Thomas Register has a blog. If you have worked in the industrial market, you probably are familiar with their encyclopedia-like register. I used to be a sales manager for a high precision sheet metal fabricator and was quite familiar with researching the Thomas Register. The fact that they have a blog today speaks volumes.
ThomasNet.com (online name) has a post that plays off of the CareerBuilder.com 2007 Job Forecast that was released earlier this week. Their 7 tips are all excellent including number 7:
7) Better training
In light of a seeming shortage of skilled workers within their own industries, employers are looking for transferable skills from other industries. Seventy-eight percent report they are willing to recruit workers who don’t have experience in their particular industry or field and provide training/certifications needed.
Hallelujah. This issue is one of the most assiduous obstacles we face in teaching our customers to look at transferrable skills and talent. Many hiring managers feel safer hiring a retread from their industry than a neophyte with clearly transferrable skills.
Point number 5 warrants close attention when dealing with Generations X and Y:
5) More promotions
As the perceived lack of upper mobility within an organization is a major driver for employee turnover, 35 percent of employers plan to provide more promotions and career advancement opportunities to their existing staff in 2007.
We’ve touched on this topic numerous times including this excerpt from our article Hiring Adjustments for Generations X and Y:
Gen X and Y candidates are looking for a skills path. They desire to understand what skills are needed to be successful in the position today. The long-term incentive is to understand what skills they will personally develop or acquire within the company. They prefer a horizontal management structure and respond to personal skill development. Titles are out. Responsibilities are in. It is imperative to share with the candidates the responsibilities they will inherit as their skills become more advanced over their tenure with the company.
Larger companies tend to have a path for employees to grow in responsibilities. Smaller companies face a bit of a challenge in that area if they are not conscious of it.
I worked as a regional sales manager for a 200 employee company when I was in my late 20′s. I enjoyed my job immensely but my boss at the time was in his early 30′s and I was aware of the fact that I did not have any upward mobility within that company. I could have switched departments, but that would have led to a step backwards initially – a step I was unwilling to take. Financially I was doing quite well but the days started to all look the same. I wasn’t growing at the level I wanted to so I left the company for another opportunity with more responsibility.
As a manager, it is important to keep expanding your employees’ responsibilities. Expect them to do more, learn new skills and move into a larger position within the company. This doesn’t mean titles necessarily. Keep them growing in their skills and prevent their positions from becoming routine. This approach is one of the best methods for stemming the tide of turnover amongst younger workers.