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Updated: October 16, 2023 5 Things

5 Things I know about ... Attracting and retaining young professionals

If you represent an organization looking to hire motivated and reliable young professionals, here are five steps you can take.

Amy Mosher Berry started Marlborough-based Visions Internships in 2020 to bridge the growing gap between young professionals seeking meaningful real-world experience and social impact organizations in need of project support.

1. Provide a paycheck with a purpose. A 2019 study showed 80% of U.S. college graduates are intentionally seeking work where they can actively help people and/or our planet, resulting in a purpose gap, a trend continuing to increase since COVID.

Now is the time to look at what your company is doing to benefit the greater good. What are you doing in the corporate social responsibility space? Is your brand inspiring, authentic, and innovative?

2. Be clear and supportive. Young people tend to thrive when they are given specific direction and the ongoing support to succeed at their job. Do not assume they will know what you want by just telling them. Show young hires exactly what you want and why, encourage them to ask questions, and exercise elevated patience, all of which will pay off in the long run.

3. Use consistent systems. When you and your team employ standard procedures to onboard and train new staff members, including interns, it shows you have taken the time to invest in the people and processes shaping your company culture.

One day this summer, take an extended lunch break with a colleague and review your current onboarding and training systems to address any gaps in the hiring cycle.

4. Initiate regular communication. Everyone wins when supervisors are frequently in touch with their team members. Young people are especially hungry for feedback and recognition for their work-related performance.

Try implementing daily standup meetings at the beginning of every workday as a quick and easy way to share key updates and check-in with the team.

5. Offer fair compensation with growth. While most young people expect to earn a reasonable living wage, they are often even more motivated by employers encouraging ongoing learning and offering impactful advancement opportunities.

Determine specific KPIs and incorporate customized, performance-based incentives into employee growth plans and staff review meetings.

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