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January 6, 2022

Appealing to a new generation of talent

Melissa Elliott

Attracting and retaining quality talent has become harder than ever post-2020. Between large numbers of employees jumping from job to job, an abundance of workers still working remotely and a new generation of talent flooding the workforce, employers are left searching for solutions to appeal to today’s top talent.

The “Great Resignation”

According to a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), over 40% of U.S. workers are actively searching for a new job right now, or plan to soon. Additionally, a record four million people resigned from their jobs in April alone, per the U.S. Labor Department. Between pandemic burnouts, changes in work-life balance and culture expectations, employees are prioritizing their well-being and mental health now more than ever.

A New Era of Workers

Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest working generation way back in 2016. Today, Generation Z employees will soon surpass Millennials as the most populous generation. These changes in generational talent are evident in everything from communication styles to hobbies and music preferences, and are largely based on the environment each generation grew up in. With this shift in generational talent, along with how the pandemic has reimagined the workplace, employers must adapt to survive.

Adapting to Flexible Work

The pandemic has taught employers that quality employees are just as dependable from the comfort of home as they are in the office every day. Gen Zers have carried out the trend originally established by the Millennials before them: they want their jobs to be totally flexible. These younger generations have grown accustomed to a world with constant internet access and instant communication. Because of this, Millennials and Gen Zers always knew flexible work was possible, and now the generations before them do too.

With this shift in mindset, flexible work is quickly becoming the norm in what top young talent would require before making a change in employment. Here are some tips to help you connect with top talent virtually and adapt to the age of flexible work:

  • Offer entirely remote onboarding. This should be quick and easy to provide to any new hire. If your organization is still relying on forms to be filled out in-person, then you may want to start rethinking your onboarding program.
  • Encourage and promote social interaction. The most common complaint from remote employees is the feeling of loneliness. This can be combatted by implementing social connections amongst the team through virtual social hours, team-building activities, and virtual chats.
  • Consider measuring employees on performance, rather than time. Gen Z employees prefer to be measured on their overall performance, instead of how many hours are spent in the workplace. Think about instilling a performance-based contract rather than demanding 40 hours per week.
  • Mail them a personalized gift for a job well-done. This could be as simple as a card with a handwritten note inside following an interview or a recently completed project. A simple gesture like this will remind them that they are valued and can go a long way in boosting your team’s morale.
  • Encourage work from anywhere. In a time when work-life balance is critical to most employees, encouraging your team to work from anywhere at any time can play a huge role in attracting and retaining top talent post-2020.

Offer the Right Benefits

In addition to flexible work options, it’s important for employers to ensure that their benefits are evolving to align with the current employee landscape. It’s no longer suitable to keep the same benefits year after year due to the major introduction of new employees in the workforce.

Voluntary benefits can help create a more customized experience by allowing employees to select the specific benefits that fit their current lifestyle and goals. When considering which voluntary benefits to offer as an employer, they should pick up where core benefits leave off. This offers employees additional protection and peace of mind.

Voluntary benefits cost employers nothing and are fully paid for by the employee. Even with employees picking up the tab, voluntary benefits are gaining in popularity because they offer:

  1. Value. Usually offered at discounted rates, they are far less costly for employees compared to similar benefits purchased on the individual market.
  2. Flexibility. Employees decide which benefits align with their current life status and goals and can reevaluate each year as their situation changes.
  3. Convenience. Employees pay for voluntary benefits through payroll deduction and select from a suite of already vetted options through their trusted employers.

As always, we encourage you to reach out to your MMA team to discover what your organization can do to attract and retain top talent in this new age of working. From guidance on which voluntary benefits to offer, to what we can expect to see next from the job market, we have you covered.