the young and the restless: attracting and developing young talent.

July 5, 2017 Steven Brand

One of the biggest talent challenges facing companies today is the need to attract digital natives to the organization. The digital age demands models and individuals who understand the digital way to run a business, and millennial talent has already transformed the way work gets done. Our Talent Intelligence Outlook shows evidence of this trend: 50% of respondents with millennials in leadership positions reported transformed, or at least improved, performance.

But what do those emerging leaders have to say? Although more than 44% of millennials are in leadership positions, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, a mere 28% believe their organization is fully taking advantage of their skills. Clearly, more must be done to provide the experience young leaders want to fully advance their careers.

The brand challenge of attracting — and keeping — the next generation of leaders centers very much on loyalty. We’ve seen already the increased fluidity around career paths and learning that can impact an individual’s loyalty to their employer. Add to that the rise of the freelancer, with 70% of organizations reporting the use of freelancers has influenced their business, according to our 2017 Talent Trends Report. And now we can stir in the demand for younger leaders to drive business forward. What we’re brewing is a cocktail for shifting careers, built on multiple short-term moves, which offer great experiences and open doors to the next big step.

At this time, when personal brand can outweigh company loyalty, organizations have to rethink the brand experience and how that experience is measured. As just one example, the success of the brand in bringing the strongest people into the business to do the very best work has traditionally been judged on retention and internal promotions. A more accurate gauge, however, may now be the level of success they have at the next step in their careers (even at another employer) or how often they return for new assignments. The company must also be able to personalize that message to all audiences — whether they’re seeking permanent work or greater flexibility through freelance assignments.

When asking for investment in developing and managing the brand, this has the potential to be a very complicated conversation. But if young talent can see how the company can help them grow professionally and advance their careers, the organization can be more competitive in hiring the best of the best.

What’s clear is that the greater the flexibility and the speed of change, the more important it is for an organization to have the robust DNA of a well-understood brand to lean on when making complex, quick decisions around talent and change. And this is especially true if you want to pique the interest of the newest kids on the block.

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