Congrats to our city of Cleveland, which was recently named as one of the best places for college grads by Bloomberg Businessweek. According to ClevelandPlus, the city ranks 17, up 11 spots from 2009, suggesting that the area is making headway in attracting more young people to the region.
According to ClevelandPlus, the Ohio Board of Regents reports that, on average, 76% of public college graduates stay in the state to work or continue their education in Northeast Ohio (72% of graduates from private colleges). It appears that young workers are attracted to this city for a multitude of reasons, namely access to a diverse array of employers and industries, growth in science and engineering, access to many Fortune 500 companies, and great quality of life (low cost of living, strong graduate educational programs, entertainment, etc.).
There’s no question that young people can bring much value to an organization. Repeatedly, employers cite increased innovation, fresh perspectives, new talent pipelines, and enhanced technological initiatives as a result of hiring young people. But how does an organization attract these young professionals?
There are many ways that you as an employer can promote and offer an attractive employment experience for young people. We’ve taken some best practices from employers deemed as “the best places to launch a career” as well as our own research and created a few tips:
- Challenge. Increased responsibility and challenge is the number one thing that young people seek in a job. Providing challenging projects, including them in new initiatives, allowing for creativity, and continuing to enhance their responsibilities are all attractive features of a job for young people.
- Development. Over the years, ERC’s research consistently suggests that young people want to work for organizations that develop, mentor, and advance them to new levels. In fact, our studies indicate that development is more important to this group than compensation. One great way to develop young people is by giving them the opportunity to attend Emerging Leaders Programs.
- Collaboration and teamwork. Young people enjoy and are typically more comfortable in collaborative and team-based environments rather than solitary or isolated duties/responsibilities. Frequent opportunities to collaborate and work on a team will likely attract a young person.
- Compensation. Although compensation ranks lower in importance for young people than development and challenge, young people still recognize its significance. As a result, it’s important to make sure you are paying competitive pay rates based on the market.
- Fun in the workplace. Young people are naturally attracted to fun and untraditional aspects of the workplace. It’s not uncommon for organizations to decorate their workplaces with lively colors, create innovative workspaces, and even institute game rooms (with foosball tables, Wiis, big screen tvs, etc.) where employees can relax. After-work outings and a “work hard, play hard” mentality are also key draws for young people.
- Stability and growth. Companies that are growing and offering stable employment are the types of employers young people want to work for. These days, many individuals are looking to “recession-proof” their careers and the young are no exception.
- Work/life balance. Young people consistently cite that work/life balance is important to them. In addition, a number of articles indicate that time off is particularly important to young people. In addition, young people want and expect organizations to offer flexibility and opportunities to work virtually, perhaps without even being at work.
Once you have the culture and the practices in place to promote your organization as a great place to work for young people, the next step is to promote your workplace! Successful mediums for reaching young audiences include Facebook pages that provide descriptions of your culture, employee testimonials and photos of the workplace, events, or actual employees; You-Tube pages with videos of the workplace or video testimonials; and colleges and universities (job fair booths, attractive brochures, or job advertisements).
- Emerging Leaders Series – a series of workshops designed for young professionals and recent graduates to enhance their communication, presentation, professionalism, and leadership skills
- Internship Pay Rates & Practices Survey – benchmark how your organization attracts and compensates interns
- Promoting Northeast Ohio – encourage your job candidates to visit neoisgreat.com to learn about the many positive aspects of living and working in Northeast Ohio