Attracting motivated young workers from other states is the newest strategy for labor-starved businesses across the U.S. But how do you attract the right people – and motivate them to stay? This blog is the first in a series that outlines six recruitment and retention strategies for employers looking to hire motivated millennials.
Attracting good-fit employees starts with communicating exactly what it’s like to work for your company and live in your location. But first, you have to define what that experience is – something a lot of companies don’t know how to do. I get requests from everywhere, including along the Alaska Highway. Employers don’t understand why so many young people get so excited about working in a different state (or right across the country) but fail to show up on day one – or burn out after a week and are on the first bus out of there.
Here’s why. After the first few days, the initial rush of being in a new place begins to wear off, and homesickness sets in. If they can’t figure out how to bridge their old life with their new location, they’ll leave. It’s as simple as that. It’s up to the employer to help them connect the life they’ve left behind with their new experience.
Start by understanding the employee experience.
Talk to your current employees. Why have they stayed? Don’t discount contacting people who left early or didn’t show up at all. That’s incredibly useful information that can help you define your ideal employee. Ask them about every part of their experience:
- What was their trip into town like?
- Who are their direct supervisors?
- What is their average workday like?
- Where do they live?
- How did they make friends and build their network once they arrived?
- What do they do for fun?
- Where do they exercise?
Don’t try to be what you’re not.
If you’re located more than an hour from a major city center, you’re in the middle of nowhere in the minds of most young people. For employees who live in those cities and don’t have cars, you might as well be in Siberia. But instead of letting your location be a drawback, lean into it. You can offer something big city employers can’t – the rural experience. This is desirable to certain candidates; you just have to know where to look for those people.
Low retention doesn’t just happen in remote locations, however. We lose more candidates placed in larger cities than those in smaller communities. A lot of young people just get overwhelmed by the experience.
Communicate the experience.
So how do you get the word out about what it’s like to work for you? Leverage your existing employees! Ask them to share their stories and pics on social media. Run contests to collect photos and videos you can use in your recruitment materials. Make employee experience a part of your marketing with blog posts, tweets, Facebook pages, Instagram and more. Your current employees are your most valuable marketing asset – if they accurately communicate what it’s like to work for you, you’ll be more likely to attract candidates who are looking for that experience.
Unless you have a clearly defined employee experience that accurately reflects what it’s like to work for you, you won’t be able to target the right people. And without the right people, your retention won’t improve.
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Summer staffing strategy #2: finding the right source for talent. Find out the best places in America for effective recruitment and how to target the right groups for your needs. Read now.