With talent programs on the rise, employers are constantly looking for new ways to make their opportunities stand out to the best and the brightest students and grads.
These aspiring young professionals see talent programs as an opportunity to transition from school to work in a more controlled environment, which makes working with companies that offer them very attractive. However, there are certain elements that make certain talent programs more desirable to millennials over others.
1. A rotational feature
Students and grads know that in this day and age, it’s more valuable to have a wide range of skills, rather than just one or two specialized skills. Most fields demand flexibility from their candidates, so a rotational feature is the perfect setting for them to learn multiple roles within a single business.
Many students and grads say they love taking on different roles within a single business because it allows them to see how the different departments work together to create a fully functioning system. As an employer, offering to cross-train these individuals in different fields attracts them to your program, as well as helps them build an appreciation for your organization.
2. Feedback and recognition
It can be frustrating for a young student or grad to enter the professional working world without knowing if they’re doing a good job. After all, they most likely don’t have a point of reference to base their performances off of.
Feedback doesn’t always have to be given in a performance review. Casual engagements from management can do a lot for millennials. A simple “I like how you did this” or “why don’t you try this approach this time?” will help motivate and provide direction for their work. You will see better performance from your hire when they feel you are just as invested in their development as they are.
Consider setting up a mentorship program within your existing talent program if you haven’t already. When entering a new work environment, students and grads can feel hesitant to approach managers or co-workers with their problems if they don’t know who their questions are best suited for.
Something as simple as assigning each individual with an experienced professional at your work help students and grads feel like their questions and comments are welcome. Plus, they are looking for the chance to build connections during this experience, and a workplace mentor is a great place to start. As they build relationships within the company, and learn more about the business, you’ll have an easier time retaining your top talent for permanent positions. After all, millennials are very focused on finding a company where they fit in.
4. Courses and learning opportunities
Since every millennial is different, they have different preferences for how they gain new experiences. Class environments provide familiarity for students and grads making their transition from the school environment they’ve been raised in.
So why not offer a wide variety of learning opportunities to suit as many individuals as possible? Giving students and grads the opportunity to pursue different courses shows you’re willing to invest in their learning experiences. Plus, it’s a chance to create a unique and memorable experience by using new technology and workshop techniques to make it even more engaging. Having a unique selling point like this is sure to attract a wide pool of candidates to your talent programs, allowing you to select from the best of the best – and build them up to be even better!
5. Networking events
Students and grads don’t just wants workplace experience. They want to meet the best of the best in their field. Hosting networking events is a great way to have your talent come together in a more social environment.
Even something as simple as having your company’s management team meet the students and grads means a lot to an aspiring professional. Millennials who have had the opportunity to meet executives and top management from their organizations say that they felt the company really cared about their success within the program. This small gesture from a large company, which takes little effort and time to organize, can go a long way when it comes to putting your company in a positive light for your hires.
6. Community involvement
The millennial generation is all about making positive change. Their passions for social change and activism is reflected through their activity on social media and kickstarter programs, as well as their high involvement in community organizations.
Many students and grads say that workplace culture is highly important to them, and that they want the company they work for to reflect their values. Having company events to give back to the community not only creates a great social event for your talent, but also provides a solid selling point when they’re deciding whether or not to join your program. Plus, it’s great publicity for your company in general, so everyone wins!
Discussion: What is the most effective way to retain students and grads in your talent program?
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