Reaching the Millennials | Attracting the right people is in how the story is told

By Tammy Schuster 

Reaching the Millennials - Attracting the right people is how the story is toldWith businesses adjusting to the era of the happy workplace, concepts such as social responsibility, company culture, and employee engagement are common buzz words used around the open-concept, flexible, shared workspace. They are used more so as companies shift their recruiting focus toward the millennials, the largest generation in the workforce today. 

While having these elements present within an organization is considered progressive, businesses may still be going about it in the wrong way.

“There is no secret when it comes to attracting and retaining talent,” says Eric Termuende, founder of The DRYVER Group. “But the major block is in the way companies are attempting to do it. Rather than focusing on speaking directly to a certain generation, companies should instead be revising the story they are telling.”

The DRYVER Group, an organization that focuses on intergenerational management, specializes in implementing how to tap into the new generation of the workforce where traditional HR practices no longer work. 

The idea behind the storytelling concept isn’t necessarily about being a millennial whisperer. Termuende says there should be more of an understanding of the life someone is able to live through the job he or she is doing, and not just a job description with a checklist of skills and requirements. 

“We are seeing employee shortages in agriculture, forestry, mining, transportation, construction, automotive, and so on,” says Termuende. “Many of these positions are entrepreneurial, creative, innovative, lucrative, fulfilling, and tangible but we are not telling the stories of these careers like we should be. We need to use people as case studies to help bring these jobs to life.”

He says that traditionally, professions such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers are typically the most successful professions because they have the best titles and salary, and have the most education and accumulated material. 

“Rather than trying to attract the next generation — or the millennials, so to speak — we’re trying to attract people who are looking for a certain experience,” he says. “We need to focus on who is working in construction, find out what they love about their jobs and tell that story to the people who are wanting a similar experience.” he says. 

Termuende says the focus should be on the values, views, and expectations of potential employees and not just the year they were born. By telling the story about what a particular job in construction will give someone, employers will attract a certain value set.

“Many organizations are looking to speak or think like a millennial, and in my opinion, it’s a waste of time because we are trying to generalize 7.5 million Canadians.”

Dryver Group

 

Termuende and his colleagues at DRYVER began looking at organizations that were trying to tackle what he calls a perceived millennial problem. “When we started to dive into this, I thought this could be bigger than what we originally thought the problem to be, and as a result we found a universal message that seems to be applicable through many industries and sectors.”

Typically, millennials are known to switch jobs on an average of every two to three years and most employers know all too well the massive cost of recruiting, training, and turnover, and there’s also a massive cost with having an unhappy work place. 

“That’s not to say the work we do has a direct line between profit and happiness,” says Termuende. “But it shows that there is a commitment within all industries to invest in human capital, and happiness in the workplace then translates into a stronger bottom line.” 

For more information on the DRYVER Group, visit their website at dryvergroup.com.


This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of SICA's Construction Review Magazine. To read the entire magazine click here.

 

 

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