Paper Matters Blog
5 Tips on How to Attract the Next Generation to the Print Industry
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Attend any print industry conference and you’ll discover generational marketing is a hot topic. And for good reason; in order for the print industry to thrive, today’s printer needs to not only appeal to new generations of customers, they need to learn how to attract—and retain—valuable employees. But is the print industry getting it right when it comes to making connections with the next generation of professionals in order to attract them to the industry?

These five common misconceptions could cause you to miss out on great talent for your team. A fresh perspective may be just what’s needed for effectively evaluating candidates for your next new hire.

  1. THE NEXT GENERATION DOESN’T EXPECT OPPORTUNITIES TO BE HANDED TO THEM, BUT THEY DO EXPECT CAREER GROWTH IN EXCHANGE FOR HARD WORK.

A long-held stereotype is that new generations are entitled and expect “participation trophies” for simply showing up to work. The truth is, Gen Z especially will work tirelessly for an employer but expect advancements to be based on merit versus tenure. The best thing a member of a

newer generation can see to give them a positive impression of a company is a person who has moved up through the ranks based on skill, hard work and merit without taking 50 years to do so. 

  1. TO HELP INDIVIDUALS CONTRIBUTE GREATER VALUE AND FEEL AN ELEVATED SENSE OF SATISFACTION AT WORK, PRIORITIZE CONTINUOUS LEARNING.

New research shows technical skills training (80%) and professional development programs to hone soft skills (74%) are perceived among the top benefits for retaining employees’ services over the next five years. Use a combination of formal workshops, technology-based tools and cross-training to tailor continuous learning to each individual.

  1. THEY DO VALUE EXPERIENCES BUT ALSO EXPECT TO BE FAIRLY COMPENSATED.

The popular Harris Poll states that 78% of millennials would rather spend money on an experience versus a material possession. While this statement continues to be true, this somehow often gets misinterpreted to “millennials do not care about money, they only care about experiences.” Newsflash—experiences cost money! With every generation, a raise or additional bonus is the best way to show a person they’re valued.

  1. VALUES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN CAUSES, AND THEY HAVE TO BE AUTHENTIC.

According to a recent Deloitte Survey researching more than 7,700 millennials spanning 29 countries, 84% believe it is their duty to change the world. Because of similar stats, we’ve heard countless speakers advise printers on “finding a cause” to attract employees. The truth is, newer generations aren’t drawn to a one-off cause; they want to work for a company that shares their values—i.e. a company’s principles, beliefs and standards of behavior. They prefer building their career with a company that provides ongoing support to employees who participate in causes important to them.

To attract the next generation, spend time to dive deep and explore the unique values of your company. Then, make these values centerstage in your brand—in both the visual and voice. Once established, make sure the core brand values are communicated at every touchpoint—from company advertising, to ads for hire, to interacting with customers, to networking with peers.

  1. NEW GENERATIONS OF EMPLOYEES ARE LOYAL TO COMPANIES LEAD STRONG, TRANSPARENT LEADER.

Although they have a reputation for disloyalty and “job-hopping,” 67% of millennials say being loyal to an employer is important to them. The key for an employer to tap into this loyalty is transparency—the newer generations want to understand how they fit into the big picture. Communicating company goals clearly and providing ongoing performance feedback to employees can have a significant impact on the company’s (and employees’) success.

It’s a given that attracting and retaining new, high-performing employees is important for your business. Getting more invested in your target audience by participating in college internship and mentoring programs and exploring “outside the box” talent from programs like engineering, technology and marketing can really help expand your connections to up-and-comers. By embracing professional perspectives that may differ from those of previous generations, you’ll open your business to a whole new era of opportunities—and success.

 

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