With a national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent (as of August 2019) and a 2.5 percent unemployment rate here in Iowa, it’s not easy for many of our clients to find, recruit, and hire new employees. 

To compete for the brightest, most talented recruits, your business-to-business (B2B) company must understand what motivates workers to leave their current employer and look for a better one. And once you get them hired, you must continually reinforce and offer the right perks and benefits to keep them happy, motivated, and loyal so they don’t start looking for better opportunities. 

We’re not a recruitment firm, but we’ve learned a lot about how to speak to different generations of workers to get them interested in a job opportunity. Based on our own employee research, we’ve identified some insights about what new recruits look for and want at different stages of their career.

Early-career recruits (0 to 10 years of career experience)

“My biggest challenges I face at this moment are related to work life. I want to thrive at work while I still live a ‘me-centric’ lifestyle.” — Two Rivers Marketing entry-level associate

Whether fresh out of college or with a few years of adulting experience, these recruits are very focused on their own plans, needs, wants, and career goals. This mindset demands freedom and flexibility, strong mentoring, and clearly defined paths for more responsibility and growth. 

Recruitment tips: Highlight your work hard/play hard motto, offer volunteer/charitable giving opportunities, have a strong mentor program, involve them in social events, and prove you have a defined path for promotion and greater responsibilities.

These recruits appreciate a generous salary but are likely to enjoy monetary perks that allow them to lead an active lifestyle, like gym/fitness reimbursements, at-work fitness centers, or reduced-price gym memberships. They’ll get excited about fun perks, like bringing their pet to work or social events during working hours. Finally, talk about ways your company will help them continue their education, whether that’s helping pay for grad school, allowing them to travel to a conference, or enrolling them into your onsite training program. 

Mid-career recruits (11 to 24 years of career experience)

“I have a very busy work life and a very busy home life that constantly compete with each other for my time and my sense of purpose.” — Two Rivers Marketing mid-career employee

These recruits are “in the thick of it” at home and in their careers. There simply aren’t enough hours in their day to juggle all their responsibilities and feel like they’ve accomplished their goals. Be mindful of their stress levels and showcase flexibility policies, self-care perks, and bonus programs that reward them for hard work and leadership. 

Recruitment tips: Switching employers can be a big deal for this group, especially if they’ve built up seniority and vacation balances. Your company needs to offer something they don’t have right now: better work/life balance, a significant promotion or exciting new opportunity, or flexibility to focus more on their home life. 

The perks and benefits that might get this group’s attention are flexible work hours and work-from-home options; relaxed dress code; on-site daycare; and at-work delivery of dry cleaning or prepared meals for family dinner. With their stressful lives, these recruits will also appreciate at-work gyms, on-site massage or manicure appointments, high-quality coffee stations, and at-work happy hours.

Late-career recruits (25+ years of career experience)

“The biggest challenge is having too much experience and not enough experience all at once. There’s always something new to learn.” — Two Rivers Marketing late-career associate

As careers begin to wind down and retirement grows closer, recruiting this worker demographic grows more challenging. Our late-career associates identified continued learning opportunities as one of the biggest reasons to stay at their jobs. They have the expertise but might lack experience with new technology, so help them figure it out. More than anything, this group wants the security of knowing they can work for your company until they’re ready to leave on their own terms.  

Recruitment tips: Show that you value their expertise by making them mentors and coaches. Ask them to lead training programs if teaching interests them, and offer to send them to new technology training so they can keep learning. This group is looking for a generous paid time off (PTO) policy and flexible work hours to enjoy their empty nests. In fact, they may want to ease into retirement with part-time work opportunities. 

Perks that will get this group’s attention include good health care benefits, on-site financial/retirement planning, opportunities to “leave their mark” by contributing to your company culture, and flexible work schedules.

When trying to improve your recruitment efforts, start by staying in touch with your employees — understand what makes them happy and loyal and use that insight to build recruitment packages that target workers at every career stage. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, check out the current openings at our agency and see if our culture, perks, and benefits are a good fit for you!

About Keesia Wirt

Keesia, sr. content marketing strategist at Two Rivers Marketing, is a self-proclaimed content nerd. Her favorite tools include audience personas, crochet hooks, whisks, and duct tape. If you want to talk content, email her at keesiaw@2rm.com.