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3 Tips to Retain Young Professionals

Ian Cameron Jun 30, 2014 6:00:00 AM

MillennialsJust hired a highly-skilled, motivated young person? Great! Be prepared to say goodbye to them in about two years. Forbes reports that young workers are turning to job-hopping as the new norm. This is obviously bad news for companies, as they watch high potentials they spent time and money recruiting leave for other opportunities. Better compensation may seem like a good solution, but it isn't necessarily the answer.

Employees - especially young employees - look to the future. They are driven to better themselves, contribute to their employer in a meaningful way, and grow their career. The good news is, you can use job analysis and employee development to convince even your most pie-in-the-sky dreamer to stay invested in your company. Start with these three tips to reduce turnover:

1) Make sure your job description attracts the right employee.

Employees should already be a good fit for the job on their first day of work. In order to get the applicants you want, you need a job description that goes beyond a list of responsibilities and required experience. Take time to analyze all the success criteria for a role and craft your description and requirements to target exactly the type of person who will excel in it, helping you attract the people who will succeed. Here's a free tool that will help.

2) Show prospective employees where they can go.

There's nothing more exciting to a young professional in a job interview than hearing about where they can go in the future. Remember, Millennials are ambitious: Show them that they can get to the top of their career within 10 years and they'll be much more inclined to stay with your company. Show your applicants that they'll have control over their careers and how you’ll support them in their growth.

3) Develop a track record of internal promotion.

Show is better than tell, right? Young professionals know better than to believe everything they're told, so you need to back up your claims of career advancement potential by showing them success stories. To do this, your company needs to actually allow good employees to be great and to get promoted. Boost your employees' development by using self-assessment and coaching to further their goals in their careers. Then use examples of employees who have succeeded to demonstrate the opportunities to others.

These are just some of the tips to retain young, highly-skilled professionals. We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

Topics: Employee Engagement, Recruitment, Employee retention

Ian Cameron

Written by Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron is the Managing Director of The McQuaig Institute®. He has more than 20 years of Human Resource and Organizational Development consulting experience. Throughout his career Ian’s focus has been on helping organizations realize their goals through their people and helping people live their passion through their work.