From flex time to formal mentoring programs, new job applicants are walking into their final interviews armed with a list of hiring non-negotiables. Here’s what those non-negotiables are and what your company needs to offer in order to attract and retain top talent in the current job market, writes Jenn Labin, chief talent and diversity officer at MentorcliQ.
As HR professionals, we’ve cultivated lists of hiring non-negotiables for the candidates we see. Based on company values and culture, this non-negotiables focus on characteristics such as coachability, desire to learn, self-awareness, non-verbal communication skills, and punctuality, among other traits. In today’s employee’s job market, it’s the candidates who are now taking a page from our HR playbook and arriving at the bargaining table with their own list of non-negotiables. When it comes to ironing out a final offer, don’t forget to account for the following list of demands, or you may just watch your ideal candidate walk across the street to your company’s competition.
What New Applicants Are Asking For:
Their checklist includes:
- flexible work schedules, including regular ability to work remotely
- robust wellness options, including fitness incentives and mental health counseling
- professional development opportunities, including formal mentoring programs
- value propositions in the company’s mission statement, including those explicitly designed to promote societal good
Having witnessed the failures of their parents’ employment benefits structures, millennial job seekers are staying firm in their demands to get these perks up-front and in writing from their prospective employers, or they simply drop out of the onboarding process and look for the next offer.
Learn more: Why Recruiters Must Shift With Freelancing
Why Does Your Company Need to Respond:
In a job market where talent can afford to play hardball, these asks have attained non-negotiable status, meaning the employer must comply, or the resource walks. Companies report losing 40% of their most promising candidates during the interview process simply because they aren’t incapable, or are unwilling, to meet candidate expectations.RippleMatch's research found the transitioning employees were willing to take a 10 to 20% pay cut it meant they could work for a company that promoted values that aligned with their own. In the end, value alignment is the primary driver behind all of this next generation’s roster of employment non-negotiables. If your company is taking active steps to reflect these values in its recruitment marketing, you’ll lose your bid on today’s best prospects.
Here’s a list of the top non-negotiables: Thriving Opportunities for Career Development:
- Today’s young professionals want convenient access to professional growth paths. They’re looking for formal mentoring programs and executive coaches that will enhance their career development. They want a company culture that promotes and supports professional development.
- With myriad "how-to" resources available to them on the internet, today’s young workforce is accustomed to having tools available to them. When they start a new job, they expect the same immediate access to powerful tools and learning resources.
- They also expect to be able to contribute to a universe of crowd-sourced learning by being able to contribute to company resource pages, chat channels, and mentoring others.
- Professional development opportunities help foster employee retention, especially if the employee feels there’s room to grow within the business itself.
Networking Contacts That Encompass the Entire Organization:
- Social networks and 24/7 access to connections to friends, family, and colleagues means young candidates expect to be able to meet and build relationships across team, departmental and geographical lines.
- Enabling these sort of cross-functional relationships increases employee engagement, productivity, retention, and ultimately creates a stronger talent bench.
- Mentorship programs make it easy and intuitive to connect with others based on shared experience, identity, or based on specific learning goals.
- Younger workers follow the credo: work hard to play hard. Their time away from work is very valuable to them. While they are willing to work hard on the job, they’re especially intuitive to when they are being over-worked and will move on if they feel the work/life balance is being compromised.
- Organizations that offer flexibility in work schedules seed employee content. This can take the form of flex-hours, remote days, sabbaticals and so-called unlimited vacation policies.
- The benefit to the Enterprise: Retention, retention.
Mission Statement / Work That Aligns With Their Millennial Values:
- A strong mission statement, with a clear and impactful giving component, will help young professionals readily engage with your organization
- Emphasize the lines between the work an individual does on a daily basis with the organization’s larger purpose
- Create a clear understanding of the work’s benefit to the organization: Entry-level employees who understand the inter-connectedness of business units and work roles will, over time, be better strategic thinkers and business-minded leaders.
- Develop robust onboarding programs which enable conversations with strategic leadership as an important part of conveying the mission to young professionals
Recruiters facing restricted hiring budgets need to find innovative ways to sweeten the hiring pot by acknowledging and facilitating the non-negotiables talented candidates arrive at the interview desk with. Aligning your benefits with the development opportunities the new workforce seeks and modifying your company’s mission statement to include a giving component that benefits society are two areas for immediate action.