Generation Z is beginning to enter the workforce, meaning HR managers and recruiters must adapt their practices and policies to remain competitive and attractive for this generation’s inclusive view of the workplace, their desire for flexibility, and the fact that they are indeed digital natives. Social justice and the demand for equality is at the forefront of media coverage and academic research. There’s an increased spotlight on the gender-based wage gap and the benefits of diversity in the workplace. The proliferation of technology, more specifically increasing numbers of platforms for collaboration and communication, give potential employees leverage to demand flexible work hours and spaces. Given these changes to the industry, how do organizations establish a competitive culture and package offers so the ‘best of the best’ are drawn to their company?
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates it will take an additional 44 years for all women to catch up to men in pay. Among non-executives, 73% of women reported aspirations to an executive level position, meaning they are equally as aspirational as men (76%). Despite this equality in desire, on average only 32% of C-level leaders are women. Potential employees are increasingly aware of this gap and a lack of transparency in hiring and promotion practices may repel potential applicants. Potential employees want to see that the company is taking proactive measures to build cultures that are part of the solution. Transparency is achieved through several steps:
When employees are actively seeking new positions, their co-workers often follow suit. Retaining top talent becomes increasingly significant when you consider the domino effect employee turnover has on productivity, job satisfaction, and company culture. There are higher costs associated with the resources needed to hire, onboard, and orient a new employee rather than maintain a current one. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) there are several basic benefits to internal hires:
Offering benefits that speak to the needs of a new generation of employees is a winning strategy in the war for top talent, especially in a low-unemployment climate. Employees want their jobs to address significant aspects of their lives beyond work, including student-loan debt, family bonding, and civic participation. According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Millennial Study, potential employees are willing to take less pay for benefits that allow for paid volunteering opportunities and even pet insurance. Other benefits reported as significant to today’s job seekers include:
Alexandra Levit, workplace expert and author of Blind Spots: The Ten Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe predicts a general increase in corporate social responsibility and growing demand for more flexible work. She explains, “Boundaries between personal and professional life are blurring. We’re going to see more integration of what employees believe and being able to come to work and say they support a certain cause.” This level of employee engagement and belonging in the workplace must guide any strategy for hiring the top talent and retaining the highest performers.
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