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7 Ways To Keep High-Potential Gen Y’ers At Your Company

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The average American worker today stays at his or her job a mere 4.4 years, according to a recent Forbes article, while Gen Y’ers (those born between 1977 and 1997) are leaving in a fraction of that time—91 percent expect to stay in a job fewer than three years.

As new data reveals that a lack of longevity with one company has no effect on length of stay at the next, the old stereotype of “once a job-hopper, always a job-hopper” is becoming less relevant to employers, possibly debunking workers’ fears of not being offered new work just because their lengthy resumes are littered with short-stint positions.

As an employer, you obviously want to keep turnover among workers low. Losing workers after a mere year means wasted time and resources invested on training and development. Gen Y’ers with high expected potential to perform are especially precious to keep around, even more so than workers with proven achievements, a new study by scholars at Stanford and Harvard suggests.

So how do you prevent Gen Y’ers and other workers from leaving your company quickly, thereby increasing the likelihood of maximized profits? Try the following:

1. Hire The Right People First

The economy has made every open position look tempting to a wide array of job seekers. Even if your company’s applicant tracking system successfully weeds out under or over-qualified candidates very efficiently, some workers who aren’t the right fit inevitably make it through. To keep high-potential Gen Y’ers and other workers at your company, ensure you’re hiring the right people first. Use video interviews to broaden your search efforts geographically and better establish an accurate feel for potential workers, all while saving time and money.

2. Embody Your Company’s Values

A 2012 survey by Net Impact found that 58 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to take a 15 percent pay cut in order to work for a company with similar values as their own. To keep high potential Gen Y’ers at your company, do more than just hand employees a list of its values on day one—actually embody the values day in and day out and reward employees who do the same.

3. Encourage Open Two-Way Communication

If today’s social marketing campaigns illustrate one thing, it’s that consumers like to engage in open conversation. Likewise, employees, especially Gen Y’ers, appreciate the opportunity to share ideas and opinions openly in the workplace. To keep high-potential Gen Y’ers at your company, encourage open two-way communication among all employees through various channels.

4. Integrate More Technology

Gen Y’ers are stereotypically the most tech and digitally-savvy in history. In fact, Gen Y’ers are prioritizing acquiring the latest smartphone or tablet above purchasing a car. To keep Gen Y’ers at your company, demonstrate your company’s desire to be a technology leader by implementing the latest technology, beginning with video interviews in the hiring process.

5. Offer Workplace Flexibility

More young workers in industries that don’t demand in-office face-time prefer to do their work outside of the office, according to a Detroit News article. And for Gen Y’ers in industries where facetime is required, flexible hours can be more important than high salaries. To keep your high-potential Gen Y’ers around, try to offer more workplace flexibility. If more schedule and telecommuting flexibility just isn’t possible at your company, see the next tip.

6. Ask What Benefits They Want

Assuming that Gen Y’ers at your company want holiday gift baskets or other out-dated employee perks certainly won’t inspire gratitude. They may have them running out the door before their first year is up! To keep Gen Y’ers at your company, ask what benefits they really want to receive or take inspiration for employee benefits from other companies with cool perks.

7. Offer Training Opportunities

Information today is doubling every 18 months. By some estimations, that means workers need to recover a quarter of their college education every five years just to keep up with industry standards. To retain Gen Y’ers value and keep them at your company, offer training opportunities for workers to learn new and refreshed information and knowledge. Your company can even offer education benefits for Gen Y’ers itching to return to the classroom.

How do you keep high-potential Gen Y’ers at your company? Share your tips in the comment section.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of SparkHire.com, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews.

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