4 Ways Small Businesses Can Attract and Retain Young Talent

The global work demography is gradually shifting to young talent. Don't be left behind.
4 Ways Small Businesses Can Attract and Retain Young Talent
Image credit: Westend61 | Getty Images
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's a strong connection between achieving business objectives and hiring the right talent, as your employees are integral to every stage of success. In addition, the desire to upscale your small business more easily becomes a reality when the energy and resourcefulness of young talent is effectively deployed.

The global work demography is gradually shifting to young people. To attract the right talent, you must create an environment that allows them to express their creativity while still learning from more established co-workers.

Related: Gen Z Teams Are Magic for Startup Leaders Who Overcome This Challenge

The competition is getting high for these young folks, and they know it. For them, it's a case of who offers the most -- and not just in terms of monetary value. So, to attract and retain them successfully, you need to increase your offer.

Here are four effective ways your small business can do just that.

1. Adopt an hourly remuneration option for young talent

Considering that young talent falls into the millennial category, their attention span is unreliable. An hourly remuneration option, however, can be the magic wand that gets them sending in their resumes. An hourly remuneration option provides them a sense of control over their earnings and is good motivator for them to remain in your business.

Related: 5 Ways to Market to That Fickle Group Called Millennials

Employees paid on an hourly basis are paid for actual hours worked. Unlike many salaried employees, hours per week may fluctuate based on a worker’s weekly schedule or rotated shifts, and therefore wages can vary for employees from week to week. A typical young talent wants to see loads of flexibility; hourly remuneration spells this for them.

2. Have a stellar recruitment package

For them, it is a thing of pride to work with a business that looks good in the public eye. How you go about your recruitment process is a necessary detail, if you want the right talent on your team.

For a demography that lives online, an excellently crafted career page on your website is worth the effort. The information on this page must be constantly updated, the outlook modified, and the user interface components upgraded to enhance page visit experience. The page should also possess relevant quick links and provide a desirable snapshot of the work environment.

Creative problem-solving skills and innovation are top qualities of young talent. They present a bridge between what used to be and the future of businesses. Hiring young talents comes with a price, and the most attractive bidder gets the most attention.

Related: Corporate America Needs to Understand These 4 Keys to Working With Millennials

3. Become millennial in outlook and operations

Most of today’s young workforce, up to seventy percent, believe that the skills needed today are different from those needed in the previous generations. They would tackle challenges at work or share knowledge in a different way than the previous generation.

According to Tawa Baha, CEO of Goodwall, a professional network designed to guide Gen Z and millennials as they navigate the future of work, "Today’s young talent is diverse, entrepreneurial, and more tech-savvy than previous generations... Young professionals bring a strong digital mindset and a wealth of experience and achievements to today’s workplace. To attract them, you’ll need to craft a talent recruitment strategy that engages them in new and unique ways."

A typical young talent would probably have his shorts on with eyeballs popping from extended hours on electronic devices and will be more open to embrace diversity than any other generation. This means that many of them, for instance, would prefer to be remote workers, have co-working spaces, surf the net, code, or do freelance jobs.

Related: You Stand to Lose Half Your Top Talent. Here's How to Stop Those People From Leaving.

So, to retain them, you will have to dance to their tune, or at least make some adjustments. You could create a more flexible schedule, hire more remote workers, or even do more online meetings than physical ones.

4. Provide purpose and meaning

The question of purpose and meaning is core to young talent. While they've been accused of lacking purpose, the truth is, many of the stereotypes at work against them are actually a result of their desire to create real meaning for themselves and other people.

It then follows that a work environment that is rich with purpose and addresses a meaning they are passionate about should get their attention -- even if the pay is not great. The average young talent wants to contribute his or her abilities to the attainment of lofty goals, while making real impact in the world.

This desire for meaning and quest for purpose comes with a dose of energy that must be tamed, channelled to productive purpose-embedded tasks and followed through on. If young talent is going to stay with your business, they want to see that you can provide leadership while they get the job done.

Great leadership is about exuding the core values of the business, upholding integrity and commanding obedience when necessary.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur