Attracting Millennials & Gen Z to Heavy Equipment Industries
With Millennials now representing the largest generational segment of the U.S. labor force and Generation Z poised to enter the labor market, the question of how traditional industries can attract these younger workers has become increasingly critical. From misperceptions of what these generations expect in a career to missteps in adjusting their internal structures and systems, many mature industries have failed to properly attract, recruit and retain emerging generations. While it may seem difficult for large companies to alter their course, there are a number of things that can be done at all levels to highlight the opportunities within their industry.
Growth and Reward
While initial compensation is a universal point of concern for potential hires, regardless of generation, Millennials have a propensity to pursue careers that outline clear paths of growth and learning. Many companies have shown an almost reflexive resistance to this need, insisting that they are providing young employees with skills and experience that they will then use to leverage into a job with a competing company. This is an unfortunate and pessimistic way of viewing the professional development of your workforce, and it has little basis in reality. Millennials are far more likely to stay at their job than their predecessors, Generation X. Additionally, the desire Millennials express to have growth opportunities clearly laid out does not speak to job-hopping behavior, but rather reinforces the fact that like any other group, they desire security in their career.
So you have provided a clear plan for growth and development. What next? Regardless of how transparent you are about internal potential, is your company the kind of place where employees enjoy being? Younger generations are acutely aware that the majority of their waking life will be spent focused on their careers, and they want their places of employment to be something that adds value to their life beyond monetary compensation. A company that values the balance their employees are seeking stands to be an employer of choice for the younger generations.
Looking to the Future
Millennials are not only interested in the future of their individual careers, but they are interested in the prospects of the companies that employ them. A forward-thinking organization speaks volumes to the commitment a company has regarding its workforce. Younger generations gravitate towards businesses that are actively addressing how they plan to operate in the future. Especially in industries like mobile equipment and fluid power, a clear path as to how an organization intends to operate in a conscientious manner implies a vision for growth and profitability beyond the short term. Awareness regarding issues related to energy efficiency and adaptive technologies is not attractive within the frame of social consciousness, but such awareness tells young jobseekers that an organization is realistic in its intention to adapt and succeed for an evolving future.
The window for companies to address the impediments inhibiting them from recruiting and retaining young talent is quickly closing. In traditional industries like mobile equipment and fluid power, the need to attract young talent is especially crucial. While adapting and implementing emerging technologies is vital to remain competitive in any industry, there continues to be no substitute for a well-educated and highly productive labor force. To secure such a labor force today requires a transparent model of growth with clear trajectories and a company culture that inspires the younger generations to find value in the work they do.