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How Generational Gaps Impact Talent Retention & Recruiting Strategies

talent retention

How Generational Gaps Impact Talent Retention & Recruiting Strategies

Workforce development in the modern age presents a new level of opportunities and challenges to companies seeking to enhance their talent pool. Factors such as technology innovation, information overload, and new generations entering the workforce require thought leaders and experts to identify the best options to meet company needs. In order to attain this, recruiters must understand potential employees at their core and visualize the potential value and growth for both parties. This level of expertise is difficult to find. Dozens of talent recruiting websites and services exist in the marketplace with a similar promise: guaranteed results. What they don’t guarantee is the right kind of results. If a company is provided with five candidates with years of experience, but lacking the knowledge, skills, and company culture needed to thrive, the “results” go stale and the process is restarted, resulting in a never-ending cycle with a low success rate. 

“This is a relational business, not a transactional one. If you view it as the latter, you’ll surely fail long term,” explains Anthony Fletcher, President and CEO of My Future Consulting. “Whether you’re in search of a new business opportunity or an exceptional candidate, I found that organic, genuine, and empowering relationships enable businesses to build a network comprised of the most talented, knowledgeable, influential, and accomplished professionals in the world.” 

Anthony Fletcher boasts a wealth of knowledge developed over 20 years managing Fortune 100 company’s operations, manufacturing, planning and sales. Through his dedication to understanding people, Mr. Fletcher demonstrates competitive knowledge required to develop a successful approach in matching the right people with the right jobs and beyond. My Future Consulting differentiates the recruiting process through a carefully developed process that considers the needs of both employers and candidates, ultimately ensuring life-long partnerships while tackling the challenges in workforce development head-on. 

Candidates in the modern workforce come with a variety of personalities, levels of skills, experience, and expectations. Furthermore, generational gaps create complexities that can be difficult to navigate, especially for a company looking to fill a vital position quickly and successfully. The hiring process has evolved significantly in recent years and now requires a granular approach to recruiting the right people to build a lasting team. Simply put, there is no “one size fits all” approach and it takes an expert in people to successfully achieve such results. That’s the difference My Future Consulting brings to companies in eight different industries, boasting a 93 percent employee placement retention rate. 

“’Your Future is Our Priority’” is embodied in every phase of the search process. Our end goal is to make the process both seamless and stress-free for all stakeholders,” adds Mr. Fletcher. “Unlike most recruitment firms where recruiting is approached transactionally, My Future Consulting approaches it as a relationship-based business. We take tremendous pride in critically evaluating necessary steps to ensure all of our clients have a phenomenal experience during each and every phase of the recruitment process. Additionally, 95 percent of our candidates and 90 percent of our clients lack the knowledge and/or resources to effectively negotiate salary and compensation. This is another reason why our services are greatly valued as we are able to propose a competitive compensation – a package that presents a win-win outcome for both the candidate and client.” 

Taking it a few steps further, My Future Consulting focuses on presenting candidates to clients that bring results through a thorough understanding of company culture and the differences presented in different generations of employees seeking a family of companies to grow with. Among the major differences in the talent market today is the emergence of Gen Z into the mix of millennials and baby boomers. Communication, experience, goals, and skills are unique to each candidate presented. An example of this is seen with the level of experience in technology. While a seasoned Millennial candidate presents skills in communication and writing, a Gen Z candidate with less experience might present a deeper knowledge of platforms vital to a company’s audience. If an overwhelmed supervisor is tasked with the responsibility to fill a position quickly, identifying these factors could very well be overlooked and the right candidate dismissed. 

“From a recruitment standpoint, it can be extremely challenging for Baby Boomers who may not be knowledgeable of the many social media platforms and networks that exist today, as this has become a primary connection point for most millennials, Gen Z and a few straggling Baby Boomers,” adds Fletcher. “Lack of engagement on the aforementioned could result in a competitive disadvantage in the war of talent that exists in today’s job market.”

More so than before, finding the right talent has proven to be increasingly difficult as more factors present themselves in a variety of industries. The workforce culture is changing while technology is advancing and companies are confronted with the need for change in developing a strong team. What proved to be successful previously is not guaranteed to work in the modern age. Hiring managers and business owners alike are beginning to realize addressing these challenges is best left for the experts to tackle. 

“For Gen Z and Millennials, technology is the most appealing aspect of a job and lack thereof will only lead to high turnover. Today’s candidates lean towards organizations that are always on the cutting edge of technology. For those companies that have an antiquated approach in running their organization, they are perceived to be out of touch, stifling the individual capability of the organization, thus leading to morale and performance issues – a recipe for mass exodus.” 

Understanding a candidate from a generational, cultural, and skills point of view is not something companies can rely on an average recruiting website or firm to deliver on. What many recruiters fail to understand is how to determine which candidates are ready for the next step in an industry and which candidates need some finessing for placement success. From the personalized, 10-point resume assessment services to its career transition services, the experts at My Future Consulting address recruiting from both sides to ensure the right candidates are set up for success and while companies are paired with the best option. Instead of isolating one side, both participants in the process are evaluated holistically, resulting in satisfied clients and employees. 

“Every search begins with the goal of it lasting. When uniting candidates with clients, we go into each search with the thought of it being a long-term business marriage,” adds Fletcher. “Long term viability is our end goal, so we go to great lengths to understand the needs and goals of both the candidate and the clients. Once we identify what we perceive to be the ideal candidate we begin to court them accordingly.” 

“Based on the unsolicited feedback we’ve consistently received from both the candidate and our valued client base, our unique methodology, timely and personalized style of communication clearly differentiates us from any perceived competitors. We firmly believe that effective communication is critical and serves as the foundation for our firm. It enables us to provide clear direction and impeccable service to our clients.” 

Another critical element in today’s workforce is the theme of diversity and inclusion – regardless of the industry. This directly ties in with the Gen Z and Millennial generations entering the workforce and what is expected as a standard, not a “perk.” There’s a direct correlation between company culture and employee satisfaction, quality of work, and most importantly, company reputation. If a company neglects its own culture (i.e. people), employees can lose motivation, creating more positions to fill, raising turnover rates, and restarting the never-ending cycle. If a company is known for extensive hours, poor culture, and lack of technology, a qualified candidate – particularly a Gen Zer, can become quickly disinterested and offer their skills to a competitor. Even worse is when that employee spreads the message of poor culture and working conditions to other potential candidates. Word of mouth plays an equal part in developing your company’s profile in the talent pool. 

Fletcher adds: 

“Jobs that lack an intense level of engagement from a digital space could lead to boredom, which if not addressed could result in high turnover. Gen Zers appear to be more motivated by security versus millennials, who tend to be motivated by purpose. This explains the constant job-hopping and indecisiveness when it comes to career choices among these generations of workers. This also shows how critical it is to know your employee’s career goals and motivations as well as talent opportunities.” 

“Work experience and skill set are equally critical when identifying solid talent to present to our clients. However, a vibrant, inclusive, and engaging work environment is where we expend immeasurable energy in to ensure that we’re putting candidates in a position to succeed from the moment their step on the campus of the new employer.” 

Taking it another step further is balancing the needs of both employers and employees once the right candidate has been identified and hired. This is one of the most critical steps once an employee has been selected and begins integrating into a company’s atmosphere – beyond the deliverables and daily tasks. An example of this is commonly found with Gen Z candidates and accurately assessing career paths against personal goals, expectations, and skills development. Today’s workforce requires career-mapping and consistent goal setting for success. 

“Gen Zers operate with an entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic, meaning they are high energy, self-motivated, and independent in thought. This poses a tremendous challenge for most hiring managers that typically oversee more traditional operations where policies and procedures not only guide, but sometimes place a stranglehold on employees and their success. Striking a balance is the key to success,” adds Fletcher. “Studies have shown that both Gen Zers and Millennials want to be catered to quite intensely. I believe that applies to all generations, but the latter is simply more outspoken about it. This can pose a problem to hiring managers that are Baby Boomers, as their inclination is to not to coddle candidates, leading to miscommunication and unmanaged expectations which ultimately results in loss of job opportunities, career advancement, and retention rates dropping.” 

From managing expectations to providing the right amount of challenges and feedback for this generation, it takes an expert in people to ensure the match is successful in the long-term. This is another way My Future Consulting differentiates itself among talent recruiters. It’s through the extensive knowledge and expertise offered that 93 percent of their candidates thrive in their new roles, followed through with consistent checks and balances to ensure retention is achieved. 

“We identify the five most critical skills sets that are required to be successful in the role we’re recruiting for and provide a detailed analysis of each that is included in our candidate submission summary. Once a candidate is converted to employee, our firm check-in with the candidate on day 60-90-180. No other search firm in the world has a similar practice. We send congratulatory gifts to the client and candidate up signing. We also celebrate the candidates 1st year anniversary and follow-up with the candidate twice a year to discuss performance, culture, and transition.” 

The My Future Consulting difference speaks for itself through satisfied clients and successful employees the firm has placed in a multitude of industries over the years. The unmatched knowledge found within the team of experts at My Future Consulting goes beyond addressing recruiting and retention roadblocks and spotlights the importance of company reputation. Not only does the firm take pride in connecting companies to candidates but takes the time to prepare the next generation of workers for their ideal job while growing businesses nationwide. 

“Over 95 percent of the candidates that we look to present to our industry leading clients are passive professionals, thus not actively searching for a new opportunity. We are often referred to them by trusted associates, both past and present. New business opportunities tend to arise from satisfied clients and business partners who refer new clients to our firm. In fact, 80 percent of our new business is a result of unsolicited client referrals. This data point, as you would imagine, makes us very proud as an organization,” Fletcher concludes. 

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Anthony Fletcher, Sr. (@Real_AFletcher) is the owner and president of My Future Consulting and Integrity Sports Agency. Drawing from over two decades of Executive Management experience in leading innovative solutions, staff building and talent recruitment, Mr. Fletcher founded My Future Consulting (MFC) in 2007. Working towards innovation based on his experience of matching the right person with the right job, this innovative staffing company has revolutionized how organizations meet their need with experienced and high-potential talent. My Future Consulting was founded on the principle that people are an organization’s most important asset and was ranked as a Top 20 Employment Agency in Chicago by Expertise.com in 2018 and 2019. 

Mr. Fletcher is a popular keynote speaker and can often be found sharing his story and insights on leadership, empowerment, and the importance of people with professional, civic, and community organizations. He is also a lecturer and visiting professor at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. 

Anthony lives in Orlando Park, Ill. with his family. He is a dedicated philanthropist and volunteer, serving as a chairperson and fundraiser for many area nonprofit organizations. Mr. Fletcher has raised over $54,000 for MS Walk and volunteers as an executive advisor to organizations, 

including the American Diabetes Association, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Feed Our Starving Children. 

Want Employees To Love What They Do? Here Are 4 Ways To Get There.

Bosses might want to take notice if employees view their jobs as “the daily grind.”

A disgruntled and disengaged workforce can undermine production and harm customer relations, while a happy, engaged workforce does the opposite.

“If you take care of your employees, they will be better prepared and far more motivated to take care of your customers,” says Shawn Burcham (www.shawnburcham.com), founder and CEO of PFSbrands and author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success.

“Ideally, you want employees who think and act like owners.”

Burcham says one of the first steps toward cultivating such an environment is to communicate openly with employees. And that may be even more crucial today because newer generations entering the workforce want to know the “why” of what they are doing.

“Millennials value truth and honesty,” Burcham says. “They also are looking for personal growth, education, and continuous learning. If companies want to scale, then they need to embrace millennials and work to create an environment where they are engaged.”

He suggests four ways leaders can help their employees love what they do:

Have fun at work. People spend more hours at their jobs than doing just about anything else, Burcham says, so the time might as well be enjoyable rather than drudgery. Some simple ways people can have fun at work include cracking jokes, decorating their work areas, or celebrating employee birthdays. For Burcham, the work itself is fun. “As a leader, I want to provide an environment conducive to having fun,” he says. “I also let our employees know that it is up to them to make having fun a reality within their job and their department.”

Coach them up. All employees must be willing to learn at a pace consistent with the company’s growth, Burcham says. “Usually, we hire people with a skillset that enables them to scale with us,” he says. “Sometimes, though, we have employees who are challenged to ‘make the leap’ with us. When that happens, we work with them to find a role on our team where they can excel. We want to provide them with every opportunity and tool we can to help them adapt.”

Maintain a positive attitude. Most successful people exude a positive attitude, are optimistic, and have a never-quit personality, Burcham says. “Who wants to work in an environment of doom and gloom?” he asks. One way to cultivate an upbeat workplace is to strive to hire only “A” players, people who want to be the best at their jobs and take pride in making positive contributions.  “But anyone can be or become an A player,” Burcham says. “It simply revolves around having a positive attitude along with a desire to learn and constantly improve.”

Show appreciation. Employees want to know that the bosses – and their coworkers – appreciate them, so it’s important to find ways to show them. Burcham says at his company new hires are welcomed by dozens of emails from their team members before they even arrive for the first day of work. When they start, two or three dozen employees gather to greet them with a high five. “For our team, it’s all about gratitude,” Burcham says. “It’s not, ‘I have to go to work today.’ It’s, ‘I get to go to work today.’ ”

“I think the real key,” Burcham says, “is to hire people who are already motivated and then put them in an environment where they can excel. Engaged employees are fun to work with and they will go the extra mile for their customers as well as their peers.

 

Shawn Burcham (www.shawnburcham.com), author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success, is the founder & CEO of PFSbrands, which he and his wife, Julie, started out of their home in 1998. The company has over 1,500 branded foodservice locations across 40 states and is best known for their Champs Chicken franchise brand which was started in 1999. Prior to starting PFSbrands, Burcham spent five years with a Fortune 100 company, Mid-America Dairymen (now Dairy Farmers of America). He also worked for three years as a Regional Sales Manager for a midwest Chester’s Fried chicken distributor.

questions

Hiring The Wrong People? Maybe You’re Asking Them The Wrong Questions.

A company’s intention in a job interview is to find the person who best fits a particular position. But recent research has shown that quite often, the candidate who was hired failed, and usually their exit was related to attitude issues that weren’t revealed in the interview.
That raises the question: Are interviewers asking the wrong questions — and consequently hiring the wrong people? Alex Zlatin, CEO of Maxim Software Systems (alexzlatin.com), says some traditional styles of interviewing are outdated, thus wasting time and resources while letting better candidates slip away.
“It still astounds me to meet HR professionals who lack the basic skills of interviewing,” says Zlatin, author of the book Responsible Dental Ownership. “In 2019, ‘tell me about yourself’ is still a way to start an interview, and that’s absurd. The only thing you get is people who describe the outline of their resume, which you already know.
“You want to get to know the candidate’s personality in the interview. In a normal setting, you would have about one hour to do this. But some traditional interview practices waste this precious time, and you can miss out on great talent and instead hire a mediocre one.”
Zlatin offers the following interview approaches to help HR leaders, recruiters and executives find the right candidate:
Make it a two-way conversation.  Zlatin says traditional interviewing focuses too much on the candidate’s skills and experience rather than on their motivation, problem-solving ability, and willingness to collaborate. Thus, he suggests configuring the interview in a non-traditional, informal way to gain insight into the candidate’s personality. “Rather than make most of the interview a rigid, constant question-and-answer format that can be limiting to both sides, have a two-way conversation and invite them to ask plenty of questions,” Zlatin says.
Flip their resume upside down.  “Surprise them by going outside the box and asking them something about themselves that isn’t on their resume or in their cover letter,” Zlatin says. “See how creatively they think and whether they stay calm. You want to see how a candidate thinks on their feet — a trait all companies value.”
Ask open-ended questions. Can this candidate make a difference in your company? Zlatin says answering that question should be a big aim of the interview. “Ask questions that allude to how they made a difference in certain situations at their past company,” Zlatin says. “Then present a hypothetical situation and ask how they would respond.”
Don’t ask cliched questions. Zlatin says some traditional interview questions only lead to candidates telling interviewers what the candidate thinks the company wants to hear. “Interviewers should stop asking pointless questions like, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ “ Zlatin says. Or, ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’ Candidates rehearse these answers, and many of them are similar, so that doesn’t allow them to stand apart.”
Learn from the candidate’s questions. The questions candidates ask can indicate how deeply they’ve studied the company and how interested they really are. “A good candidate uses questions to learn about the role, the company, and the boss to assess whether it’s the right job for them,” Zlatin says.
Don’t take copious notes. Zlatin says the tendency by interviewers to write down the candidates answers and other observations is “a huge obstacle to building a solid two-way conversation because it removes the crucial element of eye contact.”
“An effectively done interview allows the employer to get both an in-depth and big-picture look at a candidate,” Zlatin says. “Judging whether they might fit starts with giving them more room to express in the interview.”
________________________________________________________________
Alex Zlatin, author of the book Responsible Dental Ownership (alexzlatin.com), had more than 10 years of management experience before he accepted the position of CEO of dental practice management company Maxim Software Systems. He earned his MBA at Edinburgh Business School and a B.Sc. in Technology Management at HIT in Israel. His company helps struggling dental professionals take control of their practices and reach the next level of success with responsible leadership strategies.
culture

Who’s Responsible For Your Company’s Culture? Look In The Mirror, Leaders.

Extensive research has shown that a positive work culture often results in productive employees who both value their work and feel valued themselves.
But company leadership, not the employees, usually creates that culture. Executives and managers have a significant responsibility to establish a positive culture that is conducive to company success.
“Culture can be thought of as the inner life of the organization,” says Cynthia Howard (www.eileadership.org), an executive coach, performance expert, and author of the book The Resilient Leader, Mindset Makeover: Uncover the Elephant in the Room.
“It is the self-sustaining mix of values, attitudes, and behavior that drives performance. Culture is the brand identity of the company, and it has the ability to attract and retain great talent or not. Thus, it’s incumbent on the leaders to be aware of their culture, what they can do to improve it, and honestly assess if it’s the kind of place where people want to be and want to grow.”
Another key reason that company leaders need to make work culture a high priority, Howard says, is because millennials — who comprise the largest segment of the workforce — rank culture as their top consideration when choosing where to work.
Howard offers five ways leaders can foster a positive work culture:
Model positive, respectful behavior. Howard says a positive work culture starts with the leader setting the tone, which can send the right message to leaders at other levels in the company. “Don’t play the blame game,” Howard says. “Encourage an environment where it’s OK to make mistakes and move forward. Frontline staff crave leaders who understand them and care about them, will mentor them, and will provide professional guidance to make fair and tough decisions.”
Show gratitude. “Show your gratitude and appreciation for accomplishments by acknowledging people during a meeting or with a note,” Howard says. “Celebrating wins lifts morale, and when people know they will be recognized for exceptional work, they’ll be more motivated.”
Communicate consistently and with clarity.  “Keep employees in the loop with consistent updates,” Howard says. “Give them regular feedback, not just at review time. This keeps people connected, feeling part of the team, and removes the mystery — and inherent tension — of where they stand. Create clear goals, and make everyone feel that they are necessary components toward reaching those goals. That inspires an environment of inclusion, pride and commitment.”
Really listen. “This is the important other side of communication that some leaders fail to master,” Howard says. “For the leaders underneath you and the employees throughout a company to truly feel valued, they have to know they have a voice and that it will be heard. Be open and encouraging to others’ ideas and solutions.”
Promote collaboration. One of a company leader’s primary jobs is getting the most out of their team — mainly by defining the importance of team. “Maximizing the strengths of a team means knowing each person’s uniqueness and talents and using them in the best possible way,” Howard says. “It also means creating a culture where everyone respects each other’s talents and is enthusiastic about working together for the greater good.”
“Poor culture leads to lots of turnover,” Howard says. “When you as a leader instill and insist on a positive culture, you reap the benefits. Happy, engaged employees mean a thriving company.”
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Cynthia Howard (www.eileadership.org) is an executive coach, performance expert and the author of The Resilient Leader, Mindset Makeover: Uncover the Elephant in the Room. She researched stress and its consequences in performance during her PhD. In the past 20-plus years she has coached thousands of professionals, leaders and executives toward emotional agility and engaged leadership. 

GT Podcast – Episode 117 – Anthony Fletcher with My Future Consulting

Acquiring top talent is more challenging then ever. In this episode Anthony Fletcher, CEO and President, of My Future Consulting shares his expertise on what it takes to attract winning talent, and keep them.

new tech

How To Introduce Employees To New Tech

New technology solutions can have a positive impact, not just your how you work, but on your office culture. Sometimes new platforms that drastically change your regular processes can intimidate and alienate workers who are used to working in traditional systems and procedures.

It’s normal for workers to at first be apprehensive to big changes when they’ve grown used to the way things have been done for years. That’s why it’s important to see things from their point of view and understand that change is tough.

Help Them See The Value

When introducing new tech solutions to your colleagues, it’s important to make them understand why you’re implementing it and what it will do for the business. Explain not just how it will benefit the business in general, but how it will benefit their specific roles and what the impact will be.

If it’s a tool that’s meant to streamline a certain process, be sure to impress on them that the time saved will allow them to focus on more and grow their roles. If it’s a solution that’s meant to free up more resources, discuss with them how they now direct that saved budget and labor to more productive things. If they can see the value it will bring to them as an individual, you can make them excited to learn more about it and look forward to its implementation.

Document management solutions represent a big shift in how businesses interact with their documents, especially if you’re transitioning from a mostly paper-driven structure. However, it’s a technology that vastly improves business processes by introducing tools like automation and intelligent organization.

Make a Plan and Keep Them In The Loop

Many big tech solutions require time for implementation and onboarding. It rarely happens overnight, so having a roadmap for implementation is essential to make sure it all goes smoothly. More importantly, staying transparent with your employees on this roadmap is helpful in easing them into the new system. Letting them know what they can expect during the implementation period can give them ease and let them know that they have time to get used to the transition rather than just diving in.

Give Them Time

New technology always has a learning curve, and this is especially true for those who aren’t used to working with it as part of their job. While some are quick learners and early adopters, there is an equal number of those who have more of a struggle learning how things work. They won’t get it overnight, so it’s important to be patient and encouraging. A transitional period where they’re still allowed to get their job done the old way while learning the new way is encouraged if possible. As long as they’re willing to learn and not resistant, it’s worth it to let them grow at their own pace, all while providing the necessary support such as additional training and mentoring.

Incentivize

If some employees are more resistant than others to adopt new platforms, it doesn’t hurt to throw out some incentives to encourage them to embrace the change. Having perks such as free lunch with training will make those employees a little more enthusiastic about attending those meetings.

Get creative with tying small rewards to the use of the new tech solution as well as implying bigger forms of recognition for demonstrating proficiency and enthusiasm for the new system. Letting them know that the skills learned from training will reflect across their entire career and showcase their adaptability.

Listen to Them

Taking in feedback is an important part of any business decision, not listening to your employee’s opinions and concerns about adopting a new tech solution. Encouraging an environment where your colleagues can discuss freely their experience with the current processes and how introducing a new factor that will impact those processes will help inform how you build out your implementation roadmap and how you go about training. Being open to their ideas of how to transition and addressing their concerns will make them feel part of the process and not feel like it’s being forced upon them.

Jesse Wood is the CEO of eFileCabinet, a best-of-breed advanced document management system that improves the lives of people, small to enterprise-level businesses, and their clients. Wood has 20 years of leadership experience innovating custom technical solutions for a wide range of business applications.