Despite the current economy, when it comes to the technology industry, the job market not only has recovered — it’s booming. Now, with the biggest competition for technology companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, employers are finding themselves contending for the industry’s top talent. Hiring and retaining employees in a competitive market significantly depends on understanding the needs of the Next Generation – Millennials – who now occupy more than the majority of the workforce.
Millennials are stereotyped as the most kid-centric and technologically savvy generation. Baby boomer parents frequently shelled out pats-on-the-back to their children, and the dawn of technology made positive feedback instantly accessible. This upbringing, coupled with Millennials’ incredibly career-focused mentality, means that this generation of employees are constantly looking for the best, leading to high turnover rates. The majority of today’s workforce will have 10 jobs by the age of 38 and only stay an average of 1.5 years with a company. There is no doubt that employers rely on the top talent to achieve business success. But for Silicon Valley’s competitive technology industry, Millennials have turned the tables; they’re asking how your company is the best?
With turnover rates on the rise, traditional recruiting and retention practices no longer suffice among the younger generation. To attract top talent, tech companies need to abandon passive recruiting methods. Too often, tech employers still rely on internal postings and job boards to fill positions, but this is not an effective means of recruiting talent. Effective recruiting is active recruiting: technology businesses need to scout talent by targeting and narrowing their desired market. Knowing that the younger generation is the future of the workforce, tech companies can use social networking sites to recruit by posting jobs to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Furthermore, top talent is connected to other top talent; tech businesses should leverage their employees’ social networks by incenting employees to recruit on the company’s behalf.
Today, employee engagement reigns over job satisfaction. Engaged employees feel invested in the company’s mission and values, and work towards something greater than themselves. Millennials want to be aligned with the corporate goals and recognized for his or her contributions to the bottom line. Validation of employees’ hard work through recognition is important — and often overlooked. Everyday recognition contributes to a culture of recognition and positive workplace that drives successful business performance.
The tech industry’s historical boom/bust nature, combined with the fact that few employers offer mature employee engagement initiatives, leaves employees with no choice but to continue to actively seek jobs even after they’re hired. At the same time, the technology companies who win top talent are actively recruiting, targeting Millennials through social recruiting on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Employers need to infuse their workplaces with a sense of security in order to be confident that when their employees walk out the door at the end of the day, they’re not walking into the doors of another company.