Pair new hires with a mentor to foster continuous career growth
While it’s been identified that the leadership traits of high-potential
talent may be quite similar to those of previous
generations, it’s also been learned that the motivations and priori-ties
of incoming talent are changing from generation to generation.
CHANGING CAREER MOTIVATIONS
It was first recognized through the millennial generation that career
drivers were changing. Potential for career growth and opportuni-ties
to have a visible impact ranked above salary and title as the
most important motivator – values opposite the Baby Boomer
predecessors and factors that continue to outweigh compensation.
Students now applying to entry-level positions are Gen Z, a
demographic that is reported to make up roughly 17.6 per cent
of Canada’s total population and 25 per cent of the workforce by
2020. Understanding how to attract and retain this talent ulti-mately
comes down to determining their motivating factors of
what specifically attracts them to organizations and what moti-vates
them to stay.
Recent data from TalentEgg’s “Guide to Canadian Campus
Recruitment” survey found that Gen Z valued social responsi-bility
and a sense of community more than any other job factors
– demonstrating a shift towards looking at a job as a central part of
their lifestyle and as a way to make an impact. In short, today’s top
talent coming out of post-secondary institutions responds best to
employers who care about more than just the bottom line – they
must be able to connect new talent to a higher purpose and keep
them engaged on tasks that have a clear and meaningful outcome.
Gen Z respondents also cited growth opportunities and career
development as more important than salary, following the trend
previously witnessed by the millennial generation. However, more
surprisingly, close to one third also reported that they were plan-ning
to stay in a job for four to six years – a significant increase
from the average 18-month stay by millennial workers. This is
good news for companies willing to invest in attracting and retain-ing
this new crop of talent.
ATTRACTING THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS
For organizations that truly want to capture the attention of these
socially-minded, highly collaborative and ambitious individuals,
being deliberate about recruitment and retention strategies will
■■ Showcase an organization’s social purpose: Gen Z employees
are passionate about organizations that are invested in making
a meaningful impact on the community. In fact, nearly one third
of those surveyed by TalentEgg said they would take a 10 to
20 per cent pay cut to work for a cause they deeply care about.
Employers should highlight their commitment to corporate
social responsibility initiatives – beyond what’s mentioned
in an annual report – and offer opportunities for students to
volunteer and participate.
■■ Provide non-stop opportunities for career growth: As
with prior generations, young professionals are driven by
opportunities to advance their careers – albeit at a much faster
pace. Organizations looking to retain top talent need to provide
development opportunities from the moment they are hired,
and keep these opportunities coming. These include pairing
new hires with superiors as mentors, providing opportunities
to take on more responsibility and learn other parts of the
business and giving them assignments that will test and build
their leadership capabilities.
■■ Be nimble and open-minded: Students and new graduates
have grown up in an environment where speed and connectivity
are an integral part of how they do just about everything. Gen
Z candidates are looking for signs that there will be plenty of
opportunities to connect and collaborate with their coworkers,
bring new ideas to the table and be listened to. They may be
the boldest generation we’ve seen, and they want to find quick
solutions to problems.
As this new generation enters the workforce in larger num-bers,
know this – they are committed to the organization and
want to grow. Don’t take these high-potential young leaders for
granted. Start thinking about retention now. Today’s young lead-ers
are prepared to make both organizations and the world a
better place. n
Eric Beaudan is global head of the Leadership Practice at Odgers
Berndtson. Mary Barroll is president at TalentEgg and general
counsel and vice president of Media Affairs at CharityVillage.
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN THIS TALENT
ULTIMATELY COMES DOWN TO DETERMINING THEIR MOTIVATING
FACTORS OF WHAT SPECIFICALLY ATTRACTS THEM TO
ORGANIZATIONS AND WHAT MOTIVATES THEM TO STAY.
22 ❚ FEBRUARY 2019 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL