THE BLOG
10/16/2014 02:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How The Best Companies In The World Attract Top Talent

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Most companies haven't thought much about what our young generation really cares about. The most successful companies on the planet love those who are on purpose and have a sense of urgency to their life. Everything has changed, and what it took to thrive five years ago doesn't work anymore. The problem for business lays in attracting that young talent and keeping them. Up to 60 percent of millennials leave companies they work for within three years because "it's not a good cultural fit." Companies don't succeed, people do, and without the right ones your business will eventually fail. Here are the 5 things Gen Y really cares about in a job.

Dynamic Culture

Culture doesn't just eat strategy for lunch, it devours it. When you have the right culture, you don't have to persuade anybody to do anything. Yes, you must have be strategic, but your culture defines your company. Having a meaningful mission isn't optional anymore, and plans fail while movements don't. Gen Y wants to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves with a tremendous upside. Your entire organization from the CEO to the new representative should know what the purpose and mission of the company is. Most companies don't, and it's hindering their ability to attract top tier talent. You cannot unify everyone's thoughts, but you can unify everyone through a common goal.

Community and Networking Opportunities

I surveyed 350 very qualified young professionals in my Game Changers Academy a couple months ago. It was very clear that the most important aspect of joining a company was to elevate their networks and be a part of a thriving community. People will quit a job, but they won't quit a relationship. Networking is more important than it's ever been, and the companies who make networking a part of their community will continue attracting exceptional young talent. When you attract people that are purpose driven instead of money driven it creates a very strong bond within the organization.

Relevance and Innovation

If you're still trying to recruit people from Craigslist versus LinkedIn, there is a problem.

Millennials want to express their creative genius, share their ideas and have the latest technology at their disposal. Google recently was swamped by a record 75,000 applications for 6,000 openings. That's more than twice the 35,000 applications Harvard received this past year (also a record). Why? Because Google is relevant, encourages networking with other brilliant minds, has built an amazing culture and values innovation. There are reasons why they are the best.

Is your company relevant to the new economy? Is your company innovative? Do you take ideas from your employees? If your answer is "no'' to any of these questions, you might be on your way towards extinction.

Is It A Catalyst?

A lot of companies churn and burn through people. They focus on recruiting instead of developing the people they have an a deep level. Retention of young super stars begins when you genuinely show them you have their best interest in mind. We have retained people for years by pledging to them, "This can be a catalyst to your future, and whether you're part of our team for six months or 10 years we want to make sure you get the best experience possible, and use this opportunity to develop yourself so you can catapult yourself into your greatest contributions."

Don't be afraid to lose people. When your good people leave, do everything you can to help them in their next venture. You will create passionate advocates who will promote your amazing company to their circle of influence. Fall in love with your people, not your company or product, because it's the people who bring a company to excellence.

People want experience that stands out, potential to create an amazing lifestyle with flexibility and freedom, financial freedom and a chance to build real wealth, and amazing memories and life long relationships.

Integrity and Congruence from the Leaders

Your team is always a reflection of you, and you must take 100% responsibly for your teams results or lack of. Is what's promoted in your marketing material congruent to the interview and actual opportunity? One of the biggest reasons for bad retention is expectations of the team member not being met or something being falsely promoted or exaggerated. I've seen a lot of leaders promote things they aren't doing themselves, which is the quickest way to lose trust and respect. If you promote being on time, but show up late, the credibility is lost. The "BullSh*t Meter" of millennials is extremely high, and inauthenticity doesn't sit well with them. They need a clear path on how to advance, and if they see it as a dead end the A players will eventually leave. Also, you can't treat your top performers the same as your low performers. Make sure some incentives are in place based on results, innovation, and work ethic, NOT age.

There has never been a better time in the history of our economy to create businesses that matter. There are so many hungry millennials striving to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It takes the purpose driven and innovative companies to attract these talented people. Remember, if you don't adjust accordingly, you'll end up like Blockbuster.