>YES LIVE: Shopping for Gen Y Employees
We’ve heard of how different Gen Y is from previous generations. We’ve heard how much they value their personal time. They tend to pick where they want to leave and look for a job there. They tend to favor the lifestyle side of the “work-life balance,” and they tend to want to make measurable contributions quickly.
Bill Humbert, a headhunter who has been a credit union member since before 18-to-30s were born, had plenty of advice for YES Summit attendees for finding those demanding and potentially valuable employees. Like any consumer, he explained, when you shop for workers, you should set goals according to a prospecting strategy, and evaluate candidates almost as you would comparison shop for a new car.
In recruiting, 18-to-30s present the biggest challenge from a marketing/advertising perspective. Gen Y uses a difference communication media, as everyone knows. YouTube, blogs, and social networks such as Facebook are more productive for prospecting for 18-to-30 employees than traditional newspaper ads.
As a bonus, social network prospecting gives employers a unique opportunity to assess the character of individual applicants. Because the members of Gen Y are so brazen about publicizing details of their private lives, employers often can toss out the applications of the poorest prospects, without wasting time interviewing them.
In retention, the biggest challenge Gen Y presents is in its expectation of immediate expectations. Humbert said, “In the old days, you started on the line. Then you might move up to line supervisor, then line manger. Today, because of technology, those steps don’t exist anymore. 18-to-30 employees need to create their own career paths.”
You can assist by “hiring them for their strengths and training to improve their weaknesses,” Humbert said. As an example, he cited General Electric as being a model for professional development. It offers employees six-month rotations throughout organization. At end of two years, based on their on-the-job experiences, you and those more-experienced employees are in a better position to find the best job for their talents.
Humbert also offered the following general recruiting tips
• Make sure that you project the right image as an employer. Your credit union is selling itself in the employment marketplace when it hires. Brand yourself as an employer. “If you don’t, the employment marketplace will brand you,” Humbert said.
• Train your managers to hire–Humbert estimates that 70% to 80% of them have never been taught how to interview or select. “A players—the top 10% of your workforce—are high-impact performers. B players, 60% of your employees, are not the most strategic thinkers. They’re good, solid performers and decent managers who get things done. C players, however, are the employees that you should have gotten rid of or never hired in the first place.
“A players tends to hire As, B players hire Bs, and C players hire Ds, Es, and Fs. But worst of all, As and Bs can also hire Cs, Ds, Es, and Fs if they haven’t been trained.”
• Don’t ask interview questions automatically. Listen and follow up (for example, “you say you’re looking for a position for the next 5 to 6 years, why did you leave your last job before that?)
• Communicate your passion for working at your credit union
• Let your hiring manager do reference checks. That person is a specialist in extracting the information you need to confirm applicant claims.
Humbert is enthusiastic about the value of 18-to-30s as employees. “The generation before mine went to the moon. My generation put a computer on every desk. Gen Y is bringing us immediate information, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll deliver next.