The modern workforce is dominated by millennials and Generation Z. While these two generations do have their differences, together they make up one population that has changed the world of work — and especially how we attract and retain talent.
In light of today’s tight labor market, and at the dictate of this modern workforce, workplace culture is a top priority that can make or break both the quality and quantity of your staff.
But how can companies give millennials and Gen. Z the culture they crave? The first step is understanding exactly what these job seekers are searching for and what can stop them from accepting a job offer.
What Today’s Job Seekers Want From You
In a nutshell, it is about the emotional paycheck more than anything else for millennials and Gen. Z-ers. Sure, they need salaries and benefits that support their living arrangements and lifestyle choices, but the money means close to nothing if the work doesn’t afford a sense of purpose.
According our most recent study here at Hibob, culture is extremely important to the modern workforce. When vetting a potential job opportunity, these job seekers scrutinize social media pages and company websites to determine what your culture might be like. Different types of posts can impact a job seeker’s perception of your workplace, which is why it’s crucial to share a variety of content. Images of team-building events and off-site activities, as well as celebratory posts highlighting employee accomplishments inside and outside of the office, can be especially potent. When it comes to showing off your company culture, the key is to prove to candidates that your company can offer them the opportunity to become a happy, healthy, long-term team member.
Our study also showed that 56 percent of employees rank opportunities for growth as more important than salary. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make mentorship programs and other upskilling opportunities a centerpiece of your employer branding.
Today’s job seekers also prioritize work/life balance, and it shows in their preferences. Our survey found 45 percent of employees cite the amount of vacation time offered as a key factor in their employment decisions, and 35 percent consider commute distance before accepting a job offer. Furthermore, 77 percent of millennials surveyed by Bentley University say flexible work arrangements would make them more productive.
For millennials and Gen. Z-ers, this is all a matter of convenience and compassion: They want employers that support work/life balance and set them up for success. That’s why, at Hibob, we’ve adjusted our work-from-home policies to make the commute easier for workers who do not live close to the office, and we recommend other companies do the same.
For more expert HR insights, check out the latest issue of Recruiter.com Magazine:
What Deters Candidates From Accepting Your Job Offer
According to our survey, 69 percent of candidates will be wary of accepting a job offer if your employees do not seem happy in their roles. In other words: Overworked employees and high turnover are not just bad for current team members, but they can also drive away future talent.
But your culture doesn’t have to be totally toxic to make candidates reconsider. Our survey also found that 30 percent of candidates would be hesitant about a job if the company culture was simply boring.
Think about it: If you were interviewing at a company and the office vibe was dull or negative, would you feel enticed to join that team? Probably not.
Unscrupulous organizations may try to hide problems with their workplace cultures, but today’s job seekers are savvy. These digital natives will look into your current team and dig up dirt about what’s going on behind the scenes. In fact, 29 percent of candidates will contact current employees to get their firsthand impressions of the office experience.
To appeal to today’s candidates, companies should be taking active steps to build and showcase positive, powerful cultures. If your culture needs a tune-up, start at the very beginning and revamp your onboarding process. According to previous research we’ve conducted at Hibob, 64 percent of new hires are less likely to stay at a job after a negative onboarding experience. If you welcome new hires in an exciting way, you’ll be taking a major first step in retaining them for the long haul.
You may even want to reach back before the onboarding process and start with preboarding, that period of time between the formal acceptance of a job offer and the new hire’s first day on the job. Grant your new hires access to internal social networks and encourage them to start interacting with their new coworkers. This speeds up integration, instills enthusiasm, and gives them a taste of your company’s inner workings.
Dana Matalon Goren is CCO at Hibob.