5 Tips on Adapting Your Business to Attract Younger Talent

Is your business targeting new employees the same way you did when you started? It might be time to update some things.

attract new clients

Most companies start out with their ideal employee in mind– generally one that looks very similar in style, skills and attitude as the business owner.

If done properly the talent you are trying to attract is in line with what the employee is looking for in a place to apply their skills. Over time your business needs and the recruiting & retention processes are often overlooked for re-evaluation.

Growing your business can be hard and both the employee experience and consumer expectations that change over time is part of the difficulty.

Even though your product or service is as good or better than when you started, the way you present your business might put off potential new hires simply because of the way they now expect to be approached is vastly different.

Here are some important steps to take when updating your business marketing for younger demographics:

  1. Be more personal and less robotic

    Social media is a great way to allow potential talent to get to know your business.

    If you want to show the humanity of your business and/or brand try a business Instagram account. Take photos daily (if possible) of employees in the process of working on whatever it is you provide.

    You can have them automatically post to other social platforms as well but the expectation with users with Instagram is it’s where you see the behind the scenes photos and videos.

    This is an easy one for most companies because the photos and videos don’t have to be glossy or even look professional. Users are expecting to see the opposite so show off the human side of your business.

    Set up your Facebook business page and learn how to use it to spread the word about your products and services – use it to attract the best talent and customers you want to do business with. Your future employees are on Facebook; you should be too.

    Video is a powerful way to reach and engage millennials so I decided to share my friend and colleague Michelle Kopper with you. Michelle provides incredible training and coaching to help you make great, engaging videos that attract the right employees to want to join your company – using the technology you already have in your hand. Since you are one of my readers, Michelle is letting me give you access to her powerful video content formula to help you know what to say in your videos so they get you results. You can also attend her FREELIVE training on how to quickly and easily get up to speed with video without a ton of tech, fancy equipment or spending a bunch of money!

  2. Be visual

    As with the first point the goal here is to show off your company. Though with the first tip we’re aiming at humanizing your business, the goal of showing off images and videos related to your business is not limited to one social platform.

    There are many affordable video-promotion start-ups available to help you complete a professional looking video for a nominal cost. Depending on your needs and budget you should be able to find one that suits you.

    You can promote these on any social media profile that allows for video (most now do), start a YouTube channel, and even use them as video ads.

    Don’t limit yourself to these examples but here are some inexpensive video production tools that are definitely worth reviewing if you’re open to attempting video. It’s a great way to distinguish yourself and to reach the millennial generation:

  3. Get referrals

    Referral business is a major driver for younger generations because of the availability of social media and the technology they have with them at all times.

    Give your clients and customers a way to pass along your brand’s message to their friends who may be looking for a great company to join.

    You may think this doesn’t apply to you but the millennial demographic is getting older and their needs are diversifying.

    If you run a small service-based business, you could be surprised at how many younger people would join your team if they knew what an excellent leader you are. So once you’ve hired one great millennial employee, make sure they can tell their friends how they can join your team too.

    This can mean something as simple as setting up your social media profiles and maintaining them or providing some kind of incentive program that offers rewards to current employees if they refer someone that joins your team.

  4. Focus on customer service

    While I don’t want to use the word ‘entitlement’ when describing the younger generation(s) there is a very noticeable difference between the generations when it comes to how a business attracts and retains them.

    While it may seem like unnecessary coddling to some, the younger generations have become used to a more laid-back environment where they can contribute their ideas while doing good work inside the company and in the community.

    Be aware that employee complaints don’t stop at your ears and if someone feels slighted they can take to the internet to ‘warn’ other potential employees through a negative review.

    You probably won’t deserve it and it most likely won’t be warranted but that needs to be set aside for the sake of preserving your business.

    Have multiple available channels for feedback and when it’s received, accept that there is a certain amount of leverage on the part of the employee in the digital age.

    Convey a positive tone in your response(s) and act on any legitimate complaints. A dead end for customer service can be very costly to your business’s reputation and eventually your bottom line.

    Getting in a tit-for-tat argument on social media is a recipe for disaster and you will come out on the losing end of that fight. Remember the adage of giving praise in public and constructive criticism in private.

    Your social media is a window for the world to see your company so don’t just use it for promotion. Interact with your followers and you’ll find some will respond by becoming your best team members.

  5. Don’t sell them on your company

    Sales pitches in recruiting efforts have become a thing of the past for many businesses because a pitch is going on the offense. When you’re on the offense you will put your savvy young potential new hire on the defense.

    Millennials are going to respond to honesty better than any form of salesy language. Trying to challenge their egos and emotional intelligence by hitting them with a pitch will almost assuredly result in a negative exchange and/or bad impression with the candidate you are trying to impress.

    My belief is that when you are interviewing the candidate, they are also interviewing you and your company. You should both be doing your best to determine if this is a good fit culturally and from a skill perspective.

    Instead, convey the sincere value of what your business does, who you are as a leader and the culture of your company. Don’t sell or add in elements designed to manipulate or confuse anyone.

    Paint a true picture of the job they are applying for, your management style, your vision for the company and what a usual day looks like with the rest of your team.

    The more honest you are, the better and you’ll find that once you have that one trusting millennial employee they’ll tell their friends and you’ll have no problem finding the best talent to add to your organization.

Adapting to younger generations is not easy and it may not even seem necessary to you. Yet. These generations are aging now and the further you push back adapting for them the harder it will be if you suddenly aren’t seeing the candidates apply to your job posting you used to and have to scramble to reinvent your business and talent management approach.

Learning how to get the best of all generations in your workforce today can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. The older generation has skills, experience and wisdom they can impart with younger workers and the younger employees bring an exciting energy and are fearless when it comes to technology and the best ways to maximize it.

Your leadership style is the glue that bonds everyone together into a cohesive, productive, happy and productive team.

If you’re struggling with adapting your business to the younger generation’s expectations and blend all ages within your team, please get in touch. I help many businesses create a winning culture by taking advantage of the capabilities and strengths inherent in all generations available in the workforce today.

Business Leadership, Business Management
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