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Wed, Apr 25, 2012

Talent Strategies

How Small Businesses Can Recruit Gen Y Talent

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You may hear a lot of complaints about the youngest members of the workforce today, but thanks to Generation Y, there’s never been a better time for small businesses that are hoping to attract top talent away from big companies, says Roberta Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions and author of “Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around,” in this video from the Monster Resource Center.

Gen Y, also known as the Millennials, is  “much more concerned with finding a workplace where there is a mission,” said Matuson. “They really want to do good things in the world and if your organization happens to be doing that, you’ll have a much better chance of getting them than one of the Fortune 500 companies.”

That doesn’t mean your company needs an ambitious mission to save the world, end hunger or cure cancer, though. More modest commitments such as contributing to revitalizing your city, providing the best customer service in town or helping people save time in their busy lives also count. The important thing is that you stand for a purpose that’s larger than just growing larger and making more money.

Gen Y also cares a great deal about making connections and that includes connecting with the organization where they work, says Matuson. “Just because you’re a small employer doesn’t mean you can’t provide these connections.”

“When I work with my small-business clients to help them create environments that are attractive” to this demographic of workers, says Matuson, the focus is on creating small social groups around people’s interests, such as a foodie group, a book club or a walking group. That’s something even a business with about 15 employees can do.

Even if you don’t have enough people or interest to form small groups like those Matuson suggests, you can still do things to create strong connections among your employees. Try a regular lunch out, happy hour or outing to somewhere fun. Shared experiences such as going to a movie, attending a baseball game or playing miniature golf give employees something to talk about besides work and give them a chance to get to know their co-workers better.

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