Hiring & Recruiting

4 Tips for Understanding and Attracting an Evolving Workforce

Companies have always been tasked with attracting and retaining talent, but recruiters today are facing an entirely new set of challenges. There’s a different workforce evolving – driven by a new set of values than the candidates who came before them – and their approach to job hunting is different from anything we’ve seen in the past.


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According to recent workplace studies, an increasingly stable job market means potential employees are no longer scrambling to find work. Instead, candidates today are approaching their job search with more confidence in their ability to find meaningful work, and looking for opportunities that will allow them to proactively manage their career growth.

Employers who want to attract the best and the brightest can’t afford to be disconnected from these shifting priorities. Here are some ways companies can keep up and positively engage with members of today’s promising workforce:

  1. Update the Narrative

Take a moment to consider the success of the recent Broadway show that got everyone’s attention by telling a historic story – the life of Alexander Hamilton – in an exciting and unexpected new way. Using a modern musical style, the two-century-old narrative became fresh, energetic and relevant to society today; its language and messaging put a new face on the story of America’s formative years.

Companies can take some cues here, especially when it comes to examining the recruiting strategies they’re using to attract members of this changing workforce. Learning how to successfully adapt your corporate narrative – in a way that will resonate with a new audience – has never been more important.

  1. Start a Dialogue

Where can you start in order to do that?  A great way to understand the priorities of today’s job candidates is to ask them.

At Canon, HR specialists held a focus group of current workforce members, inviting them to speak candidly about what they were looking for in a prospective job and employer. Some of the key insights shared included an interest in career development, learning and growth opportunities, and a strong sense of community involvement from their employers. Many individuals also indicated a desire for a work environment that offers collaboration, transparency and stability.

We processed our findings and presented our research to more than 120 HR personnel, allowing them to use the conversations to inform their recruiting strategies.

  1. Embrace Social Change

Part of those findings informed how extremely important corporate social responsibility is to today’s employees.

Whether it’s addressing sustainability, environmental or other concerns, employees today want to work for companies who are making a difference. Showcasing the positive impact your company is making in the local community, as well as the rest of the world, will be appreciated by these socially-conscious candidates.

  1. Provide a Clear Path Forward

More than 20 percent of employers replaced approximately half of their staff in the last 12 months, according to the study from Spherion Staffing.

At Canon, we take retention seriously, and use data analytics to track what is driving our headcount and turnover. We’ve realized that when it comes to holding on to members of today’s workforce, providing recognition, mentorship and opportunities to acquire new skillsets goes a long way in improving job satisfaction.

Integrating these tips can help create a mutually beneficial relationship with developing talent. Listen to what candidates want today, communicate your vision to them, and demonstrate how they can be an integral part of that vision moving forward.