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six ways to attract young talent to your small business

While age can never be the make or break decision in hiring, there is growing evidence that having a diverse workplace in terms of age is important to diversity of ideas. As Forbes  put it, “The fact is that millennials can bring youthful enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to the job, making them a valuable addition to your team.”

Small businesses face many challenges when it comes to recruiting young employees. As Fortune points out, Millennials might be the largest generation in the workforce, but their talents aren’t distributed evenly throughout corporate America. They have flocked to Silicon Valley in such a mass migration that the average age at some companies headquartered there is under 30.” Furthermore, a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal notes, insurance companies have to make 500,000 new hires over the next few years, as waves of industry lifers retire. However, most young people “just don’t want to work for insurance companies,” according to the Journal, which has led some companies to develop brash recruiting campaigns.

Regardless of your industry or where you’re located, there are a number of ways that a business can tilt the odds in their favor. Whether you’re hiring your first team member or bringing on some fresh talent, improve your company’s competitiveness in the labor market with these six simple tips to attract young talent.

6 Ways to Attract Young Talent to Your Small Business

  1. Offer Employees Flexibility
  2. Start A Blog
  3. Offer Current Employees Bonuses for Hiring Referrals
  4. Learn How to Use LinkedIn
  5. Find Local Sources of Young Talent
  6. Get Feedback on Your Hiring Process

Offer Employees Flexibility

Students coming out of college are still adjusting from only going to class for several hours a day and doing the rest of their work when it fits in their schedule. As these people graduate from college and begin looking for full-time positions, a rigid 9-5 office job can be daunting. One way to address this is to give your employees flexibility in when and where they complete their work. Some companies allow employees the flexibility to work from home or coffee shops a certain number of days a week, while others offer unlimited days working from home. With the rise of remote work and team productivity tools like Slack and Basecamp, integrating people in different places and times into one project has never been easier. It’s important to find a system that works well for the team that is hiring since some jobs require everyone to be physically present. However, the more ways you can find to give your employees flexibility, the more likely you are to attract the best candidates.

Start a Blog

Posting about the ins and outs of daily business can be a great way to attract people who are interested in your company. People reading blogs are not always people looking for jobs, but having a blog is a great way to get people familiar with your company who might be looking for a job later. A blog is also a great platform to use your voice as a company: writing with a certain tone and character is a great way to show what your company culture celebrates.

If your company is doing technical things, technical blog posts can be particularly useful in reaching potential candidates. Organizations like Google Research, Amazon Web Services, and Uber have all successfully used their blog to talk about the types of technical challenges they face. People reading the blog post get a chance to follow the thinking of the person writing a blog post, which is a different type of interaction that one usually gets to have with a company. Online communities like HackerNews can be great places to post these technical blogs since many programmers frequent the site in search of such content.

Offer Current Employees Bonuses for Hiring Referrals.

Many companies offer their employees cash bonuses or other benefits if they refer a candidate to the company who is hired successfully. Referral bonuses are advantageous because employees understand what working within the business entails, and they are positioned to identify who else might be suited for that environment. Potential candidates benefit from seeing a new opportunity; employees benefit as they can offer value to their networks with the potential for financial compensation, and the company benefits by attracting more people into its hiring funnel. The significant part is that since referral benefits are granted only when you hire an employee, you a

re incentivizing people to bring in high-quality candidates.

Learn how to use LinkedIn

Small business owners are uniquely positioned to understand the needs of their businesses. However, when it comes to finding people with the specific skills and talents for a position, it can be hard to sort through the mountains of potential candidates. The good news is that the LinkedIn search tool is an incredibly powerful way which can help you narrow down which candidates could be a fit. The LinkedIn search tool can help you search for people with certain skills in given geographic reasons. It can also help you search for people currently at a given university in a particular major or search for people with specific skills at other companies.

If you find a candidate that may be an exceptional fit, you might consider reaching out directly. The LinkedIn messaging platform is generally full of spam, so messages through this platform are not likely to be taken seriously. Most people have their email address on their profile, so consider sending a personalized email. This is a great way to start a conversation about their interests. In the email, briefly introduce yourself and explain why you are reaching out to them personally as someone who may be an exceptional fit. If the person is interested, you just attracted another candidate to the hiring pipeline.

Find Local Sources of Young Talent

Is there a specific university near you with a program that aligns with your company’s interests? Many colleges and high schools offer students credit for doing internships. This can be a great way to get fresh talent into your company. While interns are still ramping up within your company, they can offer new perspectives on how you do things. One of the most valuable things that interns bring is an awareness of their generation. Understanding these attitudes can help you to craft your hiring experience to be attractive to young people, which is a competitive advantage over companies that aren’t innovating in this area.

Get Feedback on Your Hiring Process

Potential candidates are trying to assess what life is like at your company. The hiring process is one of the primary interactions that they will have with your company. Thus, the better the experience for the candidate, the more likely they will be to accept an offer should one be extended, and the more successful they will be in your employee training program. One of the most powerful ways you can improve this process is by asking people who have gone through it – namely your current employees.

The goal is to get a better understanding of the types of things candidates pay attention to in the hiring process. The things that the candidates thought was interesting or attractive are valuable, as it may give you insight into your own company culture that you hadn’t had yourself. The things that candidates dislike are also relevant. Common things that discourage candidates include asking people to fill out forms that could be taken from resume data and asking people to complete personality or aptitude tests. Candidates are often applying to multiple jobs, so adding friction to your application process will not help drive application numbers.


Wrapping It Up

By paying attention to the current trends and available tools, you can find ways to attract young talent into your company. Additionally, creating a seamless application experience is crucial to boosting the number of qualified applicants applying to work for you. With these simple steps in mind, position your company to attract young talent for your next job posting better.


six ways to attract young talent to your small business