Younger people who are single and on the outset of their careers, as well as those who are older and navigating different challenges than they once aspired to, each have different goals than married workers with children. Therefore, they require different benefits, work-life cultures and/or nuanced environments from their family-oriented peers.
How might employers, therefore, market their brand across a multigenerational workforce inclusive of both single and older workers, and what different tacks might they take, depending upon the employee audience, etc.?
Employer Branding for a Younger Talent Base
Younger employees who are at the start-line of their career often are thirsty to find fit, create focus and jumpstart career growth. They are also attuned to what's current and fresh, and companies who remain steeped in stodgy, older ways will fall off their radar screen.
For example, younger workers may perceive the manufacturing industry as "dark, dirty, dull and dying," according to Deborah Holton, managing director of industry events for ASME, in the article, How to Attract the Next Generation of Engineers.
[Related: The ROI of Employer Branding]
Modernizing Your Brand to Appeal to Younger Talent
Manufacturing companies, and others like them, have an opportunity to attract younger talent via a more storied approach.
While the stodgy image is far from the truthful reality of the manufacturing industry's current work environment, it's important for manufacturers to prove this by shining a spotlight on their value proposition, which will "provide a greater emphasis on the field's exciting technical opportunities and potential to help others," says Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME.
This includes opportunities for talent to leverage critical thinking, complex decision making, digital skills and programming.
Also, by inviting young workers to serve as career ambassadors, companies who may struggle with outdated images can further expand the employer brand across generations, to "tell the story about how what they are doing makes an impact on a project, their company, the community and the world," according to Carolyn Lee, executive director, The Manufacturing Institute.
Moreover, touting the opportunities for above-average salaries and upward mobility, companies traverse the brand gap to appeal to the young people focused on cultivating their careers.
Create Benefits Packages that Appeal to Single Workers
Younger, single workers are looking for something different than their married counterparts.
"Taking into consideration a few extra factors that affect single workers will help you create benefits packages that make you attractive to this subset of your workforce," suggests Steve Milano in, Evaluation of Employee Benefits for Single Employees.
For example, they are not likely drawn to many of the longer-term benefits such as life or disability insurance.
Instead, companies may consider offering short-term insurance offerings such as vision, dental, pet and basic health (vs. life, accidental death, etc.).
"While pet insurance may sound like an odd benefit, says Milano, "pet health care costs can take a big chunk out of a budget, with an operation to save a loved pet costing more than $10,000. Pet health insurance will provide an immediate payback for your single workers."
And don't stop there, make sure to weave those benefits into the threads of your company story, in such venues as your Glassdoor profile as well as beyond, through your website and in recruiter messaging and candidate nurturing.
Social Initiatives, Mission and Purpose
Ensuring you meet the needs of a younger worker who often is less weighted with family accountabilities may mean branding your culture with company-paid outings, according to the article, Multi-Generational Employer Branding.
Moreover, "global mission and purpose are important," priorities with which younger workers connect, so including that type of language in your company mission and vision as well as exuding it in your company's day-to-day actions is important.
Sonya Toplay in this Cloud Friday article, provides an example of incorporating purpose into daily work life. She suggests, "giving employees extra responsibilities that encourage use of their purpose in the office."
Mesh their strengths with the responsibility; i.e., for the person with strengths in event organizing, "delegate your office's monthly work gathering planning to that employee."
Employer Branding for an Older Talent Base
While still driven and eager to advance their value proposition, older workers also have amassed years of career-growing history that has tempered some of the zeal that inspires younger workers. As a result, their dreams, desires and goals have evolved. By carving storied content that connotes an understanding of the older employees' needs, companies can stand apart, appealing to this unique and wisdom-rich talent base.
Create Authentic Content, Leveraging Your Company's Heritage
According to an article by Paul Woolf in the History Factory, "authentic content - content derived from your company's heritage - can be a powerful tool and work in your favor to gain the attention of more mature candidates."
Woolf offers a synopsis of employer branding and engagement opportunities companies can deploy to connect with and appeal to a more mature workforce. For example, reference your company's history in communications with older candidates.
"Authentic content acts as a reminder of your brand, what you've stood for over the years," which will more likely resonate with older talent versus younger people, says Woolf.
"Stories of your history of hiring more mature workers will help older talent feel more positively toward the organization…," Woolf continues, and goes on to cite how Lockheed Martin leveraged historical stories to appeal to young engineers, a strategy that can be flipped to focus on stories to appeal to older workers.
Invest in Training and Development
By designing and offering internships, training and other resources particularly aimed at older workers' needs, you can round out your brand to appeal to the older end of the age spectrum of a multigenerational workforce.
"It's a fallacy to assume that Boomers aren't interested in personal development. They want to keep learning and expanding their knowledge set and use their skills to solve new problems," asserts Valerie Grubb, principal with Val Grubb & Associates, an HR leadership and training company in the SHRM article, How Attracting and Retaining Older Employees Can Help Your Business.
FCCI, a commercial property and casualty insurance company, employs a substantial numbers of older workers - 33 percent of their workforce are over 50 - and are "rewriting the rule as it relates to age demographics," according to Lisa Krouse, the company's CHRO, in the same SHRM article.
The company's branding initiative includes a proactive approach of meeting with each employee to unearth their wants and providing access to the missing links (training, etc.) to help employees achieve their goals.
Flexible Hours and Stability in the Workplace
Work-life balance or work-life blend are commonly touted aspirations for any generation; however, it is fair to say that older workers, while remaining driven, "will typically tend to prioritize time outside of work," according to Papirfly's article, Employer Brand Team Guide: How to Attract and Retain Multiple Generations in the Workplace. "Presenting that as something your brand prioritizes will help you stand out over your competitors, either through flexible hours or part-time opportunities."
Moreover, baby boomers' desire for new, enjoyable experiences often is as important as money. "Being able to offer good incentives and training opportunities so they can continue to learn and feel wanted could prove more effective in your recruitment strategies than prioritizing the salary package," says Papirfly.
Regardless of the age or the chapter of life in which your target talent base resides, refining, shaping and then marketing your employer brand is integral to achieving talent attraction goals. To help you on this journey, check out Glassdoor's newest product, Glassdoor Review Intelligence™, which will unlock insights from employee reviews and enable you to understand the 'why' behind their ratings, surfacing valuable patterns in feedback so you can better inform your employer brand strategy.
To get involved in the conversation on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.