tasks, flexibility and the opportunity for growth. A recent study by PwC surveyed 4000 recent university graduates and showed that 21% of females and 15% of males would give up either salary or career progression if it meant that they were able to work more flexible hours. (1) PwC has responded by introducing more choice in the hours employees can work and opening up earlier opportunities for working in overseas branches.
Using Video To Brand The Company
Employer branding videos are a great way to reach generation Y who are big Vimeo and YouTube users. Cloud storage service Rackspace recruiting video “A day in the life” shows a standard day at the company. The video plays to the company’s strengths including openness, casual dress and a fun workspace.
Another company that does video brilliantly is online vintage and handmade marketplace Etsy. Their video titled “The Recruit” humorously portrays the disappearance of programmers from the city of New York. In the video the villain is a Wall Street trading firm who has recruited all of NYCs talented programmers but employed them for meaningless tasks. Etsy is able to brand itself as a place where developers are able to do work that has meaning.
The Role of Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to reach out to potential generation Y employees. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora and Pinterest can all be excellent places to represent your employer brand. The danger is that it is easy to get social media wrong. Remember that social media is a conversation and not a pulpit for you to talk about your company. Your first step should be to understand the conversation people are already having about your company is.
There are a number of tools that you can use in order to find out what people are already saying about your company:
1. Social Mention – This looks at what people have been saying about you on social media. This free service also provides useful data such as the number of comments which are generally positive compared to those which are negative.
2. Google Alerts – The free Google Alerts service is a great way to find out what is being said about your company and have it delivered straight to your inbox.
According to recruiting agency Talent Minded more than 50% of potential employees will like a company’s Facebook page where they want to work. This makes it an excellent place to start a dialogue. Communication should be friendly and open while still maintaining a sense of professionalism. Having your employees contribute to your Facebook fanpage is another great way to create content and show a human face for your company.
LinkedIn groups and company pages are another good way to develop your employee brand. Potential employees who follow your company page will receive updates into their news feed. This is a good way to share videos, articles and other content which help generation Y’s understand what your company is about. Pinterest is less used than the other major social networks but is perfect for demonstrating the creative side of your business.
The Importance Of Authenticity
In the end your company branding needs to be authentic depiction of the company culture. Getting the messaging right is important, but your branding must be a true reflection of what generation Y workers will experience after they are hired.