Youth unemployment is a major issue throughout Europe, and is a particularly emotive issue in Ireland, with the consequent flood of emigration and loss of so many young talented people. Many large organisations have either cut or reduced their graduate recruitment programmes, and some will only accept applicants for interview with years of work experience. This eliminates many of the enthusiastic young people with great potential. David Fairhurst, Chief People Officer, McDonalds, also spoke eloquently about this issue at the CIPD Ireland Centenary Conference on 30th April in Dublin.
Manpower recently undertook research to identify4 key ways to drive systematic and thoughtful approaches to attracting and retaining young people in your organisation:
1) Consumers: As employees, young adults provide organisations with direct insights into the tastes and preferences of their peers and in turn promote their employers’ products and services. They greatly influence each other through instant messaging technology and social media networks.
2) Influencers: As companies seek to more proactively manage their reputations on-line and via social media networks, they can become a more attractive proposition to the younger generation of workers. “Millennials” (those born between 1978 and 2000) readily report their experiences of companies and we know that youth issues and opinions spread rapidly.
3) Innovaters: In today’s workplace, the ability to innovate constantly is a key driver of business success. Apple, Facebook and Google have all been named as Innovators – all report excellent financial performance, and all three employ young workforces.
4) Tehnology Savvy Employees: New media literacy and virtual collaboration are needed in the future workforce. Millennials were the first generation to grow up completely immersed in new technology. Online video technology, blogs, podcasts, and collaborative software are productivity enhancers if used effectively and covered by appropriate policies and procedures.
We need to engage with, think like, and get insight into the drivers for young people, utilise the strength of social media and re-align our HR recruitment strategies to entice the best of this talent for future growth in our companies.
To develop further strategies to contact, engage, employ and motivate young people, view further workforce insights at www.manpowergroup.com/research, and view David Fairhurst’s excellent presentation at the CIPD conference at http://www.cipd.co.uk/branch/ireland/_events/Eastern-Conf-McDonalds-Apr13.htm