Adapting the Workplace to Retain Entry-Level Talent

If employers don’t adapt their working practices to meet new expectations, their most valuable employees will start voting with their feet.

The world of work is transforming faster than ever before, and it’s time for HR to upset the apple cart: to stop using the same approaches and to start challenging their senior leadership teams – or risk losing top talent.

With the rapid growth in female entrepreneurship in recent years, many women are now recognising that their developmental needs simply aren’t being met by their current employers – and are instead seeking fulfilling career opportunities through self-employment. History will repeat itself with millennials – both male and female – if employers don’t adapt their working practices. Millennials see themselves as economic entities; they understand the value they bring to their employers and aren’t prepared to compromise. And if employers don’t adapt the workplace accordingly – providing opportunities for meaningful development, upskilling and growth – their most valuable employees will start voting with their feet.

When many of today’s leaders come from an era of golden handcuffs and generous pensions, is it any surprise that organisations are struggling to retain entry-level talent? Younger generations take a more transactional view – collecting what they want, adding it to their suitcase of experiences and moving on. Without the traditional financial benefits offered by employers, millennials are taking matters into their own hands and monetising their skills and experiences.

With the improvement in working conditions over the last 100 years, employees now expect to have consumer-like experiences in the workplace: a stark contrast from the factory-line conditions that still exist in the third world. ‘A sense of purpose’ isn’t a concern for these workers, but as conditions improve, expectations increase.

With the global skills shortage ever-prevalent, we are moving away from the notion of employees needing to be grateful for employment. Those candidates with the right skillsets now hold the bargaining power; an interview is a two-way conversation, as much about the interviewer selling the role to the interviewee as it is the other way around.

The organisations that develop their brand as an ’employer of choice’, offering meaningful career development and upskilling opportunities as well as reinforcing their commitments around ethics, diversity and sustainability, will come out on top in the war for talent.

Employers can no longer expect the talent to come to them – and faced with intense competition for in-demand talent, candidate attraction efforts need to be more targeted, more proactive, and more relevant if an organisation is going to stand out from the crowd.

Learn more about how Right Management helps organisations to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest employees.