The job market is changing, and it appears that employers may no longer have the upper hand when it comes to the hiring process. A recent survey by Michigan State’s Career Employment Research Institute reveals that graduates with a bachelor’s degree are in demand. As a result, companies and recruiters are reporting increased competition for employees because an unsettling number of candidates are reneging on job offers.
The race is on to find, hire, and keep top talent. Offering a competitive salary is always a good start, but if it’s the same offer made by a rival organization, you’ll need to do something else to distinguish your organization. So what’s an employer to do?
Having the right types of recognition and rewards programs is important, but companies need to do more to retain top talent. Investopedia found several organizations that are going above and beyond to attract and retain millennials—the largest generation of employees in the workforce. Their examples may inspire you to think of creative ways to make your organization more appealing.
Student Loan Help
A recent survey by IonTuition reveals that more than half of young workers would "rather see their employer health benefit contributions go toward paying off student loan debt" and 49% would prefer employer contributions towards paying off their student loans, rather than a 401(k) plan.
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced a new initiative to help its employees pay back their student loan debt. The company’s associates and sales associates (meaning those who have from one to six years of experience) will receive up to $1,200 a year to put toward their student loan debt. Close to 45% of the firm's employees are eligible for this program.
A Results-Only Workplace Environment
Some employees are becoming 24-hour workers, but automotive information company Edmunds.com implements a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) to encourage work/life balance. Avi Steinlauf, the company’s CEO, tell Investopedia that Edmonds.com allow employees to work when, where and how they like as long as they get the job done. “During our ROWE training, employees have ‘homework,’ which includes getting a haircut, going grocery shopping, watching a movie, or conducting some other personal business during the traditional work day—not during lunch hour to get used to coming and going in a more logical, less traditional way.”
The company does not keep track of the time that employees take. And by implementing policies that allow workers to take an afternoon off to run errands or take a week off for vacation, Steinlauf says their employees are more focused and dedicated when are they’re at work.
An Engaging Work Space
At Net Conversion, a digital marketing agency, all of the 20 staff members are millennials and former interns of the company. Every former intern has been hired on as a full-time employee at Net Conversion. But that’s not why they’re on our list.
Co-founders Frank Vertolli and Ryan Fitzgerald have created a vibrant work environment designed to keep millennial employees engaged. This is not your typical cubicle-filled office, the office space includes a home theater for movie nights, video games, foosball, a bar, and popcorn machines. If you stop by Net Conversion, you may see employees riding a scooter indoors. Happy hours and company-wide lunches are a frequent occurrence.
Also, employees receive employee benefits like Apple watches, iPads, and annual bonuses. It comes as no surprise that Net Conversion won a Best Places to Work award from the Orlando Business Journal two years in a row.
The accounting firm, Porter Keadle Moore, named by The Centre for Generational Kinetic as one of the nation’s Best Workplaces for Millennials, is also making the work environment more worker-friendly. The company recently redesigned its workplace to include polished concrete, leather furniture and repurposed wood. The space also includes mobile work pedestals, comfortable seating areas for casual conversations, and counters for employees who prefer to stand while they work.
Debbie Sessions, the company’s COO, explains, “We have totally renovated our office space to be more open, light-filled, and collaborative to appeal to young employees. We want to physically display our open, fun, flexible culture.”
The Bottom Line
Competition is stiff for America’s top talent, and it’s going to take more than a good salary to attract young workers. Companies must find creative ways to prove that they are in tune with the needs and desires of the changing workforce.