Collins | What’s It Take To Attract The Best Employees?
I’ve said it before: Gen Z and Millennials are different.
In my last column, I covered research into their viewing habits. They are the first generations to grow up with streaming video, and that affects the ways they expect to access content. Instant access to information influences their actions in other areas, too.
Not long ago I was talking with the co-chairs for MFM’s 2020 CFO Summit. One of them suggested that we include a session about managing younger workers because their expectations seem to be so different from those of other employees. One of the other co-chairs agreed, commenting that we need to figure this out because they are important to the future of media. Not only are they consumers, they are also our next generation of leaders.
Before we can manage these young professionals, we need to find and hire them. Laurie Kahn, president of Media Staffing Network, just wrote a column about this for the July/August issue of MFM’s member magazine, The Financial Manager (TFM). Kahn contends that companies need to consider their social media presence as part of the hiring process.
Beware of ghosting
Kahn says that Millennials and Gen Zer’s are huge consumers of anything digital, using up to five different devices at a time. She goes on to state, “72% of all job seekers will search someone digitally prior to agreeing to a meeting,” with the youngest job seekers being the most research oriented. She also explained a phenomenon that I’ve experienced first-hand. If, after agreeing to a conversation, “they research you and don’t like what they find, they will more than likely ‘ghost’ you. In other words, they won’t show up.”
With unemployment at historical lows, a company’s social media presence is more important than ever. “Onboarding,” says Kahn, “is a hot term right now.” She believes it starts when a company promotes itself. In her opinion, media companies, which are so used to branding themselves, need to consider what their online image says to potential employees.
As you might imagine, the first place to start building your presence is on your company’s website, with particular attention focused on your career page. “The career page should be a sales tool that shows why the sorts of people you want to hire should consider joining your team and how you can help them in their career,” says Kahn.
Among her suggestions is using videos, limited to eight to ten seconds, to fit the short attention span of younger visitors. Videos might include testimonials from employees discussing why they chose your company and why they continue to stay. Additionally, she encourages companies to showcase the diversity of their employee base so potential employees can see how they would fit in. Using stock photos of diverse teams is probably not the way to go.
Highlighting your corporate social responsibility activities and support of local businesses is likely important to potential employees, so Kahn suggests highlighting your community and charitable work. Consider that current and prospective employees want to know that you value their unique contributions to the company, so that might be captured in one of your testimonials.
“Don’t be afraid to showcase pictures of company events like holiday or birthday parties, group gatherings, team-building events or successful community gatherings,” says Kahn. Also include benefits, perks and training opportunities that will help them see how they can grow and be successful within your company.
Glassdoor (glassdoor.com) boasts a hefty database of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more, all garnered from employees. Unfortunately, these can include negative comments from employees who believe they had a bad experience. To counter damaging reviews Kahn suggests encouraging happy employees to leave positive remarks. She also recommends that you complete a company profile including all the company offers employees.
Polish your management profiles
It’s not just the company that potential employees scrutinize. Kahn says LinkedIn is the first place people go for business networking. Therefore, it’s important that company leaders to have a well-written and up-to-date profile. She recommends it include a preferably professionally taken, “friendly” picture, along with an accurate summary of work style and history. “Use descriptive words instead of a title and include straight slashes in between to allow for stronger searching capabilities. Talk about yourself as a leader… If you have received awards, this is the place to include it and brag.” Conveying that the image of someone who is human as well as a strong, well-respected manager sends the message of an open and caring leader, which in turn, builds interest and trust in both the leader and the company.
According to Inc. magazine, the front page of your reputation isn’t your résumé or your social media profiles; it’s what pops up in a Google search. Read their article “The Right (and Wrong) Way to Use Google to Protect Your Reputation” for tips on how to go about that. Kahn agrees and suggests that managers do searches to see what is out there. Also, be mindful that if Facebook or Instagram are your social obsessions, you should utilize privacy restrictions as appropriate.
Social is the perfect place to showcase your company. Kahn says using it effectively includes posting information about new initiatives, platforms, or tools. Share the good news about awards the company has received, or stories about how it has helped the community, especially after a disaster.
While you are looking at these areas, bear in mind that consumers and clients are also savvy about using social sites when they want responses to issues. It might be prudent to make sure that comment areas are appropriately staffed and that response time is near immediate.
As Kahn concludes, social media can help you build your brand and attract that next generation of leaders. If you would like to read her complete column, entitled “Like Bees to Honey,” it can be viewed in the digital edition of the July/August 2019 issue of TFM, currently available from the MFM website.
Mary M. Collins is president and CEO of the Media Financial Management Association and its BCCA subsidiary, the media industry’s credit association. She can be reached at [email protected] and via the association’s LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook sites.