It's a job seeker's market right now. Recruiters are busier than ever, and employers are at risk of losing their best talent. Attracting and retaining employees should be a top priority. It's why companies like McDonald's, Motorola Solutions, and United Airlines are moving from the suburbs to the city. These companies want to appeal to a younger workforce, particularly the 25 percent of Millennials who prefer the work-life balance inherent in a vibrant urban environment.
But younger generations aren't the only ones in high demand. For the first time in history, we have five generations in the workplace: the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Generation Z, and we need every one of them.
How can companies appeal to all of these generations at once? Here are tips any company can use to attract and retain talent of all ages.
1. Take care of your current employees
According to Gallup, 71 percent of job seekers turn to people they know when evaluating potential job opportunities. Regardless of age, people trust their friends and acquaintances above all else. Treat your current employees like your organization's most valuable asset, and their connections may become your next great hires.
2. Location, location, location
Yes, younger generations prefer more urban environments, but there is more to location than urban vs. suburban. Is your office close to public transportation, for those who don't have cars or prefer not to rely on them? What about coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, and other retailers that can make lunch breaks more enjoyable and errands more convenient? Many buildings also offer amenities to be more competitive, such as concierge services, dry cleaning, yoga classes, and food trucks.
3. Communicate your brand
When a potential hire walks through your office, how is your company's values reflected through workplace design? Photos of employees working on volunteer projects and beautiful panoramas of completed projects say a lot more about your organization than canned stock photography or abstract art. Take this a step further by creating branded videos that can be featured on a screen in your lobby to make a great first impression on potential hires and clients.
4. Incorporate wellness initiatives
Millennials value health and wellness above everything but family, including their job. Other generations aren't far behind, which is why 80 percent of large employers already offer wellness benefits. Whether it's an in-office fitness center, flavored water to encourage hydration, sit-stand desks or more access to natural light, there are a wide variety of wellness initiatives that employers can incorporate to make employees happier and more productive.
5. Improve work-life balance
Fifty-one percent of all employees would change jobs to gain more flexibility with where and when they work, and 37 percent would move positions to work from home. Whether it's to better accommodate a newborn's schedule, reduce commuting time or just align their work schedule with their internal clock, employees of all ages appreciate more flexible schedules that enhance work-life balance. Incorporate laptops and other technology to make the transition seamless, and give employees more freedom with where they work when they are in the office.
With employee costs making up 80 to 90 percent of a company's balance sheet, recruiting and retaining employees is critical to the bottom line. Keep these five tips in mind to ensure your industry's best talent isn't tempted by the competition.