Pictured Above: PathShare Team Arial Harland, Denise Miller and Sally Brause work together to strategize helping customer's hire and retain talent.
One of the biggest challenges facing a business is hiring top talent. One of the second biggest challenges? Keeping that talent. With projections of nearly half of all U.S. workers being millennials by 2020, wouldn’t we all say it’s about time we focus in on how to attract and retain this substantial percentage of the workforce (PwC 2011 Report- Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace)?
I am not about to go into a monologue about how you need to give millennials trophies for every ‘accomplishment’ or how you need to let us be the Executive V.P. of Awesomeness within our first six months, as cool as that would be. Instead, take my own personal story as evidence for how this generation really thinks.
My story may resonate deeply within the veins of my generation, and I hope others can bridge the gap between the generations. Bottom line, it speaks a truth we’re all beginning to recognize: Millennials are not better, they are not worse, they are just different.
My story starts with me as a young bright-eyed and bushy-tailed millennial ready to take on the world! Typical right? Well, let’s clear something up quick. What some may call entitled, I call tenacious. What some may call impatient, I call eager. Regardless of what anyone calls it, I still knew tenacity and eagerness wouldn’t be enough to land me my dream job. I choose instead to find my dream organization.
You do not have to be a nonprofit or have a mission of saving the world to be a dream organization. I found this for myself within a finance company, GreatAmerica Financial Services. I even started in sales, not my dream job. When I discovered GreatAmerica, I would have scrubbed the floors to be a part of this organization. That might seem too honest, but that’s exactly how I felt being offered a position.
I graciously accepted because I believe GreatAmerica is a dream organization not because of what they do, but how they do it. The second I walked in for my first interview as a prospective candidate I was welcomed by a very clear picture of their culture. I could tell they were planning for the future by focusing on developing their greatest assets; their people. I could see if I joined this organization, regardless of the position, they would stretch me until I grew in the direction I wanted to go. They cared about having the right people in the right seats equipped with the tools they needed to be successful.
Those are the things I fell in love with first at GreatAmerica. True to their culture, when a position within the Core HR team opened up I was able to move one step closer to my career aspirations after being in a sales role. Later in my career, a Human Resource & Organizational Development Consultant position was created on the PathShare® HR Services team. It was my ultimate dream job! A perfect blend of interacting with an industry I’d come to enjoy, and living the mission I believe in. The position was a seat suited to my educational background, natural abilities and personal passions. The genuine care for me being able to come to work as my very best self, doing what I do best every day, and continuing to grow professionally and as a person is what has kept my love for GreatAmerica.
If you want to attract and retain millennial talent draw upon these three key elements:
Millennials want purpose and they want development opportunities, but I don’t think they are the only generation who seek this from an employer. Remember I said millennials are not better, they are not worse, they are just different? I think the difference is that this is nonnegotiable for millennials, because if you don’t have purpose, and won’t invest in development, then the next employer will.
We want to work hard for you, be loyal to you and have our passion unleashed, but in a world as connected and fast-paced as the one millennials grew-up in, we simply won’t settle for working towards something that does not feel impactful and we do not have time to waste. We need to be constantly improving ourselves, our lives and our world.
To retain your top millennial talent, challenge yourself to be the dream organization in the next millennial’s story!
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Arial Harland is a Human Resources & Organizational Development Consultant with PathShare® HR Services Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services, where she enjoys fostering relationships with business owners by helping them with their organizational challenges. As a certified AVA Analyst, through Bizet Human Asset Management, she assists companies in building strong cohesive teams. She obtained her B.A. in Organizational Sciences and Psychology at Coe College and her Master of Organizational Leadership through St. Ambrose University, enabling her to aid companies in optimizing their greatest assets – their people. In 2018 she was named an industry “Difference Maker” in ENX Magazine, and she was also one of six named as an industry “Young Influencer” in The Cannata Report.