Recruiting the best talent is a challenge no matter what age bracket you are targeting, but there are unique ways to showcase NE Ohio to the 20 somethings who are considering an internship or joining your firm straight out of college or an MBA program. And, EA has been helping our clients for years with YP orientations of Cleveland and Akron.
Here are some of the challenges we responded to lately…
“Our headquarters in Mayfield Heights offer easy access to freeways, nearby neighborhoods and free parking, but suburban campuses seem to be a turn off to recruits from the Uber generation (their words, not ours). They want to work in a walkable, hip neighborhood so at 5 pm they can walk to nearby restaurants, bars and entertainment options. How do we market our company to out-of-town recruits so we don’t lose highly sought after Millennial candidates? Once they see our headquarters, they think only married suburbanites with two kids and a dog want to work here, and that isn’t true.”
EASY – We make sure that we create an orientation of our region that focuses on what is important to this generation. After a short survey to gather general info about their interests and what kind of housing they desire, we custom design a tour of the region. We often show urban and inner ring suburban neighborhoods with lots of affordable rental options (generally not the downtown scene, which is above the price point most YPs want to pay unless they take a roommate). We make stops in the MetroParks to introduce them to a Ranger who shares info about public festivals, bike/running paths, places to rent kayaks and do yoga on the beach. We stop for lunch in an urban neighborhood and invite two or three YPs who are recent transplants to the area to join us and share their stories (the most credible source of info is from someone just like you!). We make sure they see nightlife, entertainment options, the lakefront, ballparks, theaters, bars and concert venues, comedy clubs, the rowing boathouse in The Flats, etc.
“We recognize that we will lose some of our superstars to competitors, but we need to do more to ground them in Cleveland once we hire them. Retention is everything. If they never clicked with the culture here, they can be easily persuaded by a headhunter or recruiter in another town. We need to do more than assign our interns and new Millennial hires to a mentor from the company and coordinate bar hops and happy hours. We need an on-boarding plan that mitigates the risk of losing these sought after interns or new hires.”
Our region is accessible, and there are so many ways to connect newcomers. Once a quarter, EA hosts gatherings that are part continuing ed and part socializing. And, as our YP services grow, we will continue to add things that will appeal to 20 and 30 somethings. They need to be immersed in the culture and our city; and, we can help create that for your company. Newcomers love meeting other newcomers because none of them have a “full” social calendar yet and are all eager to explore and make new friends. EA works with more than 100 newcomers each year; and after 36 years, we have a giant Rolodex to share. Our outings have included tours of the Westside Market, OrchidMania at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, apple picking at Patterson’s Fruit Farm and behind-the-curtain tours of Playhouse Square. This is critical for retention. Our retention programs provide connections that ground newcomers. We meld them into the fabric of our community so they can’t easily uproot, saving our clients thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of their time.
“Talent attraction has changed dramatically in the last five years. Because of the demographics of our country, the pipeline of candidates is now shaped like an hourglass and it is getting harder and harder to land the best ones. The recruits often have all the power at the negotiating table, including interns because everyone wants to the good ones to groom for future leadership. How do we make our offer stand out against offers in sexier cities like Chicago, San Francisco, the East Coast?”
It’s simple. Most interns or recruits have simply never spent more than a few hours in Cleveland prior to being pursued by a company here. We change that all in just one day. We believe that we can make just about anyone fall in love with our town, but we are honest and realistic so our tours aren’t canned pitches. They are carefully designed to match the needs of each individual considering a move here.
And we couldn’t agree more with this last comment…
“The scarcest commodity is human capital. You can always figure out how to buy additional resources, no matter what your business is, but top people are hard to find and even harder to keep because everyone wants them.”
We agree that those in the talent attraction field need to constantly adapt, especially since the pipeline is filled with those under the age of 40, and this generation is often seeking a lifestyle that allows them to live/work in a diverse, walkable neighborhood accessible by public transportation. They focus on work/life balance more than the generation before them, so you have to do more to showcase the community’s assets to attract them.
Retention of transplanted employees is critical, as the amount of time and money invested in recruiting, relocating and on-boarding a newcomer continues to rise. So, even if your office is in a hip walkable neighborhood, you still need to make sure you are investing in retention programs so all of the work you put into training someone doesn’t walk out the door in 18 months because they never connected with the community outside their job
Executive Arrangements shares the vital community info recruits need to make a decision about a relocation. It’s not just the job, its the whole lifestyle. Especially for recruits under the age of 35. And, one final insight into how different the Millennials are from the previous generations…have you read this Washington Post story that shows with a few vivid examples that Millennials don’t want stuff, they want to experience life. They don’t want to be tied down to a big house filled with formal china and Grandma’s roll-top desk. They want to go out and explore the world! Executive Arrangements helps match their interest, hobbies and needs with local resources no matter how off the beaten path. We helped connect an athletic, disabled client to a wheelchair basketball team; we fond a falconry club for an English transplant whose family had been birding for eight generations; we connected single career women in their early 30s to each other, and they formed an instant social circle to explore the town.
Give us a challenge, we will help your organization recruit and retain the best talent out there.