Early Careers Recruitment Success for an Australian Construction Giant

Early Careers Recruitment Success for an Australian Construction Giant

Early Careers Recruitment

Early Careers Recruitment Success for an Australian Construction Giant

PeopleScout embarked on a strategic project to revitalize the graduate recruitment program for one of Australia’s largest development and construction companies. Through our early career talent expertise, we brought in more innovative approaches to candidate engagement and elevated the graduate recruitment experience, cutting renege rates in half.

18 Weeks Cut from Time Spent of Recruitment Activity
50 % of Graduate Hires Identified as a Woman
50 % Reduction in Candidate Drop Off & Reneges

Situation

One of Australia’s largest development and construction companies had a graduate recruitment program consisted of a short burst of marketing and campus engagement (six weeks), two recruitment phases in March (16 weeks) and August (12 weeks) and a long “keep warm” period. This approach heavily impacted their HR and recruitment teams as well as a line manager resource. Plus, the long recruitment process and keep warm periods resulted in drop off or renege rates of up to 30%.

They engaged PeopleScout to help them create a more efficient graduate recruitment process, while ensuring they connected with bright emerging talent.

Solution

Seeking to strengthen the connection with students and to drive more efficiency, we executed an early careers talent solution that shifted the focus of the campaign—adding more meaningful campus engagement (24 weeks) and one short, sharp recruitment window (10 weeks).

Laying the Foundation

The first step PeopleScout took in updating the program was to conduct in-depth job analysis interviews with a variety of stakeholders including: high performing graduates and interns, their line managers and visionaries across the business. This allowed us to develop a robust success profile, which defined what good looks like now and into the future.

Then we reviewed and updated the early careers value proposition and updated the campaign materials to tap into candidates looking to build a purpose-driven career. We also tailored our approach to ensure we connected with the client’s target diversity groups.

We created an always-on expression-of-interest portal for the client which allowed us to build a talent pool for the whole academic year. With the Affinix™ Student Engagement Platform, we delivered tailored content and shared employee stories showcasing ‘a day in the life’ and career journeys. This helped us to drive interest and change minds about a career in construction and property by myth-busting common misperceptions.

Campus Engagement

Recognising the importance of genuine and authentic communication, we identified graduate ambassadors across the breadth of the business. Moving away from pure reliance on careers fairs and job boards, our campaign involved the delivery of 38 student engagement events, including site tours, “meet the team” sessions and panels with female leaders leveraging our ambassadors.

Recruitment Process & Candidate Assessment

Now, having driven engagement with the target student population, it was important that the recruitment process was also effective, efficient and engaging. Our client had been following the traditional path of online testing, group assessment centres and hiring manager interviews to deliver their graduate program. But there was opportunity to ensure the process amplified their brand, provided candidates a realistic job preview, and levelled the playing field for all, enabling candidates to demonstrate their potential.

Using the insights from the internal client stakeholder interviews during our discover phase, we implemented the following changes:

  • Completely redesigned the assessment framework.
  • Adopted a CV-blind approach which helped to reduce unconscious bias.
  • Implemented a skills assessment in place of previous cognitive tests, which provided a more holistic view of the candidate, tapping into their motivation, cognitive strengths and behaviours, and measured the candidate against the client’s success profile.
  • Provided candidates with meaningful feedback reports, giving candidates an overview of their strengths and areas for development.
  • Revamped assessment centre exercises to bring the client’s construction project world to life, with candidates working together to deliver solutions involving the client’s core areas of focus, like community and sustainability.
  • Used our virtual assessment centre technology to encourage participation, especially for working candidates, rural candidates or those unable to afford the travel who previously experienced barriers during in-person events.
  • Leveraged our technology to improve accessibility for candidates with a disability and for those with ESL requirements.

Results

  • Reduced time spent on recruitment activity from 28 weeks down to 10 weeks.
  • Achieved client diversity targets, with 50% of graduates hired identifying as women (compared with 15% of graduates with construction and engineering degrees identifying as women) and 3% of graduates hired identifying as First Nations (compared with 1% of graduates with construction engineering degrees identifying as First Nations).
  • Reduced candidate drop off and reneges from 30% to 14%.

“The process was very well run, and we had strong candidates. Thank you for the hard work and efforts with this program. It was a very thorough process with great results.”

Client Feedback

The enhanced engagement and innovative approach to assessment had an amazing impact on the client’s candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS) with candidates rating their experience at 65, which is considered great. Candidate feedback was incredibly positive with a sample of feedback below:

  • “Very modern and innovative approach to the regular interview process. Allows busy applicants to complete in their own time.”
  • “The interview process was very innovative and provided additional insight into the role.”
  • “Overall has been a great experience. The assessment provided me with feedback that I can take into account in the future.”
  • “Very user friendly interface and didn’t feel demeaning or intimidating.”
  • “Thank you for making it such a smooth application process. I really appreciated all of the support provided, and I’m looking forward to working in such a supportive work environment. I also really appreciated the quick turnaround time for my application.”

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: Large development and construction company
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Affinix

Talent Predictions: How Talent Acquisition Will Navigate 2024

By Simon Wright, Head of Global Talent Advisory Consulting 

We are in one of the most transformative periods in the history of work. Between technological disruptions, societal shifts and global events, the talent landscape five years from now will likely look very different than it does today. However, even in times of uncertainty, we can discern key trends that will impact the way organizations source, recruit and retain talent. 

As a leading talent solutions provider, PeopleScout has a unique vantage point to view the forces shaping the future of work. Based on our experience and industry insights, we believe there are eight core areas talent acquisition leaders should embrace in 2024 to up-level their strategic importance within the business.  

1. Talent Leaders Will Look to New Models to Ride the Economic Waves 

The power balance has now shifted back to the employer amidst a tight labor market, fewer vacancies and a cost-of-living crisis. But if you think it’s time to pause investment in your talent programs, think again.  

Talent acquisition teams shrunk during COVID-19 and then grew quickly as part of the bounce back only to shed jobs again this past year. With continued uncertainty, TA leaders must showcase the value they bring to business by minimizing the impacts of economic fluctuations.  

It’s time to leave behind the boom and bust and embrace agility through a strategic approach to workforce planning and forecasting. Talent solutions like recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), including modular RPO solutions, offer responsiveness to help stabilize operational delivery amidst unpredictable economic waves.  

2. Business Transformation Will Shape the Workforce 

The specific skills and capabilities companies need are shifting rapidly, which means the jobs and roles employers need to fill are changing too. According to McKinsey research, one-third of new jobs created in the U.S. in the past 25 years were types that barely existed previously, particularly in high-demand areas like data analytics, software development and renewable energy. According to Totaljobs, despite a general slowdown in hiring, the demand for green jobs continues to go up, skyrocketing by 677% between 2019 and 2023. 

However, this business transformation is being hampered by the lack of talent and relevant skills. Economic, social and labor market changes are evolving faster than workforce training and development systems can keep pace. There simply aren’t enough workers with experience in emerging fields and new technologies.  

TA leaders must work proactively to build the reputation and influence of their employer brand with potential talent now—ahead of the hiring they need to do in the future. This means being able to recruit the best talent in the market, not just the best talent in your pipeline. Investing in candidate nurturing and employer branding strategies now will ensure organizations can hire first—and fast—when the time comes. 

3. Employees Will Continue to Reevaluate Their Relationship with Work 

TA leaders must be the eyes and ears for their organization, tuning in to the candidate market and shaping the employer value proposition (EVP) to meet the changing needs and expectations of candidates. Today’s employees are demanding more, and the one-size-fits-all EVP approach must evolve to keep up.  

Organizations that refresh their EVP with a more human-centric approach that recognizes employees as people, not just workers, will go beyond traditional offerings to provide exceptional life experiences that match employee needs. Delivering a positive emotional connection will be crucial for improving retention, overcoming the productivity vacuum and attracting quality talent in 2024.  

4. Data Will Be the Key to Overcoming Talent Scarcity  

The labor market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers, and companies face an enormous brain drain of institutional expertise. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but they lack the some of the soft skills of the departing generation. With this double depletion at play, organizations will need to work hard to attract and train Gen Z in order to keep their workforce development on track for the future. 

Additionally, long-term illness, including lingering complications from COVID-19, has sidelined many working-age adults. The latest ONS data shows that the number of people economically inactive because of long-term sickness is now over 2.5 million in the UK alone. 

The key to reducing the impact of talent scarcity in 2024 is data. It’s time for TA leaders to treat talent intelligence as business intelligence, bringing it to the C-suite to drive decision making and inform strategy. Organizations must leverage data to understand both internal and external talent pools, maximizing ROI on talent attraction and retention efforts. 

Talent Acquisition Predictions

5. Skills-Based Practices Will Take Center Stage 

In order to keep pace with changing roles and dwindling talent pools, leading organizations are taking a proactive and holistic approach to adapting their workforces. They are investing in upskilling and reskilling programs while also leveraging RPO partners to find professionals with the most in-demand and future-proof skills. 

More organizations will look to expand candidate pools and tap into diverse skill sets through skills-based recruitment. To do this, organizations must evolve their candidate assessment practices to focus on skills rather than credentials or pedigree. We’ll see more organizations follow the likes of Google and drop their university degree requirements. This will have the added benefit of promoting greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace.  

6. Internal Mobility Will Receive Big Investment 

More than a third (36%) of HR professionals surveyed identified employee retention as a priority in 2024. Internal mobility will become the key to retention as well as filling open roles and skills gaps. Focus will shift from building external talent pools to internal talent pools, putting methods in place to identify transferable skills that can be boosted to support business transformation.  

We saw an uptick in labor hoarding in 2023 talent trends. In 2024, organizations must invest in transforming the skills of the workers they’ve kept on board in order to ensure they’re ready for what’s on the horizon. 

In 2024, career moves won’t take a linear path but will weave across departments and disciplines, providing workers with variety and rewarding work. Organizations must train hiring managers to look at candidates, not just for their fit for a specific role, but for the value they can bring to the organization.  

7. Long Overdue Tech Upgrades Will Happen for HR 

The Josh Bersin Company estimates the HR technology is a $250 billion market. 2024 will be the year of recruitment tech stack upgrade.  

Organizations will look to capitalize on AI-powered features to do the heavy lifting so their teams can focus on more valuable recruiting activities. TA leaders should look to technology to augment human touches throughout the candidate experience, to identify opportunities for streamlining through automation, and to help them better interrogate data for a more agile resourcing model.  

This is also an opportunity for TA leaders to demonstrate they can deliver digital transformation and deliver ROI from these investments. This has been a criticism of talent acquisition and HR in the past, and it’s time to dispel that narrative.  

8. AI Fever Will Hit an All-Time High 

And finally, it wouldn’t be a 2024 talent acquisition forecast without a mention of AI. Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) tools, like ChatGPT, were on the tip of our tongues in 2023. As organizations grapple with the ethics of AI, most will succumb to the transformative potential and begin to test and experiment with how AI can benefit their workforce and operations in 2024.  

The role of technology will keep evolving within talent acquisition, but it’s primed to have a pivotal role in streamlining recruitment tasks and improving efficiency in everything from screening to assessments to interview scheduling.  

Organizations should take a principled approach to leveraging AI and automation to augment recruiting, while ensuring human oversight and care for people remains central. Starting with a small project or two will clear the mist so you can see clearly where AI will add value to your recruitment tech stack and candidate experience. 

The Importance of the Right Talent Partner to Help You Ride the Waves 

The future of work holds exciting potential, but also some uncertainty. However, while individual trends are difficult to predict, TA leaders that embrace agility, skills practices and tech innovation will find themselves in a strong position to prove their value in driving business performance. As your talent partner, PeopleScout will be ready to support, challenge and inspire you for whatever lies ahead. 

By staying on top of key shifts like these and working with an expert talent solutions provider like PeopleScout, companies can build workforces with the skills, mindsets and diversity of experiences to thrive in the next era of business. 

Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

The Church of England turned to PeopleScout to help them review and co-create a future-proof recruitment process strategy to support them in recruiting people who reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

Situation

The Church of England (C of E) and its seven National Church Institutions (NCIs) have made great progress already in creating a diverse, fair, and unbiased recruitment processes. But, like most organizations, they face unique challenges. The main one being the barriers which come with being a faith and mission-based organization, coupled with the external perception of the Church. With the progress they had already made, the C of E were looking to accelerate the pace of change and take this to the next level, which is where PeopleScout came in.

Solution

The Church of England engaged PeopleScout to execute a recruitment process review through a diversity, equality and inclusion lens (DE&I) with the goal of uncovering further opportunities, including:

  • A forensic deep dive of over 80 internal documents spanning role creation, assessment policy, organizational values, and DE&I training.
  • DE&I data analysis of C of E’s recruitment processes focusing on progression and engagement.
  • Deep immersion in the organization and connection with its members to understand what is happening on the ground through discovery interviews and focus groups, winning hearts and minds along the way.
  • Regular consultative check-ins with the core team to ensure they are involved at each step of the way so they can own the recommendations.
  • Co-creating a vision of what the future can look like with an actionable roadmap decided by current C of E employees.

Results

Examples of some of our recommendations include:

  • Create a competency/behavior library and corresponding bank of interview questions to support hiring managers when designing role profiles, job descriptions and interviews for their roles.
  • Revisit the Church of England’s brand visibility, marketing strategy and transparency based on feedback from their new joiners in order to better attract candidates from all backgrounds and religious orientations.
  • Create clarity around instructions for filling out application forms to allow more consistency in response quality from candidates (e.g., using example responses).
  • Keeping interview panels to a maximum of two or three members from C of E to reduce candidate anxiety.
  • Create a central onboarding checklist to ensure everyone receives the same support when joining their role in any of the NCIs.

With the support of PeopleScout, Church of England’s National Church Institutions now have:

  • Clarity over their current strengths in diverse recruitment to roll out wider, as well as opportunities for improvement
  • Actionable, realistic, tailored recommendations for creating change in their unique organization
  • A co-created roadmap with both quick wins and long-term strategy to mobilize change immediately whilst maintaining momentum
  • Out-of-the-box ideas for talent attraction and candidate experience to boost the diversity of new joiners
  • Support and buy in from key stakeholders and employee resource groups so that any actions can have a lasting embedded impact

At a Glance

  • COMPANY: Church of England
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • ABOUT CHURCH OF ENGLAND: The seven National Church Institutions (NCIs) work together at an international and national level, supporting the ministries of the Church.

Employer Brand Hacks: 10 Tactics to Steal from Consumer Marketing 

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting 

Consumer marketers have honed their brand strategies through decades of tracking detailed customer analytics, optimizing digital experiences and crafting emotionally compelling messages. When it comes to leveraging data and analytics, consumer marketing is ahead of employer branding. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  

Talent acquisition pros can adapt these same tactics to understand candidates, polish touchpoints and build strong employer brands. Your employer brand can steal a page from the consumer brand playbook to step up talent attraction and retention. 

Hacking the Employer Brand: 10 Tricks from Consumer Marketing 

To help you think outside the recruitment box, we’ve outlined 10 employer brand hacks below to infuse your candidate attraction strategy with consumer-savvy flair. From mystery shoppers to NPS surveys, these creative approaches will revolutionize your talent attraction strategy.  

1. Engagement Analytics 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Measure engagement metrics on ecommerce and social platforms to gauge product resonance. 

Employer Brand Hack: Consumer marketing is as much science as it is art these days. Take page from your marketing peers and leverage analytics tools to monitor engagement levels with your content across digital platforms and third-party sites. You can gain valuable insights into how potential candidates perceive your employee value proposition (EVP) by monitoring the types of content that talent interacts with on sites like LinkedIn and your career pages. 

For example, heavy traffic and shares of content spotlighting your company’s flexible work options, learning and development programs or commitment to DE&I indicates these subjects are important to candidates. Likewise, you can identify red flags where pieces of your EVP are falling flat or even turning candidates away. 

By analyzing these engagement metrics, talent acquisition teams can refine outward-facing messaging to better reflect and emphasize the cultural elements already igniting passions. 

2. Sentiment Analysis 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Analyze customer conversations on social media to gauge sentiment around products. 

Employer Brand Hack: Job forums and social media channels have become backchannel focus groups, where in-the-know candidates exchange intel and impressions of potential employers. The everyday dialogue happening online shapes perceptions of your organization and EVP outside your control. Are you listening? 

Immerse yourself in these dynamic discussions by using social listening tools to assess the narratives being woven about your company culture and their sentiment. Pay special attention to the emotional tone. What feelings are sparked at the mention of your organization? Is it warmth, intrigue and affinity? Or perhaps skepticism, frustration or even antagonism? 

These unfiltered insights should inform your talent marketing strategy in real-time. Where positivity and praise emerge, double down on those messages. When you uncover misconceptions, course correct. Talent will continue to chatter, but plugged-in talent leaders can help guide the tone. 

3. Feedback and Review Platforms 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Closely monitor customer reviews on sites like Amazon or Trustpilot. 

Employer Brand Hack: Employer review platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed or kununu have become gold mines for candid insights directly from current and former employees. Monitoring these key sites should be a standard pulse-check for talent acquisition leaders and CHROs alike. But be warned—this is where you’ll find the unvarnished truth. 

One way to improve your employer brand is through employer review sites. We recommend a quarterly audit digging into themes and analyzing sentiment over time. Are certain departments or practices called out repeatedly? Do some locations have better scores than others?  

Used strategically, these insights provide CEOs, talent acquisition leaders and hiring managers at every level with an unfiltered mirror into the inner workings of company culture as employees are actively experiencing it. With this invaluable intelligence in hand, you can address problem spots through policy change or manager coaching. You can also double down on what’s working—the perks, flexibility, and cultural elements making employees stay. 

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Use NPS to gauge product loyalty and word-of-mouth potential. 

Employer Brand Hack: Implementing employee NPS (eNPS) and candidate NPS (cNPS) surveys offers a valuable pulse check for recruitment and retention alike.  

With existing employees, these surveys quantify the likelihood of recommending your organization as a workplace. Low scores signal disengagement. Likewise, surveying candidates during the recruitment journey provides an understanding where expectations aren’t matching up with realities, helping you to refine your talent screening practices. Candidate NPS surveys can be sent post-interview and again post-onboarding for insights into both the recruitment and induction process. 

Your employer brand health hinges on aligning the candidate experience with the employee experience and delivering on your brand promises throughout the talent lifecycle. Both eNPS and cNPS metrics offer evidence-based insights to inform your talent program strategy. 

5. Focus Group Discussions 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Dive deep into consumer preferences using focus groups. 

Employer Brand Hack: When was the last time you picked the brains of candidates who have recently been through your recruitment process? As you refine your employer branding strategy and before you evolve your candidate experience, these individuals offer invaluable, straight-from-the-source insights. 

In addition to surveys, organize quarterly listening sessions with a mix of talent segments: recent new hires, employees in their first year, candidates who made it to advanced stages but ultimately declined offers, and even short-listers you opted not to hire. In a judgment-free environment, empower them to share candid impressions about their journey with your organization pre- and post-hire. 

Use this time to dig deep. What excited or deterred them about your employer brand initially? How did the interview or communication style align with their expectations of company culture? What workplace elements inspire their loyalty or doubts now as employees? Are perceptions consistent or disparate across genders, generations and ethnic groups? 

These focus groups go beyond what a survey can fully capture. As a result, you can pinpoint what’s resonating or missing the mark in talent attraction, selection and retention. Bonus—it also demonstrates that employee input spurs action. 

6. Mystery Shopping 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Deploy individuals to assess the customer experience—incognito. 

Employer Brand Hack: Another way to get the insider perspective on your candidate experience is to use an old trick from consumer marketing—mystery shoppers. This involves engaging individuals to navigate the recruitment process undercover, reporting on their experience from start to finish. 

Equip your “mystery shopper” to navigate the application, screening and interviews as authentically as possible, jotting detailed notes along the way. Instruct them to assess logistics around communication cadence, process efficiency and technology glitches. But more importantly, they should capture the emotional highs and lows they felt when interacting with your employees, content and brand at each step. 

When you debrief, try to uncover interactions where your employer brand deviates from the actual experience across key variables like location, department, seniority level and demographic background. These behind-the-scenes findings will prove invaluable as you seek to optimize recruitment ROI and evolve the candidate journey. 

7. Competitive Analysis 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Assess the brand vis-à-vis competitors. 

Employer Brand Hack: Benchmark your employer brand against competitors to grasp areas of strength and improvement. 

In today’s transparent talent marketplace, candidates have unprecedented visibility into everything from compensation to culture at your organization as well as your closest rivals. They are comparing you on everything from your work environment to DE&I commitments. 

This means your employer brand strategy can no longer happen in a silo. Formal competitive intelligence monitoring can help you benchmark your employer brand against competitors to understand strengths and opportunities. 

Audit the career sites, social media channels, job boards, industry reports and review site profiles of competitors to understand what messages and claims they’re leaning into with their employer brand. The goal here is not copying others’ employer brands but to understand how you can stand out and where you can bring sharper focus to what makes your culture uniquely attractive.  

8. Deep Dives into Unstructured Feedback 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Sift through customer service calls and chats to identify common themes. 

Employer Brand Hack: In their focus on surveys, employer review sites and focus groups, talent acquisition leaders often overlook the wealth of qualitative feedback hiding in plain sight internally.  

Sources like exit interviews, town hall meetings and other internal platforms can offer genuine glimpses into how employees view your employer brand. You’ll uncover grounded narratives around things like which leaders inspire employee pride or skepticism, or real-talk on workloads affecting mental health and work-life balance. 

This intelligence takes your employer brand strategy from reactive to proactive. It empowers you to intervene early before issues become viral Glassdoor threads. But just as importantly, you can also double down on what’s working, giving you an informed perspective to guide messaging, policy and experience in sync with employee values and expectations. 

9. Audience Segmentation 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Segment the customer base to tailor messaging and understand perception among different audiences. 

Employer Brand Hack: Employee perceptions within departments, roles, locations and tenure lengths often vary more than we realize. What engages your engineers may disengage your creatives. What excites recent college hires may fall flat for senior leaders. 

In today’s fragmented but transparent talent marketplace, one-size-fits all employer branding is no longer effective. By investing time and effort into audience segmentation, CHROs take big step in evolving their EVP to PVP, personal value proposition.  

Like customer personas, developing talent personas are a great way to engage in a targeted, personalized approach to talent attraction. These nuanced profiles allow you to sharpen your employer brand and talent attraction content for niche talent pools beyond one generic EVP message. Plus, you can tailor by regional expectations, whether in different cities in the same country or across continents.  

Getting segmentation right ensures candidates see your employer brand as a match for people like them from the start.  

10. User Behavior Analytics 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Understand how customers interact with their website or app by using user analytics tools like heatmaps. 

Employer Brand Hack: Consumer marketing teams are increasingly adopting digital analytics tools to better understand customer preferences and behavior. Talent acquisition leaders can borrow this tactic too. Tools like heatmaps and click maps offer visual snapshots tracking precisely how users navigate and scroll career pages. These visual activity maps identify which content generates the most interest or engagement on your career site.  

Lingering on the mission statement? Scrolling past office photos? Double-tapping into stories on career mobility but glossing over benefits? These granular insights reveal which candidate attraction content holds the greatest appeal for your candidates. 

By understanding where your high-traffic areas and natural user flows are, you can guide candidates with attention-grabbing messages or entry points to more in-depth information. Likewise, you can weave in more stories around topics that are proving popular to leverage that momentum. These tools can also flag areas of friction, like errors or “rage clicks,” that could lead to candidates abandoning their application or leaving your career site.  

Employer Brand Strategy: The Value of Data 

Data and insights should always be the bedrock beneath an employer brand. Take time to gather feedback, analyze findings and track the impact of new initiatives. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new perspectives and unconventional approaches to stand out from the crowd. 

With the right balance of boldness and research, you can craft a magnetic employer brand that both resonates with candidates and drives critical recruitment metrics. So, take a cue from your marketing peers—be brave, think big, and transform employer branding into a discipline as sophisticated as consumer marketing.  

The Gender Gap in Energy and Utilities: 3 Strategies for Powering Change

The energy and utilities sector has a gender problem. The field is overwhelmingly male-dominated, and if providers are going to be able to meet the global demand in the future, talent leaders in the industry must bring in more women to tackle the gender gap in energy and utilities. 

Women make up 39% of the global workforce, but only 16% of the traditional energy sector. This varies by location and job type. In the U.S., natural gas and nuclear energy have the highest percentage of female workers, at 35% and 34%, respectively. But in some countries, like Japan, women make up only 3% of the energy workforce.  

According to Deloitte, over two-thirds of executives rate DE&I as an important issue. And for good reason. Diversity is strongly tied to innovation. Diverse teams—including women, neurodivergent individuals and professionals from underrepresented backgrounds—are more creative, make better decisions and solve problems more efficiently. 

Additionally, the energy and utilities industry is facing a massive talent shortage. According to McKinsey, the global renewables industry will need 1.1 million blue-collar workers to develop and construct wind and solar projects and another 1.7 million workers to operate them, including laborers, electricians and operating engineers. On top of that, an additional 1.3 million white-collar workers will be needed to install, operate and maintain these facilities, including wind and solar project developers, project managers, finance experts, legal staff and many other roles. 

If talent leaders in the sector stick to the same recruiting strategies aimed at the same talent pools, providers will be understaffed, customers could see more energy service disruptions and workers could experience more incidents and accidents. 

In this article, we provide three strategies for increasing the number of female workers in energy and utilities to close the gender gap. 

1. Address Barriers for Women  

In order to effectively recruit women into the industry, talent leaders need to understand what is keeping them away and work to remove those barriers to entry.  

One important issue is pay. Globally, women in the sector face a wage gap that is more than twice as large as it is in non-energy jobs. According to the World Economic Forum, women in energy make about 20% less than their male coworkers. Their research shows that the wage gap stays the same when accounting for ability, education and potential experience, indicating that the gap is not because of differences in skill levels. 

This leads to women in the industry being more likely to leave their positions than men, creating a challenge for employers looking to retain their female workforce.  

One step employers can take is to complete a pay equity audit. According to the Harvard Business Review, a pay equity audit involves comparing the pay of employees doing “like for like” work in an organization. To complete this effectively, you will need each employee’s length of service, job classification and demographic information. From there, auditors can perform a regression analysis to account for pay differences based on factors like experience, education and training to identify differences based on gender, race or age.  

With that data, experts recommend a two-pronged response. One is remediation, or adjusting the pay of any employees that may qualify. The next step is to identify what led to salary discrepancies in the first place. Were there incorrect job classifications? Or does the hiring process allow for wide differences in starting salaries? This will help create a fair and equitable process going forward.  

Additionally, companies shouldn’t be shy or secretive about the work they are doing to build a better workplace environment for women. Workers value that transparency. In fact, several large organizations have made headlines for announcing when they’ve reached gender pay equity, like Adobe and Intel.  

2. Invest in Diverse Sourcing Strategies 

Once talent leaders confirm that their organization provides a fair and equitable environment for female workers, the next step is finding them. The energy and utilities industry is not alone in this need. Across all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs, women only account for 28% of the workforce

Energy employers should invest in sourcing strategies aimed at underrepresented workers. Consider adding an AI sourcing tool that can identify passive candidates with the skills needed to succeed at your organization.  

Some recruitment CRMs have automated talent matching capabilities that search candidate databases to find qualified candidates for any role. Candidates are then ranked by how closely they fit the role requirements, how likely they are to leave their current position, and their average tenure. Unlike a manual sourcing process, automated talent matching can help fill the top of your funnel in seconds.   

Notably, in PeopleScout’s AffinixTM CRM, Talent Finder can find and filter qualified candidates. The Diversity Boost feature also amplifies diverse candidates to help you reach your DE&I goals. It even allows talent leaders to identify what diversity means at their organization, including the goal of identifying qualified female candidates.  

Also consider low-tech approaches to sourcing more female candidates. Attend “Women in STEM” hiring events, and partner with colleges and universities. The energy sector has become a hard sell for young workers, especially in fossil fuels. One study found that only 44% of millennials and Gen Z in STEM programs would be interested in working in the sector, but 77% were interested in tech. Identifying potential candidates and intervening early can help change minds and bring in more candidates.  

3. Update your Employer Brand 

Finally, talent leaders in the energy and utilities sector need to make sure that their employer brands appeal to female workers. Are DE&I efforts advertised? Do women appear in careers site imagery? What about company leadership?  Are women represented? 

Your employer brand is your most powerful tool in attracting top talent. The energy industry lags behind in employer branding and digital recruitment marketing, two factors that appeal to millennial and Gen Z workers and can attract more women. Showcase and celebrate female workers and leaders in places like your careers site and social media. Share the progress you’re making toward diversity and inclusion goals. Advertise benefits like mentorship programs and leadership training.  

Also consider your job postings. Do they include gendered language? Words like “competitive, dominant or leader” may discourage women from applying. One survey found that male-dominated fields tend to use more masculine words in job descriptions, at 97%. 

These changes can make a real impact. For example, a manufacturing client that operates in an industry that has historically been male-dominated partnered with PeopleScout with the goal of increasing the number of female applicants and hires. PeopleScout worked with the client to develop the Women in Manufacturing campaign. PeopleScout interviewed nearly 20 women who work in roles across the company and who love their jobs. Using this information, PeopleScout built candidate personas to target women interested in the industry, and created a campaign featuring real women who work for the client. 

Using our proprietary talent technology Affinix™, we built a dedicated landing page and talent community for female candidates. The four-week Women in Manufacturing campaign launched on International Women’s Day and showcased the company’s woman-friendly, inclusive culture. The campaign featured employee spotlights, videos and stories to showcase how women are integrated into the corporate culture and are integral to the company’s success. This increased the number of women who visited to the employer’s careers site and is moving the needle on the company’s DE&I goals.  

Think Long Term to Close the Gender Gap in Energy and Utilities 

As with many male-dominated industries, progress won’t happen overnight, but employers should set reasonable and achievable goals to close the gender gap in energy and utilities. With the staffing challenges facing the industry, building a more diverse workforce for the future isn’t an option—it’s a necessity.  An RPO partner brings industry expertise, recruitment technology and talent advisory solutions to the table, providing employers the tools they need to find and hire more diverse talent.  

For more insights on recruiting in the energy and utilities sector, download our ebook, The Recruitment Handbook for Energy and Utilities.

The Multigenerational Workforce: Bridging the Gap So Everyone Can Thrive [Infographic]

It’s a new era in the workforce as we speed towards 2030 with four powerhouse generations in the mix: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. Understanding what makes your employees of all ages tick is the key to unlocking a culture where everyone thrives.

Check out this infographic on the multigenerational workforce and pave the way for an inclusive workplace that’s all about motivation and growth.

Get more on the multigenerational workforce in our guide, Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work.

3 Strategies for Solving Hospitality Recruitment Challenges with Technology

Amongst travel and hospitality recruitment challenges is a clear and persistent issue: staffing shortages. Talent leaders are struggling to fill empty roles amid low unemployment rates.

According to a 2023 survey by Deloitte, more than half of hotel executives (53%) say their properties have between 25–74% of the workforce they had in 2019. The situation at airports is even tighter with 62% of executives saying their workforce is half its prepandemic size or smaller.

On top of this, the unemployment rate sits at 3.8% in the U.S., 4.3% in the UK and 3.7% in Australia. The travel industry also saw a massive exodus of workers. In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported record quit rates during the Great Resignation, with the quit rate in leisure and hospitality jumping by a percentage point to 6.4%. So, how can talent leaders hire hospitality and travel workers when the available pool is smaller?

Luckily, the right technology solutions deployed at the right times during the recruitment process can help talent leaders source, attract and screen candidates to find the best talent more efficiently and effectively. In this article, we’ll cover three technology interventions that talent acquisition teams can put into place to tackle hospitality recruitment challenges.

Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 1: Our open positions receive few applicants, and many of those who do apply do not have the background or experience needed to succeed in the role.

Solution No. 1: Invest in artificial intelligence sourcing technology to fill the top of your funnel.

Amongst common hospitality recruitment challenges that we see is finding talent with a wide variety of specialized skills across diverse and distant geographies. There is no one-size-fits all approach to hiring travel and hospitality talent. Finding a chef for a luxury property in Lake Como, Italy will look very different from a search for housekeeping staff at a family resort in Orlando, Florida. Finding a flight attendant looks very different from filling a baggage handler role.

With such a tight talent market, employers must target passive talent. During the Great Rehire talent leaders focused on filling roles as quickly as possible, but now they need to focus on finding and hiring more experienced workers.

An AI-enabled candidate sourcing tool can identify passive candidates with the right experience for specific roles and can even identify which candidates would be most likely to leave their current employers. Within seconds, recruiters can build a list of these candidates and share the opportunity. PeopleScout’s talent acquisition suite, AffinixTM, includes the AI sourcing feature, Talent Finder, which can connect employers with millions of passive candidates.

Consider the following best practices for using an AI sourcing tool:

  • Before searching for candidates, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the technical and soft skills needed to be successful in the role.
  • Use features, like PeopleScout’s Diversity Boost, that can identify candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to help meet your DE&I goals.
  • Blend AI with the human touch. By having a recruiter reach out to a sourced candidate with a personalized message, employers can create a positive experience.
  • Make sure a human makes all final hiring decisions. AI can make the process more efficient, but hiring managers should make the final call.

Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 2: Candidates drop out of our process before reaching the offer stage, either by abandoning the application or ghosting the interview.

Solution No. 2: Improve the candidate experience by making the process quick and easy by embracing tools like SMS or virtual interviews.

Hospitality employers must ensure that their candidate experience sets them apart from other employers at every stage of the candidate journey. For candidates, how they’re treated during the hiring process is a preview of what their experience will be as an employee.

PeopleScout research shows that the hospitality industry has a lot of room for improvement in this area. In our analysis of the candidate experience of more than 215 different organizations, the hospitality sector came in last overall with the lowest average scores in every stage except Follow-Up (in which it was second to last). While hospitality organizations effectively showcased their diversity and inclusion efforts on their career sites, only half gave candidates the opportunity to register their interest.

Your candidate experience should be unique to your brand and help you distinguish yourself from other employers hiring for similar roles or skills. Many talent acquisition teams don’t appreciate that candidates don’t perceive the recruitment process as a funnel. They’re the main character in their own story, and they expect to be treated that way. Candidates want to engage in their job search on their own terms. So, anytime they encounter a roadblock to getting the information they want, especially if they don’t know what to expect in the next stage, they’re more likely to drop out of your process.

There are several ways to leverage  technology to make the process easier for candidates. First, start with a shortened application. According to PeopleScout research, nearly 40% of organizations asked candidates to duplicate information that was already contained in their resume or CV. Make sure your application only collects the information that is most critical for determining who moves along to the next step of the process.

From there, other technology solutions can be used to gather the additional information necessary to make a hiring decision. SMS can be used for an initial text screening, and virtual interviews, like those available in Affinix, allow candidates to answer additional questions at their own pace while feeling as though they’re driving the process.

Finally, automated communication can keep a candidate engaged in the process. The right technology platform can help by sending automated messages to candidates, via email or chatbot technology, updating them on their application status. You can even craft messages letting a candidate know if they did not get the job, so they aren’t left wondering if you ghosted them.

Consider the following best practices for using technology to improve your candidate experience:

  • Make sure your application is mobile-friendly and can be filled out in 10 minutes or less. Test your current application to see how long it takes to apply.
  • Provide candidates with the opportunity to opt-in to receive text messages or emails from your organization to remain in compliance with local spam laws.
  • Tailor the type of virtual interview to the type of role. While video interviews may be appropriate for customer-facing roles, others may prefer the opportunity to answer questions with recorded audio.
  • Make it simple for candidates to understand where they are in your process; this can be something as simple as a progress bar.

Hospitality Recruitment Challenge No. 3: Our assessment process isn’t effective at identifying the candidates most likely to succeed in the role, leading to increased turnover, reduced productivity and disengaged employees.

Solution No. 3: Assess candidates for passion, purpose and mindset.

The travel and hospitality industry is all about guest experience, and hotels, airlines, restaurants and theme parks differentiate themselves with the unique experience that they provide. So, talent leaders need to find candidates who not only have the right skills and experience but also a deep understanding of the brand and how it is reflected in the service provided.

For example, in a major city, you may find three hotels on the same street, one catering to a high-end luxury experience in a historic building, another geared toward young travelers with bold art and hit music playing in the lobby, and a third designed with business travelers in mind—with a large business center, meeting rooms and plenty of quiet spaces for someone to plug in their laptop. Many hotel brands even have this variety of styles within their own portfolios. The service provided in each hotel looks different, and a person who excels at a luxury property may not thrive in a trendy hotel.

By selecting the right assessment tool, employers can go beyond looking at just capability, behavior and results but also determine whether candidates align with their organization’s purpose, have passion for the work they would do and whether they have the mindset to adapt to new environments.

By building an assessment during pre-screening that accounts for passion, purpose and mindset in addition to the standard skills and experience, employers can use technology to shortlist candidates based on several different attributes at the same time. This way, employers can get a clear picture of the different strengths and weaknesses of candidates in order to make informed decisions about which candidates are best to bring forward to the interview stage.

By identifying candidates who match well with an employer’s brand of guest experience, talent leaders can reduce turnover and build a happier, more engaged team. In turn, that leads to better customer experience and a better bottom line.

Consider the following best practices for building an effective assessment for hospitality talent:

  • Identify the essential behaviors for the role to separate those who will actually be successful from those who simply present well during an interview.
  • Build assessment tools around your organization’s vision and values so applicants have a chance to form a connection to them from the start.
  • Self-evaluation tools can also be used to help applicants consider their own strengths and whether the role will offer sufficient opportunity to use and demonstrate them.
  • Distinguish between good candidates who meet the criteria and great candidates who will take an organization further.

Finding the Right Talent Technology for Hospitality

The travel and hospitality industry still faces an uphill climb in returning to or even exceeding their prepandemic staffing levels, but talent leaders have additional and improved tools available to help identify, attract and screen candidates. However, in a full marketplace, finding the right tools can be a challenge. Consider partnering with an RPO with expertise in technology that can help identify the most impactful ways new tools can solve your most pressing hospitality recruitment challenges.

Get more strategies for attracting and hiring hospitality, travel and tourism talent, with our Recruitment Handbook for Travel and Hospitality.

The Multigenerational Workforce: Has Gen X Been Overlooked in the Workplace?

There’s a new generation moving into leadership roles that’s poised to change how things are done in the workplace. You may not hear as much about them as Baby Boomers or millennials, but Generation X is the silent workhorse that makes up over third of the workforce and over half of managers.  

So, who is Gen X and what exactly are they bringing to the workforce? Grab your flannel shirt, and let’s find out! The last in our series on the multigenerational workforce, this article explores what makes Gen X tick and how they’re stepping up to lead organizations into the future.  

Who are Gen Xers? 

Born between the early 1960s and 1980, this cohort came of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the larger Baby Boomer generation. Now, as they move into management and leadership roles, Gen X is ready to put their own stamp on workplace culture. 

Growing up as latchkey kids in an era of change, Gen X professionals are more independent and adaptable than previous generations. Gen X entered the workforce during the rise of Silicon Valley and the dot com era, making them comfortable with the pace of technological advancement. For them, adopting new technology feels natural, and they are driving digital transformation across sectors. 

When it comes to the workplace, Gen X values authenticity, work-life balance and professional development. They respond better to flexible schedules that allow for caring for aging parents and children and prefer managers that empathize with those priorities.  

According to a study by Stanford University, Gen X prefers to work from home 50% of the time, compared to Boomers at 35% and Gen Z at 45%. Make no mistake, Gen Xers are focused on results, they just believe there are many valid ways to achieve success beyond face time at the office.  

Having watched their parents climb the corporate ladder, Xers are focused on carving their own path at their own pace. This cohort is extremely hardworking with an innate sense of independence. If you want something done, hand it off to a Gen Xer and let them run with it. 

Gen Xers don’t pay much attention to rank and hierarchy. They prefer direct communication and are more likely to casually ping you on Slack than set up a formal meeting. But don’t mistake their informal style for a lack of drive. Generation X is extremely entrepreneurial and forge their own career paths rather than expect opportunities handed to them.  

Are Gen X Overlooked at Work? 

Gen X may be overlooked in the workplace due to their easy-going approach. In fact, 79% of Gen X says they’re forgotten in the workplace, overshadowed by younger and older workers. It’s hard to blame them, when Gen Xers are promoted at rates 20% to 30% slower than millennials, despite being strong candidates for leadership roles.  

As employers have paid a lot of attention to nurturing millennial talent in recent years, Gen X has gone underappreciated for their contributions to the workforce. With Gen X leading the Great Resignation as 37% more left their company in early 2022 compared to the year before, employers should concentrate on retaining and engaging this valuable cohort as they enter the second half of their careers.  

Move Over, Boomers: Here Comes Gen X 

As Gen X moves into boardrooms and leadership roles, we are starting to see their impact on workplace culture. Transparency and direct communication are in. Bureaucracy and hierarchy are out. Gone are the days of formal business attire and rigid top-down management. Today’s workplaces are more casual, flexible and egalitarian.  

Gen X leaders prefer to mentor and develop talent rather than micromanage. They lead by example and earn respect by rolling up their sleeves alongside their employees. Gen Xers believe the best way to achieve success is by empowering their team.  

How to Keep Gen Xers Happy in the Workplace 

Here’s how to help your Generation X colleagues gain success at work as they move into leadership positions: 

  • Offer flexibility: Gen Xers appreciate flexibility in their work hours and locations. Consider options like remote work, flexible schedules and job sharing. Plus, autonomy over their time is key. Don’t expect 24/7 availability from Gen X employees. They value their personal responsibilities outside of work and crave work-life balance. 
  • Provide opportunities for career development: Gen X is highly self-sufficient but still values feeling appreciated. Provide both informal and formal recognition—including promotions and leadership opportunities. Invest in professional training, mentoring programs and clear paths for career progression. 
  • Limit bureaucracy: Gen X resists rigid corporate structures and prefers collaborating in relaxed settings. Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that can hamper productivity and innovation. Empower Gen Xers to accomplish tasks independently. Provide opportunities to work on new initiatives and pilot programs. 

The Future of Work with Gen X at the Helm 

While perhaps overlooked when sandwiched between two larger generations, they bring a perfect blend of independence and adaptability to evolve workplace culture for the better. Talent leaders should take notice of Gen X’s entrepreneurial spirit and prioritization of work-life balance and career progression.  

The skateboards may be gone, but Generation X is still the same pragmatic, diverse and ambitious cohort. Only now they are grown up and calling the shots.  

Read the rest of our Multigenerational Workforce series: 

Attracting Older Workers to Retail and Hospitality Jobs

According to a global study by Bain & Company, workers aged 55 and older make up over 25% of the workforce in G7 countries by 2031, making older workers one of the most in-demand talent pools for employers today. In the UK, the government launched a “returnership” initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work or to seek a career change. This scheme involves three programs that help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing workers with a clear roadmap back into the workplace and encouraging organizations to hire them. In Western Australia, the Job Reconnect program provides grants to both employers and employees to cover costs related to licences, upskilling, and even work clothing, transport and childcare.

It’s crucial for retail and hospitality employers to know how to entice older workers back to work and to make the most of their valuable talent. Known as the ‘sandwich generation’—defined by caring for their elderly parents and also dependent children or grandchildren—older works have a strong work ethic. Customer facing and front of house roles enable them to fit work around caring for family and other responsibilities.

Keep reading for key insights from our panel discussion and get the latest research to understand exactly what older workers want and what retail and hospitality organizations can do attract this in-demand demographic.

What Do Older Workers Want?

What do over 50s want and need from an employer? Does your organization know how to attract and engage this older workforce and how to hire and retain them?

Flexibility

Unsurprisingly, monetary concerns are coaxing older workers back into the workplace due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, when it comes to choosing an employer, flexibility takes precedence over money.

Hospitality roles typically attract a younger demographic of workers. However, the flexibility offered by these jobs also appeals to the older working generation. Given that the over 50s are the largest age group with caring roles, flexible and part-time work is a powerful motivator for them to fit a job into their routine.  

As well as permanent roles, seasonal and flexible roles are available within the hospitality and retail industries, which can be more attractive to the older working community. Working harder in those seasonal months creates work-life balance, allowing older workers to take time off during quieter periods to recover and be with their friends and family.

Sense of Belonging

Workers in this age rage are still searching for rewarding work. Older workers wish to find a place where they can feel a part of their local community and give back. Over 50s enjoy creating social connections that a customer-facing job in a restaurant or supermarket can provide.

Customer-facing roles in hospitality and retail give individuals the chance to serve and connect with their community. For older customers, seeing employees in shops and restaurants that represent them can boost the customer experience. 

Myths About Older Workers

There are plenty of misconceptions out there from employers and colleagues about hiring and working with older workers. Consider these myths busted.

Myth 1: Older Workers are Resistant to Technology

Certain words can be viewed as a turn off for an over 50s audience, including “tech-savvy”, which some see as a way to ward off older candidates. There are older people who will feel excluded because others wrongly perceive that they’re less capable with technology, when in fact they are part of a generation that has seen huge advancements in technology. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is in his late 60s, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is in his early 60s.

Recognise that all colleagues work differently with technology, so you must be thoughtful in your use of training. In hospitality and retail, workers are likely to be using tills and sales computer systems. Regardless of whether a person struggles with technology, an organization should have a strong program in place to support workers as they learn how to use these tools. For example, consider implementing a buddy system of workers and leaders who will happily help new employees in their first few weeks as they learn point-of-sale systems.

Myth 2: Absences are Higher Because of Health Issues

As people get older, their health can decline. However, this doesn’t mean that absenteeism is higher amongst older workers. In fact, older workers are more likely to have higher everyday attendance rates due to their strong work ethic. When you do see sickness or absence, it is typically in the form of long-term leave, rather than the odd day here and there.

Myth 3: Older Workers are Less Productive Than Younger Workers

A study demonstrated that there was no different between younger and older workers in terms of productivity. This study found that with their years of experience and memories, older people perhaps dismiss new information when they process things and instead use past information. It’s therefore important to acknowledge that older workers aren’t doing things worse, they just do these things differently through their years of experience.

What Can Organizations Do to Attract Older Workers?

So, how can retail and hospitality organization tap into this hard-working talent pool? Here are four questions to ask to ensure your talent acquisition program is over-50s friendly.

Are Your Candidate Attraction Materials Inclusive for Everyone?

To attract older workers, you must think more creatively and broadly.  Use community-based websites to engage with people who live close to your locations. Show how the job will fit into their lifestyle and what it would be like for an older person to work there, rather than a generic message. Create testimonials from your current employees to support this.

Make sure that your imagery is diverse, featuring people of all ages. Look at your marketing materials and ensure that it reflects the community so that over 50s can see that jobs in hospitality are here for them. Take advantage of local community-boards in community centers and supermarkets.

How is Your Candidate Experience?

Retention and attraction are very different. Employers can encourage people to apply for jobs through their advertisements, yet ultimately, it is down to the experience the candidate has during the recruitment process, induction and beyond. The candidate experience is what will make them accept the position and stay at the company. 

When younger workers leave education, they’re taught how to answer competency-based interview questions and how to write a resume. The older generation of workers likely won’t have a resume and may not have experience with this kind of interview. Is your interview process age inclusive and relevant to them?

Are You Giving Them What They Want?

Now that we’ve shared what older workers want, is your organization serious about flexible shift patterns? Over 40% of the part-time workforce is aged over 50. Not only does this part-time schedule work in hospitality, but also in retail, in which the holiday season creates a huge demand for workers.

Different shift patterns in retail can support individuals in their family commitments and lifestyle. Look at your employees’ caring responsibilities, for partners, for children, for elderly parents, and take this into account when creating your shift offerings.

But what else does this generation want from you? Everyone responds well to positive feedback. Both the retail and hospitality industries are great at celebrating successes, shown through brilliant behavior and examples across organizations.

Finally, show that your organization values them by offering benefit packages. Health is a priority for everyone as we get older, and health benefits can help to attract them to your organization.

Does Your Anti-Bias Training Include Age?

Ageism usually gets the least amount of focus across the DE&I plan. Train your leaders and hiring managers on unconscious bias particularly as it relates to age. Ensure there are no biases lurking in the recruitment process to open up talent pools instead of closing them down.

FUTURE OF WORK

DESTINATION 2030: 10 PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT’S NEXT IN THE WORLD OF WORK

The Multigenerational Workforce: Keeping Millennials Motivated

In this article, the third in our Multigenerational Workforce series, we’ll be focusing on millennials in the workplace, including what matters to them and how best to engage them.

By 2025, millennials will make up over half of the workforce, essentially replacing retiring Baby Boomers. They’ve already made a huge impact on the way we work, including leveraging technology to revolutionise productivity. As the older millennials enter their 40s, they’re moving into leadership roles and will have even more influence on how organizations operate into the future. So, how can employers harness the power of millennials to drive their businesses forward?

Who are Millennials?

Millennials, less commonly known as Generation Y, follow Gen X and precede Gen Z. Millennials were born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s during the rise of personal computers and technology, making them tech-savvy. They’re the first generation to come of age in the new millennium, hence the name millennials. They are also known to be values-driven.

Workers from this generation are bound together through their shared experience of financial challenges, including the 2008 Great Recession, which caused a 19% unemployment rate and massive student loan debt among millennials. As a result, members of this generation are more likely to find themselves underemployed or self-employed.

Perceptions and Misperceptions

This generation have been characterized as lazy and narcissistic, labelled as “Generation Me.” Other common perceptions include being easily bored and hopping from job to job rather than staying with one employer. However, this could be due to the anxiety caused from the global financial crash.

Despite these stereotypes, millennials have been described as self-sufficient, solving their own issues and teaching themselves through the internet rather than relying on others for help. They are also known to be confident, curious and open-minded.

What Matters to Millennials in the Workplace?

Digital & Tech Skills

Having been the first generation to grow up in a digital world, millennials have widespread experience of the development of technology, being both the “pioneers and the guinea pigs”.

This has affected the way that they communicate, with 41% of millennials choosing to communicate electronically instead of face-to-face according to a study by PwC. However, they’re also the last generation to have grown up in a world without the internet in every household.

When considering a job, 59% of millennials claim that technology in the workplace is an important factor. Employers are responding to this by encouraging professional use of social media at work and introducing smartphones as an employee benefit.

Mission and Purpose

Millennials thrive in a workplace that is mission-driven, keeping them motivated and inspired. In our recent report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that mission and purpose were the second most important factor for millennials when considering a new job. Those who work for companies with this as a priority feel more accomplished. Millennials want to share their employer’s goals and values in order to feel they are contributing to the world.

Collaboration

The move to a more collaborative working environment has been driven by millennials through the use of technology as it’s become more sophisticated. A collaborative environment allows workers to speak their ideas freely and feel a sense of belonging as part of a team. One way that employers are emphasizing collaboration is through mentorship programs, which have been proven to increase the happiness of workers and their productivity.

How Do You Engage Millennials at Work?

As millennials slowly take over as the majority of the workforce, employers must learn strategies to keep them motivated and feeling valued.

1. Be Open and Transparent

Millennials want openness and transparency from their leaders, ensuring their confidence through factual information that can be validated.

Keep millennials productive by creating clear targets are regular opportunities for feedback and praise. In fact, according to the same PwC study, 51% of this demographic believe that frequent or continuous feedback is a must on the job, making up a huge part of what keeps them motivated and engaged in their work.

2. Embrace Teamwork

To manage a multigenerational workforce, leaders must recognize that each generation may need different methods of management. Among millennials, 74% expressed that they are as happy working alongside other generations as with their own. So, it’s unsurprising to find millennials now managing older workers.

However, 34% of millennials felt that their personal drive could be perceived as intimidating to other generations. Effective programs that encourage interactions between different generations are necessary to overcome these misperceptions. For example, millennials thrive in opportunities such as “reverse mentoring,” in which they are able to learn from and teach skills to older workers.

3. Invest in Employee Development

Millennials look at their work as a means to learn and develop, which may be the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations. Indeed, a whopping 87% of millennials say that growth and development opportunities are important to them in a job, compared to just 69% of non-millennials. Offering opportunities to develop technology skills and interpersonal skills will not only help you retain millennial employees, it will help you ensure this important segment of your workforce is ready to step into leadership roles.

4. Trust Them

While millennials want to be supported through feedback and praise, they also want the freedom to “be their own boss.” Flexibility is important to millennials in the workplace.They’ll happily put in the long hours if they believe their work has a purpose, but those hours may not be during the traditional 9-to-5.

Millennials believe that success should be evaluated through productivity, rather than the number of hours they are seen in an office. If they meet the deadlines you set, don’t be concerned about the hours they clock in and out. Focus on creating a flexible work culture to maximize millennial engagement, allowing employees to have more control over their working hours and location.

5. Lead with Your Values

Millennials are searching for more than “just a job” and want to achieve something worthwhile. Akin to Gen Z, millennials believe that companies and their leadership should be contributing positively to society. Strong corporate ethics will encourage loyalty among millennials.

A report from Deloitte found that 54% of millennials research a brand’s environmental impact and polices before accepting a job offer. To keep up with today’s candidates, it’s vital that organizations have updated employer value propositions (EVP) showcase the companies intentions to address social and environmental concerns.

In our multigenerational workplace, each generation will shape the world of work in their own way, and each will need different things from their working lives. Millennials bring commitment and collaboration to the workplace. In return, they want opportunities to grow and collaborate. Organizations that can effectively empower millennials to provide ethical leadership hold key to keeping them engaged.

Find out our top 10 predictions for what we think the working world will look like in 2030 and the best practices to prepare for the future in our Destination 2030 report.

Future of Work

Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work