As I sit on a Melbourne bound train on a sunny afternoon, I am surrounded by young (younger than me) people on their way to various destinations which no doubt includes friends, educational institutions and workplaces. The thing that strikes me more than anything is how connected they are and how quickly I imagine they would be able to swap information on a range of issues important to them. Not least among them would be employment opportunities at places that really stand out as great places to work.
This conversation would be going on all the time and what we need to accept is that all employers are engaged in a competition to get the best and the brightest people in their doors to make a difference to their productivity. The significant thing is to look for ways to become part of these conversations in a positive as opposed to a negative way. Think of how good it would be if we could have people beating down our doors wanting to come and work for us, not just because we had a job for them, but because they had heard how great it was working or us!
So, what do we need to do to become part of this conversation? Here are a few “no brainers”.
Be a good employer – this means that apart from offering competitive pay and conditions, we also create a place where personal and professional growth is celebrated and proudly worn on the organisations sleeve. Employees are challenged and the sense of “getting somewhere” is palpable.
Be up to date – prospective employees like nothing better than an employer who not only has the latest bells and whistles but uses them effectively. Lagging behind the market isn’t just bad for business but also puts you at a disadvantage in the great hunt for new people.
Be connected – Many Forest industry organisations still have a reputation of being a bit out of touch with the whole connectivity/Social Media thing. Try not to be one of them! Get your name out there and manage it so that you are highly visible to prospective employees and your name comes up in searches for your industry. Why not go one better and start a conversation with people out there who might like to work for you. Some organisations now have sites where people who are interested in working for them can register and then contribute to discussions, along with providing updates on what they are up to. This generates a pool of interested and connected people down the track who may be available to be employed when the right opportunity comes up.
Be socially responsible – the connected generation places value on organisations which try to do the right thing on a range of issues. This might seem like more of a challenge for a Forest Industries organisation, but by being open (and managing our messages well) we can be seen as placing important issues on our radar and throwing out a challenge to anyone who might like to come and help us do things better!
By considering each of these things, we can improve our chances of making a positive mark on the conversation out there and make sure that our organisation is seen as a great place to work and grow.