Today’s Younger Workers: Hire Them, Train Them, Make Them Great

Today’s job seekers are looking for an exciting environment, a clear and understandable path to advancement, and a chance to exercise personal autonomy—while still being part of a stimulating team.

In the old way of hiring new employees, job seekers sold themselves to companies. Today’s younger job applicants see the hiring process in a different way. They are still being screened, but they want to screen your company, too. They are looking for an exciting environment, a clear and understandable path to advancement, and a chance to exercise personal autonomy—while still being part of a stimulating team. When you bring them on board, you need to invest special care to train them, because they like to feel assured and competent from their earliest days on the job. 

In other words, you need to work harder to recruit and retain today’s younger talent. Here are the keys. 

  • Talk about your company’s values and mission. Younger job seekers don’t want to work for just any company. They hope to contribute their efforts and hours to a company that stands for something beyond making money—something they can believe in. They want to share in developing your company’s vision and mission, and work for an organization that is in some way important. 
  • Promise and deliver excellent training. In years past, members of older generations expected to learn their jobs gradually—to “learn the ropes” over time. Members of the younger generationsare more impatient to feel confident and to contribute right from the beginning. That means training. Be sure to explain to job applicants that you offer superior training. It will make a big difference in convincing them your company is a great place to work. 
  • Stress autonomy, creativity, and entrepreneurship. In general, members of today’s younger generations like to express themselves through their jobs – not to be “cogs in a machine.” They like to be listened to; to be involved in the planning process; and to make a personal, recognizable contribution to companies. Even if you hire them to perform jobs that are more mundane in nature, look for ways to listen to how they are doing, and to ask for ideas they have to improve processes. Look for ways to offer the kind of positive acknowledgement that leads to better performance. 
  • Take extra care to be sure the job is a good fit. Younger employees generally are unlikely to stay in jobs they dislike. So it is more important than ever to make sure you do a good job finding the right fit, as young generations won’t tough it out; they will move on. You want to look beyond whether they have the skills. You should be looking for personality match, too.

Effective Interview Questions to Ask Younger Applicants

  • What is important to you in a job? 
  • What excites you in a job? 
  • What frustrated you most in your prior jobs?
  • What did you like the best in your prior jobs?
  • This is what our company stands for…does it resonate with your values? Why?
  • Where do you hope to be in your career in one year, in two years, and further into the future?
  • Here is a copy of the job description for the position we are hoping to fill…how would you enlarge and expand it to make it more exciting and rewarding? Are there any duties or skills you would like to see us add to it, or take away?

All It Takes Is a Little Extra Effort

Members of younger generations bring remarkable skills and outlooks to the companies they work for. They have the potential to be the greatest employees you have ever hired, provided you invest a little extra effort to recruit and cultivate them after they have come on board. 

Evan Hackel is a 35-year franchising veteran as both a franchisor and franchisee. He is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company in Charlotte, NC, and principal and founder of Ingage Consulting in Woburn, MA. Hackel is the host of Training Unleashed, and author of “Ingaging Leadership.”He speaks on topics such as “Seeking Excellence,” “Better Together,” “Ingaging Leadership,” and “Attitude Is Everything.” For more information, visit: Follow @ehackel.


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