Today’s post is by guest blogger Emily Soccorsy from Target Training International. Take the time to understand the new generation who is applying for jobs withyour ocmpany. It’s no longer the same old, same old.

Grads Being Hired Have New Standards for Work


I recently spoke to a group of entrepreneurs about the state of marketing in 2015. One of the forces I always discuss is the dynamic of four generations in the workforce and how more than 40 million Millennials are shaping workplace culture in new ways.

To illustrate some of the points I was making, I cited a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, which described how recent college grads who had made promises to begin working for companies this fall post-graduation were reneging on their promises.

The corporations seemed stymied by this reversal, which was complicated by some of the grads failing to communicate about their switch. Grads this fall are finally facing a rather robust job market.

As the article states, more than half of all 2015 college graduates received job offers after graduating, a rise from 47.9 percent last year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Several things stood out to me about this report.

First, the corporations that were interviewed for the article expressed their shock at the grads reneging. Some recruiters discussed penalties for those who back out, while others obliquely mentioned blacklisting grads who had changed their mind. Still, others thought about extending offers earlier — in a misguided attempt to force the grads to stay true.

Many of these strategies seemed to miss the point.

Millennial graduates — even those who are highly driven — think about work very differently than their Gen X or Baby Boomer counterparts.

While an offer to join a more traditional work environment may feel like insurance for them, they still harbor the belief that work should be a match for their passions and an enjoyable way to spend their time.

When they commit, they tend to view their commitment as a trial period — to allow them to determine if the role is a good fit or as experience until something more suited to their passions comes along. Sometimes that trial period expires before it begins.

That doesn’t mean every workplace should cater completely to this perspective alone — again, there are four generations now in the workplace — just that corporate recruiters would be well served to understand the Millennial/Gen Z mindset when it comes to work. Here are three tips.

    • First, in the age of information, transparency is highly valued (since everything can be discovered and will eventually be revealed — and shared — anyway). Therefore, whatever your workplace culture is, own it. Be upfront when hiring about what your culture can offer new hires. While you might not offer a flexible or company-sponsored time for pet projects, you may offer stellar training programs or professional development.
    • Second, consider adjusting recruiting practices to reflect the shifting concepts of work. Instead of working to “lock in” graduates, perhaps extend conditional offers that require both parties to make a mutual final decision just before starting the job. Give new hires the chance to opt-in, instead of feeling obligated or trapped.
    • Third, consider taking an evolved stance on job mobility, as many tech companies have. Expect attrition among your recruits and stay in touch along the way to keep abreast of their job path.

Lastly, and most significantly, invest in attracting new talent who believe what your company believes instead of focusing on the carrots of big signing bonuses or elevated titles.

Most in the Millennial and Gen Z generations are not as enticed by these incentives as in years past. They want to find work that matches their own values — as they see what they do as a reflection ofwho they are.

Make it less about a job for the next 30 years and more about the work you can do together in the next few years.

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