In a recent Budget 2015 speech by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, he estimated that there are “53,000 graduates remain unemployed after six months of graduating”. Yet, most companies in Malaysia will tell you that they are struggling when it comes to recruiting Gen Y talent, despite a huge pool of Gen Y job seekers that are immediately available.
So I guess there’s a shortage a good Gen Y talent and competition for that smaller pool of talented Gen Y is even fiercer than ever. What are companies doing to solve that problem?
Here are some of my own thoughts when it comes to recruiting Gen Y (please read with an open mind!).
I like to view attracting talent in two simple terms. What actually happens inside your business (company culture), and the “impressions” of job seekers about what happens inside your business (your employer brand).
Here’s the mistake most companies make. Companies tend to focus on the employer brand, because it’s a quick fix. Let’s just get those candidates in first, the business will give us a pat on the back for attracting these talents, and when these candidates leave because they are unhappy and it didn’t turn out they way they thought it was going to be, it’s because Gen Y are not loyal and they only care about money.
Here’s the mistake most companies make. Companies tend to focus on the employer brand, because it’s a quick fix. In reality, ignoring your culture will cause you staff retention issues later.
Many HR people are going to be saying this is not true! We do try to improve our company culture! And the second problem comes from the fact that some businesses conveniently delegate “company culture” to the HR team (and HR folks do try their best to do what little they can), but in reality should be the responsibility of the business. A quarterly office party, effective appraisal system, maybe even world-class training opportunities, are not going to do much for Gen Y when their everyday work lives are with bosses that still treat their staff like its 1982.
The best way to do it? Get the business involved in caring about the company culture. It is such a powerful and effective driver of business and people, and when you are clear about what culture you want to have in your company, it helps you attract and hire the best Gen Y talent, those that are a CULTURE-FIT. I know culture always feels very intangible, that’s why businesses shy away from doing anything about it, because when you can’t see it, it’s difficult to understand how to use it. But there is already a lot of material on the internet to help you understand what this is all about, why this is the trend, and how you can use it.
Once you know clearly what your company culture is, and the people in the business can live and breathe these values, then you work really really hard to market that message to the right pool of talented Gen Y. There are many effective and cost-efficient ways to do this (I run Wobb.my, which you can also check out), so don’t think of employer branding as having to spend tens of thousands of dollars at career fairs and advertising, that’s really unnecessary.